Hip Thrust Alternative You Need To Try

Hip Thrust

Hip Thrust Alternative You Need To Try. The primary focus of the barbell hip thrust is to engage the lower body muscles, primarily targeting the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Core muscles also come into play during this movement. This exercise has a well-established reputation for enhancing the size and shape of the gluteal muscles. Nonetheless, there exist several alternative exercises that can yield comparable benefits.

Variations such as cable pull-throughs, hip extensions, one-legged hip thrusts, trap bar deadlifts, and kettlebell swings all serve as substitutes for the barbell hip thrust. While these exercises work multiple muscles to bolster the lower body, they place a greater emphasis on activating the hamstrings and glutes. As a result, they contribute to increased muscle mass and strength in the buttocks area.

Mastering the correct technique for both the barbell hip thrust and its alternatives is crucial for accomplishing one’s personal goals related to lower body strength and muscle definition. Moreover, having a solid grasp of the muscles involved and typical errors associated with glute exercises aids in executing these workouts accurately and effectively.

What is a Barbell Hip Thrust?

The barbell hip thrust involves placing a barbell on the front of the hips, adding resistance to the muscles engaged in propelling the hips forward. Essentially, it can be seen as a weighted version of a glute bridge exercise.

barbell hip thrust
Barbell hip thrust

Utilizing a barbell and a bench, the barbell hip thrust exercise unfolds. Initially, one positions oneself seated on the floor, knees bent, back firmly against the bench, and a barbell positioned at the hip region. Hip Thrust Alternative You Need To Try.

The barbell finds a comfortable spot at the hip crease. Subsequently, the movement is initiated by pushing the feet against the ground, propelling the hips upward, and pressing the back against the bench. Hip Thrust Alternative You Need To Try

Upon reaching the apex of the movement, the upper body achieves parallel alignment with the ground, knees forming an approximate 90-degree angle. The shoulder blades remain stable on the bench, facilitating the lifter’s recline into a straight alignment from hips to torso. This posture is sustained momentarily before gradually descending the hips, marking the completion of one repetition.

Barbell Hip Thrust Alternatives:

1. Cable Pull Throughs

The cable pull-through, also called the glute pull-through, is an exercise that works on your backside muscles like the glutes and hamstrings. It helps make these muscles bigger and stronger and is good for movements where your hips bend.

Hip Thrust Alternative You Need To Try
cable pull through

Cable pull-throughs involve working out using a cable machine equipped with a rope handle. To get started, you select the weight you’re comfortable with on the machine. Position yourself facing away from the machine, and set the pulley at its lowest height. With the rope handle held between your legs, take a step forward to lift the weight slightly, ensuring it doesn’t touch the stack at the bottom.

Stand with your feet a bit wider than your hips, and keep your knees slightly bent. Begin the movement by hinging at your hips while maintaining a neutral, straight back. Slowly push your hips back until you feel a gentle stretch in your hamstring muscles. At this point, your upper body should be nearly parallel to the floor. This position sets the stage for the exercise’s execution. Hip Thrust Alternative You Need To Try.

As you’ve assumed the hinged position, maintain the natural curvature of your spine. From here, initiate the upward motion by extending your hips. Your glute muscles come into play as your hips move forward, propelling your body to an upright position. At the peak of this movement, be sure to squeeze your glutes to fully engage the muscles. This completes one repetition of the cable pull-through exercise, which primarily targets your glutes and hamstrings, contributing to improved strength and muscle tone in these areas.

2. Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is a versatile exercise that brings about improvements in strength, power, balance, stamina, and cardiovascular endurance. Similar to the barbell hip thrust, it is a low-impact exercise that focuses on building the gluteal muscles and promoting muscle growth.

During kettlebell swings, the main muscles at work are the glutes and hamstrings. The motion involves driving the kettlebell upward and forward through hip extension, with the upper body’s role limited to controlling the bell’s height. This movement efficiently engages the glutes and hamstrings, contributing to their strengthening and development.

kettlebell swings
kettlebell swings

To execute kettlebell swings correctly, begin by hinging at the hips and slightly bending your knees to grab the kettlebell. Once you have a hold of the bell and it’s positioned between your legs, initiate momentum by pulling the weight slightly backward.

As you drive your hips forward, maintain a neutral back position and send the kettlebell up to shoulder height using the force generated. When gravity takes over, the weight naturally descends back between your legs. Repeat this movement pattern until the designated set of repetitions is achieved. This dynamic exercise effectively engages the muscles and enhances strength and endurance. Hip Thrust Alternative You Need To Try.

3. Resistance Band Hip Extensions

Hip extension exercises play a key role in activating the gluteus maximus and hamstring muscles. When incorporating a resistance band into these movements, you effectively intensify the challenge on the muscles responsible for hip extension. This method not only boosts overall strength but also enhances your ability to control the movement.

band standing hip extension
Band standing hip extension

Resistance bands have the added benefit of involving stabilizing muscles in your workouts. Their lightweight and versatile nature makes them an excellent alternative to bulkier gym equipment and machines.

To perform hip extensions using a looped resistance band, begin by positioning the band around your ankles. You can do this exercise while standing or sitting. Place your hands on your hips and engage your core muscles to enhance stability. Hip Thrust Alternative You Need To Try.

Maintain straight knees as you push one leg backward, hinging at your hip joint until your leg reaches approximately a 45-degree angle with your body. Hold this position for a moment before gently returning your leg to the starting position. Repeat this movement for a set number of repetitions before switching to the other leg. This exercise effectively targets the muscles involved in hip extension while incorporating the benefits of resistance bands for added challenge and engagement.

4. Trap Bar Deadlift

The trap bar deadlift presents a variation of the classic deadlift exercise, employing a specialized bar that enables a neutral grip. This adaptation serves to lessen the strain on the back extensor muscles, placing greater emphasis on the gluteus maximus muscle. While performing this movement, the gluteus medius, hamstrings, and quadriceps muscles work collaboratively to stabilize the motion and bring it to completion. This exercise provides a nuanced approach to targeting specific muscle groups while minimizing stress on the lower back.

trap bar deadlift
Trap bar deadlift

Executing a trap bar deadlift involves several key steps. The individual begins by positioning themselves at the center of the trap bar with their feet shoulder-width apart. They then grip the handles of the trap bar, achieved by squatting down to reach them. It’s essential to keep the back in a neutral, straight position throughout the entire movement to ensure proper form and safety.

To initiate the lift, the hips and knees are extended simultaneously until the person is standing upright. At the peak of the movement, it’s important to contract and squeeze the gluteal muscles. Finally, the weight is lowered back down in a controlled manner. Hip Thrust Alternative You Need To Try.

This exercise variation is effective in targeting specific muscle groups, particularly the glutes while maintaining a more favorable grip position and minimizing stress on the lower back. Proper form and technique are crucial for reaping the full benefits of the trap bar deadlift.


Both barbell hip thrusts and their alternative exercises serve as effective tools for developing the gluteal muscles. While neither option holds a clear advantage over the other, incorporating a combination of these workouts can potentially yield superior results by addressing a variety of fundamental lower-body movement patterns.

Regardless of the chosen exercise, prioritizing the correct form is paramount. Avoiding common mistakes is essential not only for achieving optimal outcomes but also for preventing injuries that could hinder progress. A comprehensive approach to gluteal workouts, embracing various exercises and maintaining proper technique, is key to attaining desired results while minimizing the risk of harm.

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