barbell glute bridge

Common Barbell Hip Thrust Issues for Women

barbell glute bridge

Bridging ain’t easy

I decided that I am going to start posting video blogs (vlogs if you will) as good practice in case I am ever called to appear on Dr. Oz or Today Show, or any of those other talk shows I don’t watch.

Lucky for you, this means you are my pilot audience.

Of course, I tend to focus on how I look around the room when I am thinking of what to say, or how my hands flail about when I describe something. Great, now you will to!

Regardless, this is a good topic that comes up often in conversation about hip thrust and glute bridge progressions. It seems the heavier the load gets, the more painful it is to have the bar placed over your hips.

I find that women have trouble with this more than men, and I reckon (see, Texas is rubbing off) it’s because of how our lower abdominal region is structure. We just don’t have as much musculature.

In this video I gleefully go over how to place the bar when performing loaded hip thrusts and bridges, and go over a common mistake when using the bar pad.

For the love all things good in this world, how do I get a decent looking thumbnail on my videos????


And to further enhance your experience, here is a video I made a short while back regarding how to get under the bar when you aren’t using large plates.

This is something that I did for a long time and the first time because I had no clue how else to get under the bar. It works great, but just make sure you understand how to deadlift before doing this.



EDIT: One of my gorgeous friends said this was a good tip for hip thrusts, but she was still curious about how to get under the bar for glute bridges. I find that you can do the same thing, just scooting out farther from the bench. It’s a pain, but a good option when you don’t have a training partner to help place the weight over you. Another option is shown in this video as well. It’s something I would do as well when I was below 135-pounds for this lift.



Hope you find these videos useful. I think I’m going to go take some acting classes now.



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  • Hi Kellie, Not sure if this thread is closed. I just started Strong Curves and I’m currently training at home. How high should the height be for Hip thrusts and step ups?
    Also, can I use a shorter BB- 5 or 6ft?

  • Hi Kellie! I am on day 25 of the 30 day glute challenge, and I definitely feel and see the results!
    My question is: how can I keep this progress up?
    I’m a stay-at-home-mom of 7, and don’t have access to a gym. What can I use at home to keep getting results?

  • Hello Kellie, I bought the pad you had suggested, but still my pelvic bone is very sore. Maybe my arms aren’t long enough to have the bar more on my upper legs. I have about 90 pounds including the bar and lay flat on the ground.

  • Thank you so much for these videos they will really help me out a lot!

  • Hi Kelly , thank you for the videos, they are so helpful to me. I just started the Strong Curves program, although I admit that I am ahead of the game because originally I started the 30-day glute plan. So my focus is on barbell hip thrust.

    So, I just wanted to share with you what I think is a really good help for women starting out, like me. Because it’s so easy to get intimidated at the gym, when you cant’t get the weight to your hip.

    Today, at gym I wanted to advance to 65 lb. (I think I could do more,) but I I have to carry it over to my space because the guys have monopolized the weight room.

    I am focused and determined to accomplished my goal, I was nervous to get this weight without injuring myself, so I carried over a 45 lb. wheel for warm -up, but I did this next:

    The bar weights that are there for the classes (I don’t know what to call them – they are straight weighted bars) etc. are 15lb. And 18 lb.!!!! It was easy to add them up, I sat on the floor with a mat and piled them on!!! It was so great I piled them up to equal 63 lb. but it was easy to just add and no worry about getting them in my lap.

    I am working my way up, and wanted to do barbell, but the guys took over the space today. I will progress and not give up.!! So I thought this was a worthwhile tip for people like me.

    Thank you for all you help. Really appreciate it.


  • Sorry to post to an old thread. But, just HAD to say thank you SO much for the videos! I am doing the Strong Curves workout with first time Glute bridges and thrusts. After two weeks I have HUGE bruises now I know it’s a bar placement issue! And, I won’t even go into how utterly awkward and stupid I was in trying to get under the bar. Thank you SO much for taking the time to make these videos!!

  • These videos are so useful and really addressed the parts that I’m struggling with. Thanks Kellie!

  • […] Tummy? – Zach Moore Kill Your Heroes and Own the Hell Out of Yourself – Anthony Mychal Common Barbell Hip Thrust Issues for Women – Kellie Davis Never Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today – Mike Boyle Band Pull-Apart Super Series […]

  • I can’t really assess this without watching you in person, but it could have to do with glute strength. It may also be a flexibility issue, but it’s likely a strength issue. I am glad you find my posts helpful. :) I will try to do more like this.

    Now to work on your issue, I would try without weight for a while so that you can focus on working your glutes rather than your hamstrings. Then use just a bar (or even a kettlebell over your pelvis) and slowly work up to using weight.

  • Im getting hamstring cramps too! I also cant get up as high as you do on the glute bridge. Could it be Im not flexible enough in the hips?

  • I find your posts and videos very helpful. Thanks!

  • Cassandra, so crazy that you should ask because I was going to write a post on this. I did something related, but I want to do a more detailed progression of what you should be feeling and how to progress/regress. I will write it up next week. THanks for the motivation to get it done!

