8 Hip Thrust Alternate options to Construct Your Glutes and Hamstrings

Though present social media pages is perhaps stuffed with so-called “glute women” who prioritize their posterior within the gymnasium, focusing on your glutes and hamstrings isn’t only for likes and shares. A muscular bottom additionally occurs to be a key part in performing huge feats of power, in addition to driving athletic efficiency in almost any sport.

Whereas there are many potential workouts to focus on your posterior chain — decrease again, glutes, and hamstrings — some of the common workouts in recent times is the barbell hip thrust.

Credit score: Vladimir Sukhachev / Shutterstock

This motion, supporting a weighted barbell throughout your hips whereas suspending your higher again on a platform, might be extremely efficient but it surely can be awkward, bodily uncomfortable, and tough to grasp. To realize the identical finish outcome (and the identical outcome in your finish), there are just a few equally efficient hip thrust options that present bottom dimension and power with fewer obstacles.

Greatest Hip Thrust Alternate options

Sumo Deadlift

The standard deadlift, with its hip-width stance and important again involvement, is a staple for a lot of lifters centered on muscle-building and power features. The sumo deadlift, nonetheless, makes use of a a lot wider stance to change leverage and shift muscle recruitment.

The wide-set foot place will increase leg drive, permitting the inside thighs (adductors), hamstrings, and glutes to be labored by means of an extended vary of movement, which may contribute to muscle growth. (1) The sumo deadlift additionally permits a extra upright torso, which may scale back pressure on the decrease again, making the train superb for anybody with recurring decrease again ache or mobility points.

When to Use It

As a “huge ‘n primary” compound (multi-joint) motion, the sumo deadlift is a heavy hitter within the weight coaching world and will get prime billing in a exercise. Carry out the train as early within the session as doable, as both the primary or second train after a basic warm-up. 

Giving the train a excessive precedence helps to reap the best power and muscle features, in comparison with performing it towards the top of the exercise. (2)

How you can Do It

Place a barbell on the ground and take a wider than shoulder-width stance. Angle your toes barely outward and attain down with straight arms. Maintain your higher physique largely vertical and bend your legs to seize the bar. Set your fingers roughly hip-width aside. Take a breath and flex your abs to create pressure.

Squeeze the bar tightly and pull your shoulder blades collectively. Drive your toes by means of the bottom and apply fixed pressure to carry the load — don’t attempt to abruptly yank the bar off the bottom. Maintain the bar near your physique as you carry as much as full lockout. Reverse route to interchange the bar on the bottom.

Break up-Stance Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian deadlift is a generally used deadlift variation to zero-in on the glutes and  hamstrings. You possibly can amp up that focus by adopting a cut up stance, or staggered stance, to emphasise every leg individually. Relatively than a pure single-leg motion together with your non-working leg fully off the bottom, you may preserve steadiness whereas additionally shifting nearly all of muscular stress to the entrance leg.

Single-leg training, or utilizing a single-leg emphasis, might be as useful as bilateral (two-legged) coaching in relation to constructing muscle, power, and energy, whereas requiring comparatively decrease masses total. (3) Getting comparable outcomes with much less weight might be particularly useful for lifters dealing with joint pain.

When to Use It

Regardless that the cut up stance offers some steadiness help, it’s greatest to not carry out the split-stance Romanian deadlift when extraordinarily fatigued (on the finish of a coaching session). Coordination, power, and stability may very well be compromised which might make the train excessively difficult. Practice the split-stance Romanian deadlift comparatively earlier within the exercise on a devoted leg day, or as one of many solely leg workouts carried out in a full-body workout.

How you can Do It

Stand upright, holding a barbell with an overhand grip. Take a small step again together with your proper leg, protecting the toes of your proper foot typically according to the heel of your left foot. Set your toes at the very least shoulder-width aside till you’re feeling secure. Brace your core, hold your again impartial, and bend ahead at your hips. Maintain the bar near your entrance leg.

