10 Steps to the Perfect Hip Thrust

The hip thrust is likely the most rapidly rising exercise in terms of popularity in strength & conditioning. It is performed by physique athletes, strength athletes, and sport athletes alike. Hip thrusts can be performed with bodyweight, barbell, or resistance band loading. The barbell hip thrust lends itself well to heavy loads, which is precisely why it’s mandatory to execute the exercise properly and master bodyweight first. Here are ten steps to the perfect hip thrust.

1. Push Through the Heels

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The Benefit:

Pushing through the heels as opposed to through the balls of your feet shifts muscle activation away from the quadriceps and onto the glutes and hamstrings.

How to:

Make sure your heels do not rise off the ground. You can choose to maintain flat feet or to raise your toes off the ground via ankle dorsiflexion and holding that position throughout the set.

2. Ensure Vertical Shins at the Top of the Movement

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The Benefit:

Having the shins vertical and perpendicular to the ground maximizes glute activation. Setting the feet too close to the buttocks shifts more tension onto the quads, and setting the feet too far away from the buttocks shifts more tension onto the hamstrings.

How to:

Figure out the proper foot distance so that when you’re at the top of the hip thrust, in the lockout position, your shins are vertical and not angled forward or backward.

3. Keep Knees Out

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The Benefit:

Keeping the knees out increases gluteal activation and is healthier for the knee joints.

How to:

Don’t let the knees cave inward throughout the set; keep tension on the glutes so that the femurs track in line with the feet.

4. Achieve Full Hip Extension

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The Benefit:

Full hip extension is where the glutes achieve their highest level of activation. Failing to reach this range of motion will lead to diminished tension on the glutes.

How to:

Make sure you use the glutes to push the hips as high as possible during each repetition of the hip thrust. Don’t skimp on ROM just to perform more reps; if you can’t reach full hip extension then end the set.

5. Slightly Posterior Tilt the Pelvis

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The Benefit:

Posterior pelvic tilt prevents lumbar hyperextension which isn’t ideal for spinal health, in addition to increasing glute activation.

How to:

As your hips extend and start to reach the top of the movement, think of bringing your pubic bone closer to your ribcage via gluteal contraction.

6. Keep Ribs Down

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The Benefit:

Keeping the ribs down prevents spinal hyperextension, which can be injurious to the spine over time.

How to:

Many coaches like the “chest up” cue during squats and deadlifts, but for the hip thrust this cue is the opposite of what you want. During the hip thrust, think “ribs down” so that your ribs stay glued to the pelvis throughout the movement.

7. Maintain Forward Eye Gaze

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The Benefit:

A forward eye gaze encourages posterior pelvic tilt and prevents anterior pelvic tilt and lumbar hyperextension while simultaneously shifting tension onto the glutes and away from the erectors and hamstrings.

How to:

Look straight ahead when at the bottom of the hip thrust. As you rise upward, maintain your forward eye gaze which will cause your neck to flex forward during the movement.

8. Make Fists and Dig Arms Into the Bench

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The Benefit:

Digging the arms into the bench and making fists will increase strength and total body muscular tension through a process known as “irradiation.”

How to:

When you set up, get tight, squirm into proper position, dig your arms into the bench, and squeeze your fists together forcefully.

9. Breathe Big and Brace Core Prior Before Each Lift

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The Benefit:

Bracing increases spinal stability, prevents hyperextension of the spine, and allows for better performance.

How to:

At the bottom of the movement, take a deep breathe and then “lock it down” by tightening the abs, obliques, and diaphragm muscles.

10. Pause at the Top with a Big Glute Squeeze

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The Benefit:

Pausing for a moment at the top of the hip thrust increases time under tension and ensures proper tempo and control throughout the movement.

How to:

At the top of each rep, squeeze the glutes and count to one before descending.

How it Looks in Action

The video below showcases some of these tips and portrays how hip thrusts should look in action, delving into bodyweight and barbell mechanics.

Rehabilitation vs. Athletic Performance Enhancement Training: Are we Asking Questions that are Already Answered?

Rehabilitation vs. Athletic Performance Enhancement Training: Are we Asking Questions that are Already Answered?

