The Band Kneeling Hip Thrust

By September 9, 2014 Glute Training, Glutes

A few months ago I showed the band standing hip thrust, and I’ve also showed the kneeling barbell squat in a prior article. I first learned about the kneeling hip thrust from physical therapist Mike Reinold, but I assumed it was a wimpy rehabilitation exercise so I never tried it. Another reason that contributed to me not trying it was that I felt that it would be suboptimal compared to a supine hip thrust. I still believe this, but variety and versatility are always a good thing, so it’s a useful exercise to have in your arsenal.

Band Kneeling Hip Thrusts

I recently decided to give it a whirl and I was surprised to find that I love it. You can get some really good levels of glute activation at end range hip extension with this variation, and I think it’s more effective in terms of activating the glutes than both kneeling squats and band standing hip thrusts. Watch the video below, give them a try, and see what you think!


  • Cody Bidlow says:

    As a sprinter, do you think exercises like the standing band hip thrust or pull through should still have room in the program, because of their hamstring activation? Or should high activation movements be targeting solely the glutes? Obviously targeting the glutes is #1 as upon ground contact, the glute is the prime mover. Also, variation is important and all of these moves seem to have their place. My question is more about which should have the primary emphasis in the training program for a sprinter.

    • Bret says:

      Cody, I believe the hammies are more important than the glutes for high speed sprinting, so RDLs, back extensions, Nordic ham curls, and various leg curls are a must IMO. However, strong hammies without strong glutes is problematic and can lead to hamstring strains IMO, so it’s important to also perform exercises like hip thrusts, squats, and other variations. So for training sprinters, sprinting is most important, then strength training (combination of ham and glute exercises, along with upper body and core, and of course quad), and plyos, Oly/explosive lifts, and towing is important too. Band standing hip thrusts and pull throughs don’t have high hamstring activation compared to the ham exercises I mentioned above, so they’d be more glute-centric exercises. Just my two cents!

      • Justin says:

        Bret, I wanted to piggyback on your response to Cody to ask about/comment on resistance training for endurance training. It seems that form and biomechanics for distance running isn’t that different than for sprinting. The primary difference is in intensity. I recall reading that the strength coach that works with Mo Farah, the 10,000 meter runner, has said that he thinks in terms of making him a distance sprinter. I’m a distance runner who’s not afraid of the weight room. My approach is to lift for power with the thought that it would help make each stride more efficient. How would you recommend a distance runner train in the weight room? Should the approach be like that of a sprinter? Thanks, love your blog.

        • Bret says:

          Justin, great question. I haven’t worked with a ton of distance runners, and I’ve only collaborated with one really good one with regards to program design, so I could be far off in my recommendations. Maybe some other people can chime in. I agree with you with one caveat – endurance runners seem to need to be more careful with regards to overdoing it on the volume, effort, and frequency. While they do the same exercises (and the same plyos and towing), I didn’t prescribe as much volume, and I was cautious of how far I pushed effort. And we generally only lifted 2-3 times per week. I was always sure to talk to the clients and ask them how they felt, and I never wanted them to get DOMS with lifting, so I introduced things slowly and progressed gradually. But the people I’ve trained still got strong at hip thrusts, Bulgarian split squats, back extensions, glute ham raises, etc., and they still did sprints, plyos, and towing. I do know that the entire body of research largely supports resistance training/sprints/plyos for endurance runners – that I’m sure of. So while I agree with you, I’m not fully confident with my approach, therefore I recommend checking with experts who have more experience in this area.

        • Cody Bidlow says:


          Another thing to keep in mind is that distance running is usually composed of semi-straight legs moving in an anteroposterior fashion. Reverse hyper and RH sprints could be helpful if executed well.

          Also, many distance runners rotate their shoulders too much when fatigued, so some anti-rotation core could help stabilize the torso and minimize energy leaks.

          Cortisol is another worry for distance runners, so sets under 10 seconds in the weight room are advisable. Let the specific conditioning come from the specific workouts: running!

          Hope some of this helps.

      • Cody Bidlow says:

        Thanks for the reply! Given that sprinting is so dependent on a fresh CAN, picking exercises in the right load vectors while activating both the flutes and hams seems optimal. Training economy is a must for an athlete that is at high risk for injury and burn out, as well as keeping in mind the need to execute a single. Additionally, being that my goal is to execute a single, perfected Sprint in competition, training economically and efficiently helps me stay fresh in practice and competition.

        • Ron says:

          I’d use a workout A and workout B routine and do RDL’s in workout A and Glute ham raise and Bargell hip thrusts in workout B.

          I hope this is allowed here, I’m going to link to an article on another site. I heard about from Kelly Baggett and I heard about Bret from so I guess this will bring things full circle.

          Hope that helps.

  • Nancy says:

    Thanks, Bret , I can’t wait to get back in the gym tomorrow to try this. I just started your beginner course from Strong Curves. I am not a beginner, but I wanted to experience the entire program for myself. As a trainer, you have really helped me help other get glutes. I appreciate all your posts and videos. You’ve turned me into a glute-getting monster!

  • Strini says:

    Awesome Brett. Love the work! You need to re-visit NZ soon and do a seminar here!

    • Bret says:

      Hi Strini! I’ll be coming next year (probably December so still around 15 months away) to defend my thesis, and one of the first things on my list will be visiting you and Ruth. I miss you guys very much and am really looking forward to NZ. I’ll reach out of course. Hope all is well my friend.

  • Robin Borgognone says:

    Hi Brett-
    Love your articles and the research you back them up with. Do you have a brand of bands you prefer? I am 52 yo female and have had some injuries (herniated disc, ruptured same disc, surgery on said disc after 10 weeks of PT failed), so I am limited in what I do in the gym. Squatting (back loaded) is a no-no and feels weird, goblets are ok and deads, I do the stiff leg , only #105. Also some lower weight hip thrusts (#60). I would like to change it up with bands. What do u know about Bodylastics?
    Appreciate all your info and advice.

    • Bret says:

      Robin, I have long bands from Sorinex and from Elitefts, both are excellent. I think an average band would work for you right off the bat. I know nothing about Bodylastics, sorry. Best of luck, keep being proactive and exercising around your issue 🙂

  • Troy says:

    push your feet together too!!

  • Sean says:

    Hey Bret!

    Do you plan on doing any seminars in CA anytime in the near future?

  • angela says:

    Just tried this motion in my living room. It definitely reminded me of how tight my hips and quads are because I felt them pull a LOT at the top of the movement. Definitely going to try this in the gym with a band. Thanks!

  • Adrianne C says:

    Hi Bret! I’ve just started including the band kneeling hip thrusts in my program and love them. Actually love doesn’t quite get to the correct level of how I feel. They really hit the glutes well. My question is on getting the dang band in place. I hook mine on the rack where you have yours, but as the band strength goes up it gets harder and harder. I pretty much have to hook one end and do a foot anchored row to get the other end on. Getting it off is SO much harder without slapping myself silly with it. Please tell me you have a magical trick to make this easier. 🙂 LOL, I really just want to leave the thing on there, but I know it’s like not re-racking your weights.

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