The One-Legged Hip Thrust
There are two benefits that make this a great addition to glute training:
- Everyone has a dominantly weaker and stronger side. With the unilateral version, you can shore up some gaps there, which could also be contributing to any aches and pains related to this imbalance.
- Because one foot has to balance, this means the glute medius has to work a bit harder to create stability in the pelvis. It has a higher neurological demand than the bilateral version.
Since loading on this version isn't conducive to chasing progressive overload, it works more by helping to establish mind-muscle connection and closing the gap on imbalances. This makes it a great prehab exercise as well.
Start with bodyweight for the warm-up set and hold the top portion of the movement for 3 seconds before lowering back down. One set of 20 reps should wake your glutes up properly. Consider keeping your toes off the floor and allow natural external hip rotation during the lifting (concentric) portion of each rep.
You can use an EZ-curl bar, a short straight bar, or even a standard plate for the loading. Do 4 work sets of 12-15 reps.