Robert A. Panariello MS, PT, ATC, CSCS
Professional Physical Therapy
Professional Athletic Performance Center
New York, New York

Throughout my career as a Physical Therapist (PT), Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC), and Strength and Conditioning (S&C) Coach I have been witness to many trends that have transpired upon these related professions. The evolution of the internet has been a significant venue for the conveyance of these trends with much of this information comprising assorted material of pertinent substance, some without; nonetheless the internet has offered many professionals their own claim of “notoriety” and in some instances financial gain. I am personally not opposed to capitalism as I am in private business myself. Like many others I also acknowledge various practitioners who evolve as “experts” in their professional field of choice and have mentors whom I very much respect. Presently there is an abundant amount of information and products available to the practicing professional where as the boundaries for the specific application of some of this information is often clouded if not altogether disregarded.

Buddy Morris

Performance Enhancement Training Trends

One current training trend appears to be the application of the principles of Sports Rehabilitation (SR) into the S&C setting. Certainly there is an “overlap” so to speak with regard to these two professions, however, it should be noted that these are two distinctly different professions. The application of various SR principles as related to the practice of S&C although practicable at times is becoming alarmingly close to providing a disservice to the training athlete.

Rehabilitation concerns often articulated include the “dreaded” type III acromion, upper trap dominance, the deep squat, disregarding bi-lateral leg exercises, the reluctance to utilize heavy weight intensities, and the list goes on and on. When pathology, anatomical abnormality or medical concerns are present; wouldn’t communication between the rehabilitation and S&C professionals take place to design a training program with all pertinent modifications? When these concerns are NOT present why is there still the intention to train the athlete as if they do exist? Is this due to the rehabilitation principles publicized for the training environment? In the S&C environment is optimal athletic performance as well as the prevention of athletic injuries best achieved with the application of rehabilitation principles or by optimally enhancing the physical qualities required for the sport of participation?

As an example the concern of the previously mentioned type III acromion appears to be commonly communicated. Is the expectation to x-ray every athlete training to confirm if the type III acromion morphology exists? Type III acromion morphology is substantiated to be present in the minority when compared to the type I and II. This evidence is often overlooked thus is the intent to have the minority manipulate the majority and prohibit overhead exercise performance? During my recent trip to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to visit with my good friend Head Basketball S&C Coach Jonas Sahratian, some of his players demonstrated split jerking 100 – 100+ Kg of weight intensity overhead. These players had no complaint of shoulder, back, hip or knee pain, and demonstrated no limitations in range of motion (ROM), strength, neuro-muscular timing, or any other often stated clinical rehabilitation concerns. These basketball athletes lifted weights overhead for enhanced athletic/basketball performance as well as to survive the physical confrontations that occur under the boards during repetitive practice days and game day competition. Is there as much publically stated concern for the weaker athlete situated against a stronger opponent in the confined area under the boards? Isn’t it possible that these dominated weaker athletes are placed at risk of injury?

Why is it necessary to perform an abundant number of rotator cuff exercises when this muscle group is confirmed to be strong, neuro-muscular timing is appropriate and research attests this small muscle group has an active role during the execution of many upper body exercises? Why is there failure to mention the documented consequences due to excessive rotator cuff fatigue that transpires due to unwarranted exercise performance? When no deficiency in muscle activity nor neuro-muscular timing is noted during a pain-free technically proficient exercise execution, why is it necessary to “activate the muscles” prior to the actual exercise performance? Isn’t the most precise muscle “activation” for a specific activity an appropriately executed progression of the actual activity? This is not to imply that a warm-up isn’t warranted, however, if an athlete desires to become a better baseball pitcher wouldn’t they practice pitching? To become an improved golfer wouldn’t they golf? Therefore to become a better back squatter wouldn’t they actually have to back squat? Doesn’t form follow function? If this were not true why is practice necessary? Why not workout and just play the game?

The deep squat results in various joint(s) stresses that all professionals should be aware as isn’t this knowledge (science) required for prudent training? Investigations have established the deeper knee bend positions demonstrate the greatest lower extremity muscle activity, thus without the presence of a contra-indication why would an athlete not assume the most beneficial position during the exercise performance? If the deep knee bend position is so detrimental to the athlete why are there no noted medical community demands for the abolishment of the catcher’s position in the game of baseball?

