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14 Mar

Four hip thrust bench exercises to optimise your core

In this article, we look at what a hip thrust bench is, what it’s used for, and how to can exercise using one.

What is a hip thrust bench?

Hip thrust benches come in various styles; some are metal stands with padding. Others, like ours, are wedges covered in firm foam and a UPVC cover to be comfortable and easily clean. It is worth noting that people commonly use weight benches for hip thrusts. However, this is not ideal because a weight bench is generally too high if you are using a weight with your exercise. Another common solution is using a gym step with a cushion; again, this is not recommended as the stability of the movement is compromised by a non-fixed addition of the pillow or pad.

 

How to set up a hip thrust on a bench

Place the hip thrust bench onto the gym floor, and ensure that the bench is on a non-slip surface. You can check this beforehand by pushing against the bench. Then get a weight bar and some light weights initially. Add the weights to the bar. We recommend that they have collars in place and are fixed. Sit in front of the bench with your back to it. To judge your position, lean back and check that your upper back/shoulders will reach the bench top. Next, please put the bar and weights over your waist. Bring your legs near your bottom, lean back, make contact with the bench top, brace your core, and then drive your hips upward toward the ceiling from the legs.

 

With your legs at 90 degrees, lift up and then down, repeating this movement. You are effectively creating a bridge with weight across your lap. Refer to the weight and exercises provided by your PT instructor.

How high should a hip thrust be?

Before you do a weighted hip thrust, it is worth using the apparatus with just body weight, and this does two things; one, it familiarises you with the bench height and feel, and two, it allows you to perform the movement without weight. This is important because it will enable you and your instructor to establish a comfortable range for you; everyone is different. The height of a hip thrust should be proportional to you and how you feel when performing the bridge movement. Ideally, this will extend to allow the back to arch comfortably.

 

What four exercises can you do with a hip thrust bench?

 

Exercise 1 – Weight plate hip thrust

As the name suggests, this movement uses a weight plate, and it is good to help warm up before you use the barbell. So first, choose a weight plate that is a good warmup weight for you, then place the plate on your pelvis. Next, perform the normal hip thrust movement, ensuring that you have hold of the plate to avoid it slipping sidewards or toward you. Weight plate hip thrusts are good for calorie burn and are faster than other exercises.

 

Exercise 2 – Barbell Hip Thrust

As described earlier, this is performed by placing the barbell across your hips/pelvis and then raising and lowering the hips. The barbell will naturally sit at the bend point of your hips, but it is still worth stabilising the barbell by having your hands on it. See your PT for more information on sets and weights. Again, this needs to be assessed based on individual strengths.

 

Exercise 3 – Single Leg Hip Thrust

Once you are confident with exercises 1 & 2, isolating your legs is a good idea as this puts extra resistance in the movement. This is what the single-leg hip thrust does. We recommend starting this exercise by having both feet on the floor; as you lift your hips from the floor position, stop and then lift a leg, pointing your knee to the ceiling. Next, perform the movement by pulsing the hips from one leg with weight, either a weight plate or barbell, then repeat this with the other leg for an intence glute and thigh workout.

 

Exercise 4 – Frog Thruster

To perform this exercise, you put your soles together, as you would your hands to pray or clap. With your toes in place and touching, flare your knees to open your legs, keeping your feet together. Now perform the hip thrust movement; spreading the legs lets you optimise the glute activation, meaning the outer glute is worked.

Summary – Why we love hip thrusts

We love hip thrusts because they are great for strengthening your core, which benefits your general health. The results are clients feel more supported and stronger, and these exercises can help shape the glutes, tighten the abs and use the thighs, so many of the larger muscles result in higher calorie burn.

 

This foundationary exercise provides stability and strength to avoid back pain from day-to-day activity and exercise. Hips thrusts are a winner. Recently we got a Mirafit hip thrust bench in our Islington PT workspace if you are interested in using one.

Separately if you’re a PT considering our PT Spaces, please get in touch with the team using the contact page.

Nathan Head Trainer & Founder

P.S If you are interested in finding out about Fitness, why not take a look at the personal trainers who already work with us here.

🏠 PT Workspace Islington Personal Training Studio: 87-89 Shepperton Rd, London N1 3DF

Personal Training in Islington – PT WorkSpace

🏠 PT Workspace Milton Keynes Personal Training Studio: Unit 5, Campbell Wharf, Overgate, Milton Keynes MK9 4BG.

Personal Training Milton Keynes – PT WorkSpace

🏠 PT Workspace Harrow Personal Training Studio: Roxeth House, Shaftesbury Ave, South Harrow, Harrow HA2 0PZ

Personal Training Harrow – PT WorkSpace

27 Oct

Get ready and plug your seatbelts in because it’s most likely going to be another bumpy ride for the fitness industry over the next couple of months. There is no telling what exactly the future holds right now, but be rest assured we can weather this storm by supporting each other and the industry. When lockdown lifted the first time, people in their millions returned to gyms and private studio’s. Why? Because health and mental wellness matters! Covid-19 has shown how obesity and poor lifestyle choices can make it harder to fight the disease and making recovery longer in those who suffer the worst. Public Health England recently stated in their Better Health campaign that…

  • People living with obesity are twice as likely to be hospitalised with COVID-19
  • Current evidence suggests that COVID-19 patients living with obesity, and in particular morbid obesity, may be more likely to be admitted to intensive care; require advanced treatment; and potentially have poorer outcomes, including a greater risk of mortality 
  • Data from intensive care audit weekly reports, which detail adult intensive care, indicates that 7% of those in intensive care are morbidly obese – this is twice the rates of morbid obesity in the population as a whole

For many years health professionals have said obesity is the secret pandemic in this country. Only now is it becoming more known to the masses. This is not about body shaming, it’s about giving people the best chance to live a full life where disease, illness and mental health problems are not killing the nation.

