Kate Upton Dialed Up the Intensity of Her Butt Workout with This Small Tweak

The model crushed six reps on each leg with a 205-pound barbell.

Kate Upton walks the red carpet ahead of the "Marriage Story" screening during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on August 29, 2019 in Venice, Italy
Photo: Laurent KOFFEL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

At this point, you probably know that Kate Upton ~loves~ lifting heavy. The supermodel has no problem crushing everything from 110-pound landmine lunges to 80-pound single-leg Romanian deadlifts. One time she even pushed her husband up a hill (casual).

What's even more impressive is that Upton hasn't slacked on the intensity of her workouts in quarantine. She's continued to train (remotely) with celebrity trainer Ben Bruno, who once called Upton a "meathead" for her level of commitment. (Reminder: Your workout routine definitely doesn't have to be as intense as Upton's during COVID-19. Now isn't the time to feel guilty about exercise.)

This week, Bruno shared a video of their recent training session, during which they dialed up the intensity of Upton's glute workouts with some staggered-stance hip thrusts. The video shows Upton completing six reps of the exercise on each leg with a 205-pound barbell. "That's so strong," Bruno wrote alongside the video. "This is all the weight she has at home."

Keep in mind, Upton didn't master this move overnight. For the past few months, she's been focused on getting comfortable doing regular barbell hip thrusts with the same weight, Bruno noted in his post. It was only after Upton was able to complete 15 reps with ease that Bruno decided it was time for her to graduate to staggered-stance hip thrusts, he wrote. (

"I love this exercise because it functions as an intermediary between bilateral hip thrusts and single-leg hip thrusts," Bruno wrote. "I'd guess that about 75 percent of the weight is on the leg closest to the body, but the other leg provides a little stability and makes it so the bar doesn't tip." This allows you to use "substantially more weight" on the active leg than you would be able to use with true single-leg hip thrusts, he noted.

Plus, maintaining good form during staggered-stance hip thrusts is much easier than doing so with single-leg hip thrusts, added Bruno. In single-leg hip thrusts, one leg is completely off the ground, which could put unwanted pressure on your lower back, he explained. "Anecdotally, the staggered stance helps avoid overarching at the lumbar spine, which means more stress on the glutes (where we want it) and less stress on the lower back," he wrote. (

If you're looking for a more detailed breakdown of the exercise, Bruno shared a video tutorial of staggered-stance hip thrusts back in 2018.

In the clip, he explains that staggered-stance hip thrusts require the same form as regular hip thrusts, but, of course, with staggered feet. The heel of one foot should be even with the toe of the other, he says. So, if you want to activate the right leg, you'll stagger your left foot forward so the left heel is in line with the right toe, and the left toe is elevated. To activate the left leg, you'll stagger your right foot forward with the right heel in line with the left toe, and the right toe elevated. "You're feeling it on the side with your heel closest to your butt," explained Bruno.

Concluding his post with Upton, Bruno took a moment to not only compliment her "consistently hard" work in their training together but also give a shoutout to Upton's dog Harley, aka the most supportive workout buddy in the world.

"I love how @therealharleyupton just sits there two inches from the heavy bar and doesn't even flinch," wrote Bruno. "He's at every workout helping make sure that Kate uses good form."

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