Why is there such concern with appropriately programmed heavy weight intensities? Is it because these weight intensities exceed those utilized in the rehabilitation setting? It is documented that game day competition and practice days are the environments where the highest incidence of athletic injuries occur as weight room injuries have been noted to occur at a rate of less than 1%. There are circumstances where specific exercises and heavy weight intensities may be appropriately prohibited from the athlete’s training program design. However there are also instances at the time rehabilitation is completed and all contra-indications are resolved, yet an apprehension continues to exist with regard to these same exercises and weight intensities. Isn’t this suitable programming necessary to prepare the athlete for the stresses of repetitive team practice, game day competition and the physical confrontation of an opponent? Why on occasion does there appear to be less concern with returning the athlete to the field of competition, the initial cause of the athlete’s problem? When appropriate exercises and weight intensities are deemed prohibitive isn’t it fair to inquire if they are truly contra-indicated or are the principles of rehabilitation for a pathology which no longer exists continually being applied?

Most professionals would agree that not every exercise, principle, and application of heavy weight intensity is appropriate for every individual. However, isn’t the athlete’s exercise selection and training programming part of the “art” of both SR and S&C? Why is the “art and science” of coaching often ignored by the reader of an article or the attendee of a conference at the time the rehabilitation based questions of “what about this, what about that” arise? Is this due to the clinical rehabilitation information that is delivered via various public forums? If abnormalities and medical conditions are acknowledged why is it assumed they will not be properly addressed during training?

They are Different Professions

Ask yourself why do the majority if not all Professional Sport Teams, Colleges, and Universities have both an Athletic Training Medical Staff and an S&C Staff? Why are there two distinct departments? In most circumstances would the Athletic Training Staff be designated to Athletic Performance Enhancement Train an individual or team for a Championship? Would the S&C Staff be appointed to rehabilitate a post-operative World Class athlete or any athlete from day one? Why not just employ ONE of these professional staffs to both rehabilitate and train all athletes? Imagine all the money saved by eliminating an entire professional staff/department. This does not occur because these are two distinctly different and respected professions. This statement is not intended to be disparaging as I respect and practice both in my vocation. Many of the concerns and principles deemed appropriate and utilized in one profession may not be a concern or appropriate for utilization in another. There are certainly professionals qualified to practice both, however this is the exception and not the rule. In our 44 Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy clinics as well as our 20,000 square foot Athletic Performance Training Center we accept more than 180 physical therapy, physical therapy assistant, athletic training, and S&C student interns annually. In review of the curriculums of these student interns it is substantiated that they are quite different in both educational content and clinical requirements.

My good friend Hall of Fame NFL S&C Coach Johnny Parker told me a story about a former NFL Assistant and Head Coach whom I am familiar named Al Groh. Coach Groh was an assistant on Head Coach Bill Parcells coaching staff with the NFL New York Giants, New England Patriots, and New York Jets. These teams were persistently in the playoffs winning Super Bowls and Championship games. These three organizations had one thing in common; they were all not very successful prior to the arrival of Coach Parcell’s and his staff. This coaching staff was not elaborate and avoided the trends and hearsay of the “outsiders”. They just applied the fundamentals specific to the game of football and worked very hard. On one occasion Coach Groh turned to Coach Parker and stated, “You know JP I think I have this thing figured out. Get the team organized, get them disciplined, get the team in condition, have a plan, follow that plan and let the losers eliminate themselves”. During my 10 years as the Head S&C Coach at St. John’s University Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Lou Carnesecca had the same ”no outside nonsense” and work hard philosophy. Coach Carnesecca won 640 basketball games during his coaching career.

Rehabilitation and S&C Coaches are well respected professionals that are vital to the athlete’s and team’s success. Although there is overlap between these two professions, these are two distinctly unique vocations requiring very different knowledge and skill sets. Every athlete in training should be treated as an individual and the S&C Professional has a choice to incorporate an S&C philosophy or a rehabilitation philosophy. The performance training road paved will eventually be one of success or one of consequences as with athleticism and skill being similar it is the stronger and more powerful athlete that will usually prevail. The terms “Rehabilitation” and “Strength and Conditioning” are not interchangeable and are as different as the principles and skill sets utilized in each respective profession. If this were not true why aren’t these professional staffs/departments interchangeable?