Decrease the load till you’re feeling a major stretch within the hamstrings and glutes of your entrance leg. Increase the load with out transferring your toes. Carry out all reps on one facet earlier than switching your stance.

Strolling Romanian Deadlift

The strolling lunge has a well-earned repute as an intense cardio train and an ideal leg-builder. Each of these advantages might be amplified by swapping the lunge for this deadlift variation. The strolling Romanian deadlift cranks up the glute and hamstring exercise with out compromising any of the conditioning advantages.

When to Use It

The strolling Romanian deadlift (or strolling RDL) might be carried out as an intense finisher on the very finish of any exercise, not only a leg session, or it may be carried out by itself and programmed much like a cardio/conditioning exercise. Don’t really feel like leaping on the treadmill? Seize a pair of dumbbells and do some strolling RDLs. Relatively than particular repetitions, the strolling RDL might be carried out for a period (one or two minutes is an effective begin) or for a complete distance (start with 50 to 100 toes).

How you can Do It

Stand with a dumbbell in every hand by your sides. Take a step ahead together with your left foot. When your foot is totally planted on the bottom, barely bend your left leg and hinge ahead at your hips. Maintain your again in impartial, not rounded.

Attain the weights towards your entrance foot so far as is comfy. Pull your shoulders again to face upright once more. Take a step ahead together with your proper foot. Repeat the hinge ahead and attain down. Proceed alternating toes with step ahead.

Kettlebell Swing

The swing is perhaps essentially the most regularly carried out kettlebell exercise as a result of it delivers an ideal bang for the coaching buck. It lets you construct explosive energy, top-notch conditioning and endurance, and a muscular posterior chain. When you have entry to a kettlebell in your gymnasium or at dwelling, swings ought to be on the quick checklist of “must-learn workouts.”

When to Use It

The kettlebell swing depends on explosive energy, so it’s ideally carried out early in a coaching session or in a exercise by itself. For those who’ve fine-tuned the method and might management the motion, you could possibly use it as a finisher towards the top of a exercise so long as your grip and decrease again (two important security parts) aren’t pre-fatigued.

How you can Do It

Stand in entrance of a kettlebell in a comparatively extensive stance. Hinge ahead at your hips, push your glutes again, and seize the highest deal with with each fingers in a palms-down grip. Forcefully drive your hips ahead to carry the load in a quick, highly effective snap. Maintain your arms largely straight. Squeeze the deal with tightly with out actively utilizing your arms to maneuver the load. Your arms are only for management, the power of motion ought to come from the preliminary hip drive.

Flex your core when the load is on the prime place (roughly chest degree) and permit the kettlebell to reverse route because it “falls.” Repeat the hinge together with your higher physique. Because the kettlebell passes simply behind your knees, snap your hips ahead to start the subsequent repetition easily.

Reverse Hyperextension

If one train is repeatedly touted by veteran powerlifters as a solution to construct the decrease again, glute, and hamstring power wanted to squat lots of upon lots of of kilos, it’s in all probability value contemplating even for these not inquisitive about lifting a half-ton. The reverse hyperextension has lengthy been advocated within the power sports activities world as a solution to “injury-proof” the posterior chain.

That’s a big declare that relies on the person and loads of components, however the reverse hyperextension has been proven to work your decrease again, glutes, and hamstrings without having to throw round heavy weights. (4) This makes it a great solution to work the goal muscle tissue with out sporting down your physique.

When to Use It

This motion is an environment friendly solution to wrap up any leg exercise after your decrease physique is fatigued and totally warmed up. Nevertheless, performing the reverse hyperextension with mild weight for reasonable to larger repetition can be addition to your basic warm-up routine. The muscle activation and important stretch may help to arrange your posterior chain for any heavier work to observe.

How you can Do It

Some industrial gyms have devoted reverse hyperextension machines, however the train might be carried out on a “customary” again hyperextension machine (whereas dealing with backwards, holding the leg pads together with your fingers) or utilizing a train ball positioned on prime of a flat bench, however the ball will probably be unstable and would require way more core control.

