The 1-Leg Hip Thrust is by far one of the most underrated posterior chain exercises out there because it looks too simple. At least once a day, I will demonstrate this exercise to an athlete and they respond by saying "that's it?!" Approximately 2 minutes later, they look like a baby fawn trying to walk for the first time. Simplicity is often overlooked due to the fact people want to dive right into fancier exercises without mastering the fundamentals.
If you're performing a 1-Leg Hip Thrust and you think it's easy you're probably doing it wrong.
Here are some tips and tricks to help get the most out of this simple exercise.
1. Drive through your heel, not your tippy toes
Driving through your toes is going to place more stress on anterior aspect of your knee and make it almost impossible for you to get your hamstrings or butt to do their job (extending the hip). Drive through your mid-foot or heel and you will feel the difference immediately.
2. Create a straight line from your shoulders to your hips
People like to move through their low back (a lot!) and oftentimes will feel this exercise in their low back, which is a big no-no.
Your goal should be to create a sturdy line from your shoulders to your hips by slightly posteriorly tilting your pelvis (if you're starting in extension) and holding that good neutral pelvis position with your obliques and anterior core.
If you find you're having a hard time understanding what bracing feels like, perform the deadbug variation below and try to create this same feeling with your core as your doing the hip thrust.
3. Eyes follow your torso
People will often stare up at the celling the entire time, which can really crank at your neck. Instead, think whereever your chest goes your eyes and chin should go. If you're starting in the bottom position, your eyes and chin should be facing straight ahead. When you drive through the ground your eyes and chin should be pointing towards the celling.
4. Slow it down and hold for a solid second at the top
It's not uncommon to find someone trying to blast through reps. Slow things down and focus on pushing through the floor, powering this movement with your glutes and hamstrings. Click the video below to see a properly executed hip thrust.
If you're looking to learn more about softball-specific training, Austin Wasserman and I will be holding our inaugural Elite Softball Performance Seminar on August 20th. Click the link below to learn more details.