Strength & Conditioning Needs More Grit and Fewer Cowards

In watching these Presidential candidate debates, I can’t help but wish that the Strength & Conditioning industry could have regular debates amongst the experts. Debates are a healthy and productive part of the learning process; they’re vital for settling differences, they generate hypotheses which can be tested, and they remove the veils so that everything is transparent. They’re important in every scientific field, including sports science.

S&C will never have this because you don’t demand it. You make excuses for cowards and don’t hold your leaders to high standards.

If any of you have met me in person, then you know I don’t take myself too seriously. I know I don’t have all the answers, and I’m actively seeking knowledge just like you. However, I also know when someone out there is full of b.s., acting out of jealousy, or has ulterior motives. I know when someone hasn’t collected the necessary data, when someone hasn’t put in the toil that goes into adequately knowing something, when someone goes against the research, and when someone fabricates their own pseudoscience.

Over the past several years, I’ve challenged four individuals to debates – all guys who were publicly badmouthing me or pissing on the good name of science (see Grill the Guru archives). None of them accepted, and their excuses were utterly pathetic.

I want to show you how legitimate scientific experts operate. Today, I text messaged my friend Alan Aragon out of nowhere, challenging him to a debate. Exactly thirteen minutes later, he accepted the challenge. You can tell by his response that he welcomes the debate and would relish the opportunity to show off his knowledge. For the record, I don’t disagree with Alan on this topic, nor would I really debate him on it as he’s my go-to guy for sports nutrition research. But do you see how easy it is to interact with true professionals?

This is how men handle things...no smoke, no mirrors, no ego.

This is how men handle things…no smoke, no mirrors, no ego, just a mutual desire for truth.

Whenever someone in the academia/educational world refuses a debate challenge, it almost always means that they’re a charlatan. They’re frightened to death that their ignorance will be exposed. If these individuals were confident and comfortable with their knowledge, and if they were truly interested in honing in on the truth and advancing science, they’d gladly accept the challenges. But instead, these types continue to run their mouths but then back down like common cowards when push comes to shove and they’re challenged by formidable opponents.

What baffles me is that their followers seem to accept backing down and don’t expect more. S&C doesn’t have debates because you guys don’t demand them. You’re okay with your experts running their mouths without having to back them up in a debate. It’s up to you guys to demand more. If someone you follow gets called onto the carpet because they were talkin’ smack, let them know that you expect them to man up and accept the challenge. If they back down, remind them of it incessantly. Don’t be fooled by smoke and mirrors.

There are numerous badass coaches in the trenches doing amazing things in Strength & Conditioning. That said, the trendy/popular S&C expert scene is in dire need of more cojones and fewer namby-pambies. In the next couple of days, some needed grilling is going to take place here on my blog. I, personally, won’t ever back down in the good name of science – it’s not in my blood.

You won't find much of this in S&C these days...

You won’t find much of this in S&C these days…

 

Squats Versus Hip Thrusts Part II: The Twin Experiment

Quick Summary:

  • Squats and hip thrusts both lead to improvements in squat strength, hip thrust strength, horizontal pushing force, and upper and lower gluteus maximus hypertrophy
  • Squats are better suited at increasing squat strength, at least in this experiment
  • Hip thrusts are better suited at increasing hip thrust strength, maximum horizontal pushing force, and upper and lower gluteus maximus hypertrophy, at least in this experiment
  • Squats grew the upper glutes by 20% and lower glutes by 21% over the 6-week period
  • Hip thrusts grew the upper glutes by 28% and lower glutes by 28% over the 6-week period
  • Squats increased maximum horizontal pushing force by 20%, hip thrusts increased maximum horizontal pushing force by 32%.
  • A randomized controlled trial with ample subjects is needed to expand upon these findings

Hi Fitness Friends! This is part II of a 5-part series on squats versus hip thrusts. The data from this series comes from my doctoral thesis, which should hopefully be posted online for anyone to read next year (assuming I pass my defense in December…wouldn’t it be hilarious if I hyped this up and then failed my defense and PhD?). Parts I and III will look at mechanistic data, namely what happens when you perform the two exercises while wearing electrodes or while on top of a force plate. Parts II and IV will look at what actually happens following a 6-week training protocol. Part V will summarize the findings and point out limitations and directions for future research. I posted part I last week, this article is part II, and I’ll post parts III-V over the next couple of weeks.

