This exercise is a great lower body exercise that really hits the glutes, hamstring and quads. Its a great exercise for newbies as well as advanced lifters because there is not as much mechanical stress on body from axial loading like squats and deadlifts.
There are a couple of key points to note when performing this lift.
Shoulder blades on a bench behind you and the bar should sit in between your hip bone and pubic bone (NOTE: everyone’s body is different and some hips might sit lower/higher so this could be uncomfortable).
Keep the chin tucked in to the chest. While you brace the bar, keep you eyes focused on the bar the whole time, this will help keep your rib cage down, abs braced and help get that PPT.
Posterior Pelvic Tilt. ‘PPT’. tilt the pelvis up and towards you while bracing the abs and driving you feet into the floor.
At the top of the lift you want to tilt your pelvis up and towards you again, this is PPT, and really hits the glutes. NOTE you should not feel this in your lower back.
To really maximise those booty gains you want to train the glutes in every rep range and from every angle. That means a combination of weighted barbel hip thrusts for strength and hypertrophy and also banded high rep range exercises like lateral band step outs as well as kick backs using the cables or dumbbells for metabolic stress and metabolic damage.
For maximum hypertrophy 30-36 sets per week for glutes.
By training in the different rep ranges and different planes you can train glutes more frequently. Frequency will depend ultimately on volume, effort and exercise selection. As a guide vertical loading like squats less frequent, horizontal loading like hip thrusts greater frequency and lateral loading like banded step outs greater frequency.
If you want to get a bigger booty, you need to hit it from all angles, horizontal loading, vertical loading and lateral loading you also want to hit every rep range.
An example program could look something like this;
A1. Hip thrust 8 reps x4 sets
B1. Lunge 12 reps x3 sets
C1. Cable kick backs 15 reps x3 sets
D1. Lateral band step outs 20 reps x3 sets
D2. Monster walks x20 reps x3 sets
What about genetics?
Yes unfortunately glute genetics will dictate how big you booty grows and how fast. And here's the thing not everyone will respond well to the same program.
From the research carried out by Bret, some subjects had higher glute EMG (Electromygraphy) from front squats than hip thrusts. Others had high EMG readings from banded glute work. Others responded better to high reps, others lower reps.
Make sure your training glutes 30-36 sets per week. You are covering all rep ranges and loading all planes for maximal hypertrophy. Using a combination of barbell loading and banded exercises.