Hi Bret, I’m so discouraged. I just checked the dimensions of the hip thruster and I just don’t have enough space in my tiny San Francisco apartment. I belong to a small gym that only has a smith machine (no barbells). Can I still get awesome results with a smith machine for hip thrusts? Thanks, Maria

Hi Maria,

First off, the Hip Thruster can be rolled underneath a bed (with just the back pad sticking out) stacked in a closet, or stacked against a wall on the balcony, so you might be okay in that regard.

But please don’t sweat this. Just make sure you’re doing some sort of hip thrusting. Please click on:

The Evolution of the Hip Thrust (updated)

…to see all of the different hip thrust variations. There are so many possibilities now (the link includes over 100 videos of hip thrust variations). With all the different options, you can always be thrusting.

We could argue about what type of hip thrust is best, but I suspect that the differences in EMG activation wouldn’t be that significant between all of them. The important thing is that you’re regularly performing hip thrusts.

If you have a Hip Thruster, you can do band, barbell, or single leg hip thrusts from home.

Hip Thruster

If you’re at a gym that has a power rack, you can do band hip thrusts out of the rack.

band hip thrust

If you’re at a gym that has sturdy benches or aerobic steps, you can do barbell hip thrusts.

hip thrust

If you’re at a gym that just has a smith machine, you can do smith machine hip thrusts.


If you’re at a gym that only has leg machines and no free weights, you can do hip thrusts off of the leg extension or lying leg curl machine.

leg ext

If you’re at home or on vacation, you can do single leg hip thrusts or partner hip thrusts off the couch (I’ve had my girlfriend straddle me while I hip thrusted her for 3 sets of 20 reps while on vacation, and I recently told a client to glute bridge her husband for 3 sets of 10 reps when she was on vacation).

Partner hip thrust

Partner hip thrust

Band hip thrusts can be performed daily. Barbell hip thrusts can be performed 3 times per week to hit low, medium, and high rep ranges. Single leg hip thrusts can be tossed into the mix once per week for variety. In summary, just make sure that you’re hip thrusting frequently for maximal results.

Hip Thruster barbell band

The Hip Thruster is the best way to do the hip thrust – stable and versatile!


  • Claire says:

    Thanks for all the variations! I’m lucky, because my talented fabricator husband built me my own hip thruster which I use with bands and a barbell (at home). Do you have any recommendations on how to find the best, most effective positioning for your feet? I’ve tried moving them forward, back, narrower, wider, flat footed, on heels, on toes, but it still have difficulty really feeling I’m doing them correctly. Thanks in advance!

  • Allison says:

    you can also do band hip thrusts on a Smith machine as well…I just looped the bands around the pegs at the bottom and put a bench where I need it to be…

  • Andrew Dixon says:

    That photo of you and the girlfriend. Gold.

  • Katie says:

    1. I’m an avid follower and have implimented a ton of your methods after a pretty traumatic glute injury (2/3 avulsion of right glute medius) with awesome results.
    2. I would LOVE to see a video of OTHER gym goers trying to figure what the heck is going on while you do partner hip thrusts or glute bridges ūüėČ

  • dlh says:

    I thought your fiancee was a brunette? ; )

  • David Sears says:

    I’ve been experimenting with doing static contractions on the hip thrust using a hip belt. The belt spreads out the force and is comfortable to use. I just hook the belt around a low peg on a power rack and it works well.

  • Maria Anjoline says:

    Thanks for all these alternatives! It’s so helpful to see them all listed like this including reps, etc. I’m so excited to get started! Can’t wait to true the partner one with a few modifications. Heheh!

  • Maria Anjoline says:

    Try* not true.

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