The Standing Band Hip Thrust

Here is the standing band hip thrust. It’s sort of like a cable pull-through, with more stability but less constant tension (with bands, the tension is mostly at end-range).

I don’t feel that the standing band hip thrust is as effective as a supine band hip thrust for the glutes due to the knee position (bent legs will involve more glutes and less hammy, whereas straight legs will involve more hammy and less glutes) and the lesser stability (with the supine version, your upper back is resting on a bench). However, it’s certainly more convenient and easier to set up. In addition, the standing pattern might help better groove barbell hip thrust improvements into squat and deadlift variation mechanics.

I performed 3 sets of 8 reps with a 3-second pause and found them to be an effective movement. For glute building, I wouldn’t put them in the same category as hip thrusts, but we’re all unique, and some folks might feel the standing variation thoroughly working their glutes. Give it a try and see what you think.

band standing hip thrust

***Update: My buddies Jim Laird and Chris Duffin just sent me two badass videos. The first is of Jim doing band standing hip thrusts a couple of years ago. Apparently, he used these to train around a back injury at the time, and he felt that they helped him retain his strength while he healed up. HERE is that video – Jim looks much better than I do at these! The second is of Chris doing a combo that involves kneeling cambered bar squats and kneeling band hip thrusters. He calls this movement “The Stallion,” and it looks badass! HERE is that video – I intend on giving this a try over the next week or two. Just some good examples of strong dudes coming up with creative ways to incorporate extra glute work into their training.

18 Comments

  • DanG says:

    You mentioned taking the hamstring out of the equation by having bent knees. How would this exercise do with you on your knees but everything the same? It appears possible but your lower half might slide so maybe some 45 plates against the wall behind the ball of your foot? Sorry for grammer and or “speeeling”.

  • tUNYA says:

    Aloha Bret,

    Mahalo for this video. I do Pull-Through’s with both cable and the large lifting bands. I also do the Lying BB Hip Thrusts. I have a lifter in our gym who is new to our Power Lifting club that just can’t seem to get the concept of Hip Drive (Deadlifts) when he gets to the knee height. Watching your video gave me the idea that this might be how. I have him doing BB Hip Thrusts but he can’t seem to carry this over. Maybe doing this standing and into that position might help. Going to put him on this right away. Not sure it will help for our competition in three weeks, but it won’t hurt.

    Again, mahalo for sharing.

    A hui ho.

  • BCC says:

    Who knew? I immediately ran to my basement after watching the video, and this felt really great! Very creative.

    Thank you for this…what a terrific option/addition to have!

  • Christian says:

    Hey Bret, another great one! Love your work and thanks for sharing!
    I’ve experimented with a mix between a knee drive and a SL hip hinge. Tied a band around one ankle and hinged back on one leg, then drove through the heel of the grounded leg while pulling the other knee forward, so raising the torso (pushed the arm on the same side of the grounded leg against a wall for balance). Never felt a contraction like that before. What do you think of that move?
    Greetings from Germany. Wish you all the best, Chris

    • steven says:

      Can you post a video of this?

      • Christian says:

        Sorry, can’t post videos. Just imagine a band resisted knee drive in combination with a sldl (you can use an additional handheld weight, but this shifts the center of stability from the abs/psoas more to the back muscles). The band must be fastened in a low position. Loop the band around one ankle. This leg makes the knee drive. The other leg is the grounded leg, this is where the glute will work. From the position where the free leg is maximaly pulled back by the band and your opposing hip is hinged, you flex the abs and pull your leg (with the band on the ankle) forward while pushing through the grounded foot, so to get to stand upright on this grounded leg. It’s important to contract the abs hard to initiate the movement and to not completely loose their tension in the hinge position (hold the whole torso like a can, with as little lumbar extension and thoracic flexion as possible) . It also helps to engage the serratus muscles and deep neck flexors. It is not necessary to push the knee all the way up to the belt line, slightly above parallel to the grunded leg is enough. It’s like a natural walking motion, you only slightly push into the wall with your hand(s). This strengthens the glute of the grounded leg in an internaly rotated position (free leg pulled back, grounded leg slightly bend) all the way through to a slightly abducted and externaly rotated position (band stretched, free knee pointing slightly forward, grounded leg fully extended). It’s also a good exercise to condition the psoas on both sides (flexing and relaxing), as well as the whole core area. To get used to the exercise, it may be helpful to start with the band looped around the upper knee area instead of the ankle. Either way, the glute will work like crazy through its full range of motion.

        • Derrick Blanton says:

          Awesome stuff and thinking, Christian!

          I used to have a variation of this on my old YT account, I called it an “RDL layup”, (BC, do you remember?, ha ha!!), except I was banding the open chain knee, not the ankle.

          Another tweak: start from a skater position and anchor the band back and at an angle across the plane of the body. Now you are further loading the rotary element, as if to plant and throw a roundhouse kick. Extension and external rotation are band resisted, along the angle of the (ground leg) )glute fibers.