    Here is the article I wrote that address the topic in a basic sense:

    Come back soon for a better laid out plan. :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • It is so awkward, but your booty will thank you. Let me know how it works for you, Leona. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Great videos Kellie, some really useful tips thank you. Re the thumbnails, I stumbled onto a plugin you can get that allows you to choose your thumbnail – Pat Flynn has done a great product review here and there’s a discount if you buy before Saturday. HTH

  • Thanks so much for this article and the videos! Just wondering, what would be the recommended progression for hip thrusts/glute bridges.. right now i’m doing bodyweight with my feet on a kitchen chair but dang.. it feels like my hamstrings want to cramp up as i get closing to finishing each set.

  • Leona Kealey Vamos

    An EXCELLENT article. I was getting so frustrated and embarrassed in the gym trying to get under the bar only the other day. It was too heavy to lift and not high enough to slide under. I think your cross-legged idea there will work for me! Thank a million!!

  • For glute bridging I am using 2 aerobic step risers on each side to rest the bar on. Then I load my plates (right now it’s only 10lbs), slide under the bar between the risers, and bridge away!!! Depending on someone’s size, they may need to add risers to be able to slide under. Fine adjustments to positioning can be made once the bar is on the hips. It works like a charm for me especially since I’m not quite strong enough to deadlift large amounts of weight yet.

  • Awesome, Kat. You will move up in weight in no time now that you are able to get under the bar with no hassle. Those dirty looks will go away once they notice your great booty! :)

  • Thanks for the advise! I’d been doing these at the gym with my shoulders on a bench and resting the bar on the squat cage arms. But, since I am working thru shoulder issues, getting to 115 was getting hard for me to rerack. This week I tried doing them from the floor using the 35lb plates rather than 25+5 like I’d been doing – was thinking of your advise about getting under them. I had a pair of 10s to set them on in case I needed the extra height, but found that I didn’t. I just decided that I didn’t care about the dirty floor or the looks – this is the way I’m going to work at increasing my hip thrusts!


  • Posted it yesterday. Hope it helps!

  • Thanks, Lauren. Hip thrusts are a little awkward. But when you can bounce a quarter off your, errr, glutes…

    It’s funny how innovative we can get when we set our minds to something. Love your approach!

  • Thank you so much for this, Kellie.

    When I first started with weighted hip thrusts, I rested the bar on two steps and sat in between, then scooched in underneath. Not the most elegant method, but it worked well enough when I needed it to – and let’s be honest, the hip thrust is not the most elegant of lifts, anyway, so who cares?

    Love your site – keep up the great work!

  • I would love a post about that as I’ve wondered about the same things as Maureen!

    Thanks for the above post, I’ve changed the bar position and find it hurts much less now :) I do however feel that having my lower legs out further seems to target the glutes more than having them at a 90 degree angle?
    Also, what is the best way to make sure the lower back isn’t too stressed? I feel like tucking the pelvis under a bit helps, but would like to know what you think! Thank you :)

  • Yes, I do have bumpers. They are fun!

  • So glad it was helpful! Ha, my garage is rather shabby. We just moved in and it seems someone was working on tearing down the walls and gave up. Oh, well.

  • Kellie,
    This is the most useful piece of information I’ve received in a long time! I admit that the awkwardness/pain of getting out from under the bar was becoming an obstacle to getting stronger glutes.

    Thanks for posting these detailed videos! I really appreciate it. I think you look GREAT on camera and that Dr. Oz’s “people” should be getting on the phone pronto. You could, however, use a set decorator.

    All the best,

  • This post is hilarious, dammit you make me laugh, lady! Now if you’ll only start vlog’ing in a ten-gallon hat it would make my picture of Kellie-in-Texas complete. Are those bumper plates in your main picture? Wha?! Seriously?! Very jealous! I’m asking Santa for some this year.

    When you get asked to speak on Dr. Oz (or any of those shows we don’t watch) I will personally fly out and be the loudest member in the audience.

  • […] Tummy? – Zach Moore Kill Your Heroes and Own the Hell Out of Yourself – Anthony Mychal Common Barbell Hip Thrust Issues for Women – Kellie Davis Never Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today – Mike Boyle Band Pull-Apart Super Series […]

  • Great post idea! I think with hip thrusts it’s pretty standard that your shins should be perpendicular to the floor when you are in top position. Your feet should be about hip to shoulder width apart.

    Glute bridges are more based on personal preference. I used to do them with my feet tucked all the way to my toosh. Now they are out a bit more.

    I will think up a good post for this. Great question!

  • Let me know how it works out.

  • Thanks for the info..I got the bar pad big difference..I remember Bret using a flat blue pad also what was that? I find a corner in the gym away from all the traffic and I use the pre loaded bars..Not sure if I am doing them right..any tips on placement of the how far away from your glutes your feet should close the feet should be to each other etc..appreciate the time you are taking to help spread good info

  • Great post! I have always struggled with barbell placement and often leave the gym with bruises on my hips. I can’t wait to try your tips!

  • Awe, thank you! You are the goddess of fitness films, so I appreciate it. I don’t feel natural haha! xoxo

  • Awesome! Yes, we do tend to bruise a bit more than the boys… but our butts get stronger faster!

  • Great post Kellie! You’re overcoming that camera-shyness rightly <3

    You're a natural at it already x

  • What a great topic! I will bookmark this. Barbell thrusts are my favorite thing ever and I want to continue to go heavier without, you know, hurting myself ;)

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