All things considered, there are many reasons why an individual might fall into the obese or morbidly obese category, and without getting too political, economical or sidetracked with semantics, as professionals, we all understand that we have to be part of the solution. Which is partly why trainers have been so passionate about the response to gym closures. There is more than one pandemic we are fighting this year.

As we move forward in the current climate it is likely that we may have to live with Covid-19 long term until something drastically changes. The first time round no one was prepared for what Covid-19 had brought to the door, but as time goes on we can learn to adjust and make positive changes. Hindsight, as they say, is a wonderful thing. It’s never too late to start.

On a side note, we would like to thank all those who have continued to support small businesses and the fitness industry this year

Thanks for Reading

Best,

Nathan Head Trainer & Founder

P.S If you are interested in finding out about Fitness, why not take a look at the personal trainers who already work with us here.

🏠 PT Workspace Islington Personal Training Studio: 87-89 Shepperton Rd, London N1 3DF

Personal Training in Islington – PT WorkSpace

🏠 PT Workspace Milton Keynes Personal Training Studio: Unit 5, Campbell Wharf, Overgate, Milton Keynes MK9 4BG.

Personal Training Milton Keynes – PT WorkSpace

🏠 PT Workspace Harrow Personal Training Studio: Roxeth House, Shaftesbury Ave, South Harrow, Harrow HA2 0PZ

Personal Training Harrow – PT WorkSpace

15 Oct

Understanding How and When to use Calorie Surplus & Calorie Deficit?

We have heard the words boundered around, however understanding how and when to use a calorie Surplus or Deficit in your diet can make the difference between maximizing fat loss and better gaining lean muscle mass.

Calorie Surplus (Extra food in the diet)

An example of using a surplus is often seen in a diet for competitive strength athletes and bodybuilders as their fundamental purpose is to promote muscle growth and strength. A surplus can be used effectively when coupled with a training program designed to reshape the body for a more leaner defined look. Diets having a surplus have shown to be superior over diets only reaching maintenance levels (balanced calorie intake) for lean muscle growth.

calorie

An advised surplus added should be from 5-10% more than your Basal metabolic rate (daily energy needs) and should allow for the surplus of calories to be directed to growth and not stored as fat. When using a surplus, fat stores may increase, so make sure to lose fat before this is implemented If you worry about extra unwanted weight.

A surplus is specifically ideal for individuals who have trouble “putting on weight” as this would have almost certainly been due to incorrect manipulation of calorie intake and expenditure. Make sure to eat clean and make up the extra calories through high protein sources. This is not an excuse to overindulge (takeaway, high sugar foods) to reach you calorie target or this will backfire with increased fat stored.

calorie
Notes

  • Ideal for those struggling to “put on weight”
  • Better Promotes Muscle growth
  • Quick to workout BMR+ 5-10% calories
  • Make up of high protein
Calorie Deficit (Less food in your diet)

A calorie Deficit is the most common used discipline in the fitness industry. A calorie deficit is when your body has fewer calories being consumed in your diet than is being expended from maintaining your body and the day to day activities.

Unknown to many… A small percentage of your activity will affect the overall needs of your body, as the primary calorie expenditure is to maintain the body’s state. This does not promoted inactivity but suggests that daily calorie needs will not range greatly among similar size individuals. Finding your BMR and calculating activity levels can give you a direct number to start decreasing your calories from.

Decreasing between 10-20% of your daily needs should be effective, which will usually account to around 200-500 calories .When decreasing your calories we would advise making sure you understand all the nutrients you consume in your diet first, and moving towards healthy food sources over general removal of calories, which can have severe effects on nutrition.

calorie

A reduction of a 1lb a week, is the equivalent of removing 500 calories a day. on average 2,500 cals a day for men and 2000 cals and day for women, for most individuals is advised by practitioners due to health and safety. This technique needs to have a balance between calorie loss through exercise and decreasing calorie intake through your diet. One should not be done without the other. It is important to make sure you do not place your body in starvation mode for prolonged periods of time. Always consult Medical Practitioner when making changes to your diet for either a surplus or a Deficit.

Notes

  • Ideal for utilizing adipose (Tissue Fat)
  • Do not use deficits for Prolonged periods of time
  • Small percentage is lost from exercise vs BMR (daily diet needs)
  • Difficult to increase Muscle mass vs Surplus
  • Must learn nutritional content of diet before reducing “willy nilly”

Below are some videos to help develop a better understanding of your diet.

Video: Mike Thurston- Calculating your Macros

Best,

Nathan Head Trainer & Founder

P.S If you are interested in finding out about Fitness, why not take a look at the personal trainers who already work with us here.

🏠 PT Workspace Islington Personal Training Studio: 87-89 Shepperton Rd, London N1 3DF

Personal Training in Islington – PT WorkSpace

🏠 PT Workspace Milton Keynes Personal Training Studio: Unit 5, Campbell Wharf, Overgate, Milton Keynes MK9 4BG.

Personal Training Milton Keynes – PT WorkSpace

🏠 PT Workspace Harrow Personal Training Studio: Roxeth House, Shaftesbury Ave, South Harrow, Harrow HA2 0PZ

Personal Training Harrow – PT WorkSpace