          (I guess if you really wanted to go nuts, you could use two bands, one against flexion, and another against rotation But now we are getting a little crazy here!)

          But as to rationale: If you’ve ever seen somebody at the gym doing walking lunges, and they complete the lunge, but then continue on into a standing contralateral hip/knee flexion, this is kind of the same idea, except in this example, the hip flexion is not loaded. Still, even without load, the extra off leg flexion ROM takes the pelvis with it, and thus increases the contraction on the down working leg/glute. This is more of a stabilization contraction than loaded ROM contraction.

          Another example of this is sprinting a hill, or sprinting up stairs 2-3 at a time. Hill sprinting is a big time glute move, as each movement cycle involves driving hip extension on one leg, and violently propelling flexion of the other. Muay Thai knee in MMA, basketball layup, etc. You get the idea.

          Now, when we add resistance or load to the open chain hip flexion, it definitely ramps up the working, closed chain, side glute activity. This is easy to visualize. Imagine taking stairs two at a time, and on each cycle, somebody was resisting the open chain flex leg with a rope, making it difficult to “climb up to the next step”. Your contralateral glute would be exhausted from stabilizing and trying to push through the ground forwards and up.

          Heck, just go to your nearest stairwell, and band one leg against a ground level dumbbell. Now do Muay Thai knee raises as violently as you can. Your abs and grounded glute are going to be tired and sore!

          Good Lord, I’m out of my mind rambling…:) Good stuff, Christian!

          • Christian says:

            Hey Derrick, tried your cross-plane version today. I could not believe the intensity, especially in my upper glute. I did a triple superset, switching from the cross-plane-loaded skater-squat-position (felt it especially in my upper glute) to a posterior-loaded sldl hinged position (felt it mainly in the lower glute), then to an almost upright remaining posture (without bending at the hips I felt it mainly in the middle area of my glute). Really amazing, a total burnout. I’ve yet to find a better way to hit the glutes, all without being reliant on heavy weight loads. I’m very busy at the moment, thus only a short answer… Thanks for your inspiration. As I recognized, you are not only a precise gymnasiast, but also a talented writer. You should go into details on this exercise. I bet a lot of peple could benefit from this knowledge. Thank you, and many thanks to Bret for organizing this platform and providing his insights. With the best wishes, Christian

        • Derrick Blanton says:

          Hey Christian, thanks a million! Glad you like the move. Expect some DOMS!

          Yeah, I should definitely document and detail all the biomechanical craziness that I literally wake up obsessing about. (I only wish I was kidding!)

          As it is, Bret and my son are my lone, reluctant “newsletter subscribers”, lol!

          On that note, here’s some bonus footage: the “Standing Monster Abducted Hip Thrust with Lat Pulldown” :

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlKPW3ghTGU

          The rationale on this one involves elaborate theories on when we roamed the Earth as quadrupeds, and how the lats and glutes are the same muscle separated by the throracolumbar fascia, both extending their respective limbs…and uh…and uh….ahh, heck, just watch the vid! 🙂

          Thanks Christian again for the nice words, and agree, thanks to Bret for the ability to exchange ideas here!

  • Derrick Blanton says:

    Love it, Bret!

    How about ALSO simultaneously banding the knees into adduction, (banded abduction isometric, Chad just covered this), and now we are hitting the glutes hard from all sides, loading all functions in one monster exercise?

  • Sandy says:

    Good video. I’m going to try to find a setup variation where I can do it standing with bands but holding onto TRX instead of a rack.

    Thanks.

  • Em says:

    This is great stuff! Another potential benefit/application is for woman post 20 wks of pregnancy when usually most supine exercises are contraindicated. It seems to me, from the description, that it would be a good way to continue or maintain glute strength during this time.

  • Hana says:

    Hi Bret!

    Thank you for this article, my gym is a bit limited and I’m fairly certain this exceed is possible with equipment there. I was wondering if you would consider an article about the upper and outer glutes? I have a very wide pelvis (or good birthing hips as my mom calls them 🙂 ) and while I can achieve good glute size on the lower and mid glutes, I find it Really difficult to grow the upper “shelf”. I’ve been trying to figure it out myself but I think your insight would be invaluable!

    Plus, I’m quite sure I’m not the only lady out there with this concern 😉

    Thanks for fabulous blog Bret!

    Hana

  • Jane says:

    Hi Bret

    You posted an article a while back about glute exercises you could do at home with resistance bands. It contained a video with a lady demonstrating the exercises. Could please direct me to this post as I can’t find it.
    Thanks in advance.
    Jane

  • nell says:

    This is great. I’ve been looking for a way to add challenge to hip thrusts/bridges that doesn’t involve too much involvement of the hands (wrist injury). I look forward to trying this, thank you.

    (Thanks also to Christian and Derrick for your creative ideas, which may help with the deadlift side of things 🙂 )

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