Welcome to the era of the gluteus maximus. One scroll through Instagram, one look at Kim Kardashian, one glance at the booty-contouring leggings taking over the world, and we're motivated to grow our peaches. Turns out, a big, round booty is a rare body ideal that the average woman can actually achieve, even if she wasn't born with it.

It's hard to make big changes to your physique, and I speak from experience. At first, I wasn't comfortable getting on a bench and doing the hip thrust in front of all the buff dudes training around me. However, I've learned to get past this. Hip thrusts burn out my booty and leave me sore in the peach for days. I've picked up on a few tricks along my path to confidence at the gym, and I think they're worth sharing.

What is The 'Hip Thrust'?

Bret Contreras, aka The Glute Guy, developed an exercise that he calls the hip thrust. A pure stroke of genius, the thrust maximizes the usage of the glutes, while minimizing the range of motion of the knees.It forces the booty muscles to get stronger, and eventually, bigger. And the results are no joke.

The Truth About The Thrust

No matter how magical hip thrusts are, there's a reason a lot of us (that aren't fitness bloggers sponsored by Gymshark) choose to opt out of the hype. Think about it: women have only just started being taken seriously in the weights section, and now we're expected to thrust away in public? I won't sugarcoat the truth. This exercise is overtly sexual, and may look like you're prepping your moves for a different kind of marathon...

oes that mean we should stick to squatting like we're in 2015? Hell no. Bret Contreras has only one piece of advice to make things less awkward, "Never make direct eye contact while hip thrusting or when someone else is hip thrusting…things can get awkward rather quickly."

Mahima Chawla

Luckily, I have some more advice. Here's how I get around feeling uncomfortable and why I'm not embarrassed to hip thrust at the gym:

1. Progressions

Mahima Chawla

Start with glute bridges and once you've got those down, move on to the slightly more uncomfortable glute pull-throughs. Master those, and try out the single-legged version of hip thrusts. If you're too embarrassed to hip thrust right away, these baby steps will help you move in the right direction. Once you've acclimatized to all of those, hip thrusts should be a piece of *cake*. (Pun intended)

2. Deception

Use a barbell because it makes everything look more official. Even a 20-pound barbell can take your workout to the next level and makes things look more official. This is also a little trick for when you don't want anyone to know how heavy you're going. I try to avoid dumbells because they have big bold numbers and come in toy colors. 

3. Creativity

Try to get creative. Hip thrusts machines haven't reached gyms everywhere yet. However, the leg extension machine works perfectly. Lay a mat under the pad, get under it with your hips right below the pad, and your shoulders on the seat - and thrust upwards. Quick, easy and clean usage of equipment helps me feel more confident because, if it looks like there's a machine for it, it's probably legit. Right?

4. Never underestimate the intensity

Realize that this is a very tough, legitimate workout, and not just some silly fad. Powerlifters and competitors work on hip thrusts intensely to build their glute muscles. You shouldn't feel silly, because there's simply nothing silly about it. 

5. Who Cares?

If you've gone to a gym long enough, you've probably  seen people do silly things, and even noticed a few moves that you're sure are wrong. But what if "silly" is more effective? If you look "funny" or "weird" doing an exercise, who cares? People are more concerned about themselves anyways. 

6. Haters Gonna Hate. 

Mahima Chawla

Let's say that you do run into group of conceited, ignorant bros that are pointing and laughing at you while you thrust. Think, will they be laughing when you walk in a few weeks later with your booty on fire? Jokes on the bros, man. 

What's my best advice? Learn to own it. Don't let fear of judgment stop you from achieving #bootygoals. Master the hip thrusts and maybe you'll soon graduate to 'Frog Pumps'...