Could you do smolov with glute bridges? Thanks
I don’t think so. In my experience, Smolov is effective because it overloads the nervous system over an extended period of time. In order to overload the nervous system, the lift needs to be full body or close to full body so that the irradiation effect can occur and you can recruit a lot of muscles. I did Smolov with squats and it worked great. Then I tried Smolov Jr. with the dumbbell bench press and did not make any gains. I am thinking that the dumbbell bench did not overload my nervous system since it did not recruit as many muscles. With Smolov, I could tell my nervous system was greatly affected because I went into a depression and my mood changed. With Smolov Jr., my upper body muscles were fatigued, but it didn’t have a noticeable systemic effect.
On the other hand, Smolov has worked for some people doing the barbell bench, and the glutes are a pretty big muscle, and you can also recruit your core, hamstrings, and even quads if you go heavy enough, so it might work. The biggest concern I would have would be hyperextending the low back when you get fatigued, which is the main reason for pain when doing hip thrusts.
But if you want to increase your hip thrust poundages, just a normal progression seems to work fine. I started at 135 lb x 10 reps and over two months got up to 405 lb for 10 reps doing the exercise about twice a week. I pulled in a lot of extra muscles at the end of the 405 lb set, so lately I’ve backed down to 365 lb so I can work on isolating my glutes.