  • Squats Versus Hip Thrusts Part I: EMG Activity
  • Squats Versus Hip Thrusts Part II: The Twin Experiment
  • Squats Versus Hip Thrusts Part III: Forcetime Data
  • Squats Versus Hip Thrusts Part IV: Training Effects
  • Squats Versus Hip Thrusts Part V: Wrap-Up

As many of you know, I recently trained a pair of identical twin sisters three times per week for 6 weeks using a daily undulated (DUP) approach, with one performing only squats for lower body and the other performing only hip thrusts. It was cool to attain a pair of identical twins since the genetics of strength and hypertrophy gains is huge (see HERE for an intriguing write-up from yours truly from 4 yrs ago). The twins have been exercising regularly for 12 years (randomly, their dad is actually the inventor of Powerblock dumbbells!), but they’d never progressively trained the squat or the hip thrust. The 6-week program led to incredible gains in strength, glute mass, and function, and I’m excited to share the results with you below.

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Force Vector Theory

First, let me set the stage. In 2009-2010, I created a theoretical model pertaining to transfer of strength training to performance that related to the force vector. Of course, there are many more factors to consider with regards to transfer of training, but I surmised that the force vector played a huge role in determining the nature of transfer to sport action and functional performance. HERE is the article I wrote on my blog six years ago, but I’d prefer that you click on THIS link as I updated the article  for the NSCA’s website last year.

load-vectors

The model was accepted and applauded by many S&C professionals and scoffed and ridiculed by others. Even now, there isn’t much previous research to go by as the published studies examining the transfer of horizontal to vertical exercise and vice versa mainly used plyometric and not strength exercises. There are plenty of correlational studies to go by, but correlation does not imply causation.

Horizontal Force Test

While this “Force Vector Theory” is sexy and intriguing, it was purely theoretical. There were no experiments that had been conducted to test the model’s validity. While there are numerous tests of vertical strength that have been previously used in sports science, for example the 1RM squat, 1RM deadlift, isometric squat, and isometric mid-thigh pull, there isn’t a single horizontal force test used previously in the literature. That is, until now.

I came up with the idea of a maximum horizontal push test during my last week in New Zealand several years back, and it’s such an obvious effective test in my opinion; it should be used frequently in future research to come. To perform the test, you simply stand on a force plate with your arms parallel to the ground and your torso at a 45 degree angle and push into the wall as hard as possible for 3-seconds while standing on the dominant limb. Maximum horizontal force is recorded over 3 trials, and you record the average peak force of the 3 trials. I put grip tape on the force plate and set it on a rubber mat to ensure that no slipping or sliding occurs. We tested the reliability of this test and it’s very reliable. This will be published in time.

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The Maximum Horizontal Push Test: a very reliable test for measuring maximum horizontal force production

The Training

Three times per week, the twins performed 3-5 sets of 6-15 reps of their individual lift (hip thrusts or parallel back squats). Day one was 4 x 10 (with around 75% of 1RM), day two was 5 x 6 (with around 85% of 1RM), and day three was 3 x 15 (with around 65% of 1RM). However, if the subject could perform more reps on the last set, she did (so the last set was an AMRAP set which stands for “as many reps as possible”).

After their lower body lift, the twins performed 2 sets of either incline press, bench press, or close grip bench press, then 2 sets of either inverted rows, lat pulldowns, or negative chin ups, then 2 sets of either ab mat crunches, straight leg sit ups, or hanging leg raises.

Loads were increased each week. It should be pointed out that the twins’ weight didn’t change much throughout the study and they were instructed to follow identical caloric and macronutrient plans throughout the 6 weeks.

The Results (and Some Observations)

Squatting or hip thrusting 18 times over a 6 week period in a DUP fashion elicited the following results:

Twin Chart

Click on the chart for a larger image

Early on in the study, I realized that the time under tension (TUT) in the squat was way higher than the hip thrust. The twin performing squats was taking much longer to complete her sets (due to the greater ROM and slower eccentric phase) than the twin performing hip thrusts. Conversely, the volume load (VL) in the hip thrust was way higher than the squat. The twin performing hip thrusts used much heavier loads and did more reps (due to the AMRAP sets) than the twin performing squats.

