Barbell Hip Thrusts

by Devin Sarno, NSCA-CPT

Muscle Groups: Glutes, Hamstrings

Importance: The barbell hip thrust is one of the most effective movements that directly targets the

glutes. It helps improve size, strength, acceleration, speed and power. It is one of the only exercises

where the most resistance is felt at terminal (end-range) hip extension, and therefore helps build up the

posterior chain in a way that other common lower body exercises cannot.

Proper Form:

  • Start seated with a bench right behind you and a loaded barbell over the top of your thighs

    o Be sure that the bench will not move; place it against a wall if possible

  • Roll the bar up to your hips and lean back onto the bench

    o Your upper/mid back should be on the edge of the bench

  • With your hips flexed and your backside near the floor, initiate the movement by driving through your heels and lifting your hips up

o Continue in this until your thighs reach parallel to the floor

  • With your upper back still resting on the bench, your hips should be extending to a point

where they are level with your shoulders: fully contract your glutes (squeeze your butt!)

  • Once you reach the top of your movement, reverse the movement by starting to flex your hips again until you reach the position where you began your first repetition

    o Make sure to control lowering the bar on the way down


  • If possible, use a wider bar or a bar pad to help reduce the pressure on your hip bones

  • Maintain a neutral spine and focus on using your glutes rather than your lower back

  • Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement and keep your chin tucked to chest

  • Do not allow your heels to rise up off of the floor

Progression/Regression: Dumbell/Barbell Glute Bridge

Sample Workout:

  1. 15 Barbell Hip Thrusts

  2. 10 Barbell Front Squats

  3. 5 Barbell Rows

  4. 5 Rounds and keep the same weight on for each movement