It's the same face you make every morning trying to get out of bed.

By Faith Brar
July 24, 2020
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

If you're in need of some workout motivation on day infinity of quarantine, Kate Upton has you covered.

Since she started quarantining back in March, Upton has been working out with her trainer Ben Bruno over FaceTime, crushing remote sessions while staying true to her fitness goals. This week, Bruno shared a video of Upton doing 12 reps of 205-pound barbell hip thrusts. (Find out why barbell hip thrusts are considered one of the best butt workout moves of all time.)

TBH, Upton seemed less than thrilled at first about cranking out the 12 reps. After letting out a hearty (and relatable) "noooooo" at the beginning of the video, Upton crushed her set with ease, achieving a new personal record in the process.

"[Upton] has been working her ass off during this quarantine, and she's getting really strong. I love it," Bruno wrote alongside the post. "To the people who still say that lifting weights will make women bulky, well, I don't know what to tell you." (Related: 5 Reasons Why Lifting Heavy Weights *Won't* Make You Bulk Up)

Bruno, who recently declared Upton a "meathead" for her dedication to fitness, continued the post by sharing "a few coaching points" on form to help anyone trying to perfect hip thrusts themselves.

To start, Bruno highlighted the importance of using your full range of motion during hip thrusts. "Between each rep, you should come all the way down so you're almost sitting on the floor," he explained. "No half-repping." (Here's how to perform a barbell hip thrust—and why you should.)

Next, he suggested engaging your core "as if you're doing a mini crunch," he wrote. "This helps to ensure that you don't overarch your back and helps encourage a slight posterior pelvic tilt, which puts maximal stress on the glutes and protects the lower back." To maintain proper form, it also helps to look straight ahead rather than up at the ceiling, he added. (Related: Watch Brie Larson Hip Thrust 275 Pounds and Celebrate with a Cookie)

If your knees tend to cave in during hip thrusts, Bruno recommended placing a mini resistance band around your legs just above your knees. "It's a good reminder to keep the knees pressed out," he wrote in the post. "And anecdotally, a lot of people feel it more in their glutes doing it this way. Your call, but definitely try it."

Bruno's final tip: Pause at the top of each rep for at least one second, he wrote. "This ensures that you're controlling the weight and not going too heavy, and you'll also feel it more in your butt," he explained.

If Upton's badassery has inspired you to work toward your own PR, Bruno suggests starting with a weight you can lift for 8-12 reps while keeping your form intact, he tells Shape. "Once you've mastered your form and can get those reps in, you can bump up the weight," he says. (Related: Fix Your Exercise Form for Better Results)

That said, it's important to progress gradually, adds Bruno. "I don't like to bulk up too fast," the trainer notes. "Once you train consistently, you can go up 5-10 pounds a week, and all of a sudden you've gone up a ton of weight in just one year. Just don't ever let form slide for the sake of adding more weight."

While Upton makes barbell hip thrusts look easy, Bruno, who also trains Chelsea Handler and Jessica Biel, shares just how much work she put into reaching this goal: "In the bigger picture, she's been working toward this accomplishment for five years—so, ever since we started training together," he explains. "Something like this doesn't happen overnight. She has been training six days a week in quarantine—and we train on FaceTime, which is hard, but she's really been staying motivated."

"She started with a lower weight and progressively worked up to her top set," continues Bruno, noting that Upton has actually done heavier hip thrusts in the past. "Last year, she did 225-pound hip thrusts for six reps," he shares. "But I think 12 reps at 205 pounds is definitely harder." (Related: Watch Kate Upton Hit a PR While Doing Some Badass Landmine Reverse Lunges)

While PRs can be a great way to gauge your fitness level, it's not necessary to go for a PR every workout, says Bruno. In fact, doing so might just lead you to burn out, he explains. "[Upton] and I usually go for some sort of 'personal best' once or twice a month. That's why you have to take social media with a grain of salt. Everyone says it's a highlight reel, and it really is. The camera only comes out when we're going for a record, but we don't go for a record every workout."

"What you can't see in that video is five years of hard work," he adds. "Her effort and consistency are admirable because this stuff isn't easy, even though she makes it seem so."


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