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I calculated the time under tension and the volume loads for the entire 6-week period (18 sessions). Squat TUT was 2,964 seconds whereas hip thrust TUT was 1,386 seconds. Squat VL was 25,143 kgs whereas hip thrust VL was 58,978 kgs. Interestingly, when multiplying the TUT by VL (I suppose this is slightly similar to impulse, but not quite the same), the two protocols yielded similar data (squat 75,000,000 kg*s and hip thrust 82,000,000 kg*s). These data don’t completely jibe with our force plate findings that you’ll read about in part III, so it can’t be said that everyone experiences these same results. However, it probably applies well to taller, lankier individuals.

As per the law of specificity, the squat improves the squat better than the hip thrust and the hip thrust improves the hip thrust better than the squat. However, with these twins, the hip thrust built the squat to a better degree than the squat built the hip thrust. This doesn’t hold true in a bigger group, as you’ll see in Part IV of this series that the two lifts transfer pretty equally to one another.

What fascinated me is that the twin that performed hip thrusts didn’t perform a single squat during the six weeks. She never even performed a bodyweight squat during her general warm-up. Her 1RM at the beginning of the test was 95 lbs, but at the end of the six week hip thrusting protocol, she could squat 135 lbs with better form. It just looked cleaner and smoother. Conversely, the twin that performed squats didn’t improve her hip thrust form much…in fact she seemed to get worse at the hip thrust in that she didn’t want to lock out the load and achieve full hip extension. It’s important to note that this is just a single subject design involving two subjects; it’s not a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a sufficient sample size.

The squat twin started out squatting 95 lbs and hip thrusting 225 lbs and ended up squatting 155 lbs (60 lb improvement) and hip thrusting 265 lbs (40 lb improvement). The hip thrust twin started out squatting 95 lbs and hip thrusting 195 lbs and ended up squatting 135 lbs (40 lb improvement) and hip thrusting 315 lbs (125 lb improvement).

Based on this experiment, it appears that the hip thrust is better suited for improving maximum horizontal pushing force than the squat. The squat twin started off exerting 309 Newtons of horizontal force into the wall and ended up with 370 Newtons. The hip thrust twin started off exerting 320 Newtons of horizontal force into the wall and ended up with 422 Newtons. These were calculated 3 times on 3 separate days so they’re definitely legit.

Interestingly and anecdotally, I’ve always noticed that I can generate a ton of horizontal force even though my squat sucks. In high school football, I was very good at slamming into opponents and pushing them forward, and I had the weakest squat in the history of mankind. When my interns Andrew Serrano and Joey Percia were with me, we did a horizontal force test and I could outperform both of them, but their vertical force production was much higher than mine as they could probably perform 10 reps with my 1RM squat. I can out hip thrust them, so this jibes with the twin findings. A comprehensive RCT is needed to test the hypothesis that hip thrusts are better suited than squats at improving the maximum horizontal push test.

During the 6 weeks, the hip thrust twin kept talking about how she could feel her entire glutes getting bigger and rounder, however the squat twin would remark that she could feel her lower glutes getting more muscular. I believed that the ultrasound findings would mimic the EMG findings in that hip thrusts would grow the entire glutes whereas squats would preferentially grow the lower glutes, but this wasn’t the case. Based on this experiment, the hip thrust appears to be better at building the glutes than the squat, but the squat is still highly effective at packing on glute mass. And interestingly, the squat still builds upper glute mass even though it doesn’t lead to high levels of activation. An RCT with sufficient sample size is clearly needed to expand upon these findings.

As a personal trainer, I can attest that these twins are fast responders with regards to glute gains, and their muscle thickness results are very impressive compared to those of other muscles in other studies, however there are a couple of studies that show similar gains in muscle thickness in a 6 week period (but it didn’t examine the glutes). Surprisingly, this is the very first experiment that has examined gluteus maximus hypertrophy in the barbell squat and in the barbell hip thrust. Let’s get with the program sports science researchers!!!

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Conclusion

This experiment lends support to the force vector transfer of training theory. It will hopefully be published in time so you can examine a full report of the methods.

Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks to learn how squats compare to hip thrusts in forcetime data (barbell displacement, set duration, force, work, impulse, and power) and in transfer to training (vertical and horizontal jump, 10 and 20m acceleration, 3RM front squat and hip thrust, and maximum isometric mid-thigh pull).