Get into place together with your hips and abdominals supported on the pad. Lean ahead at your waist and permit your toes to hold freely within the air. Your higher and decrease physique ought to type a basic L-shape. Contract your glutes to lift your straight legs till they’re roughly parallel to the bottom. Pause on the prime for one or two seconds. Decrease your legs beneath management. Pause within the stretched place for one or two seconds earlier than repeating.


The supine hip extension leg curl, or SHELC, requires an train ball and a few area to lie on the ground. It’s an environment friendly solution to carry out a hip thrust various at dwelling with restricted tools. This bodyweight-only exercise is without doubt one of the few actions to considerably recruit your hamstrings almost in isolation, with out the assistance of your bigger quadriceps muscle tissue and with out including weight.

When to Use It

The SHELC is flexible sufficient to be carried out at any level in a coaching routine. As a result of it’s a body weight motion, it’s possible you’ll need to pre-fatigue your goal muscle tissue with workouts and use the SHELC to complete them or, if the train is sufficiently difficult on your legs, carry out it earlier within the exercise.

How you can Do It

Lie on the ground together with your legs prolonged and each heels on prime of an train ball. Brace your higher physique by protecting your arms on the bottom. Dig your heels into the ball to lift your hips off the bottom — your physique ought to be in a straight line out of your toes to your chest.

Curl your toes towards your glutes, urgent all the way down to hold each toes in touch with the ball. Straighten your legs to return to the beginning place. Don’t drop your hips till the complete set is accomplished — carry out the leg curl whereas sustaining the bridged place. In case your toes are near falling off the ball when your legs are curled in, transfer your heels nearer to the highest/middle of the ball within the beginning place.

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

The glute bridge is similar to the essential hip thrust, minus a bench to raise your shoulders, so you will get the advantages of a hip thrust with out tools. The one-leg glute bridge might be an environment friendly train selection, particularly as a result of the essential (two-legged) glute bridge is usually not difficult sufficient for a lot of lifters.

When to Use It

The one-leg glute bridge solely requires some area on the bottom, so it may be very simply superset with almost any train to sneak in additional glute and hamstring coaching at any time. Strive pairing them with push-ups for a fast and easy, ground-based, bodyweight-only exercise. Or carry out a set of single-leg glute bridges earlier than every set of deadlifts to spice up glute activation.

How you can Do It

Lie flat on the bottom together with your legs straight. Bend your left leg and place your foot on the bottom close to your proper knee. Maintain your proper leg straight and lift it till your knees are subsequent to one another. Maintain this straight leg place at some point of the set.

Maintain your foot flat on the bottom and drive by means of the ground whereas elevating your hips. It’s best to really feel a robust contraction by means of the again of your left leg. Pause for one to 2 seconds earlier than reducing your glutes to the ground. Carry out all reps with one leg earlier than switching sides.

Single-Leg Landmine Hip Thrust

One extremely efficient hip thrust various is definitely a easy hip thrust variation. The landmine lets you shift the load to a single hip, as a substitute of bearing an extended barbell throughout your total hip space. This modified hip thrust might be extra comfy for the lifter, whereas the landmine’s pivoting base presents a singular coaching angle.

When to Use It

The single-leg landmine hip thrust might be programmed like all hip thrust motion, merely regulate the load as wanted. Single-leg coaching is usually ignored in lots of coaching applications, so in case your present leg exercise doesn’t contain any unilateral actions, think about making the single-leg landmine hip thrust a key participant.

How you can Do It

Sit on the ground perpendicular to a flat bench together with your legs prolonged straight. Place the top of a landmine above your left hip. Place your left foot flat on the bottom close to your proper knee. Relaxation your higher again and arms throughout the bench.

Increase your hips by driving by means of the ground together with your left foot. Brace your core and pivot your higher physique across the bench. Pause briefly within the prime place — if you’ve reached a straight line out of your knees to your shoulders. Decrease to the bottom beneath management, being cautious to not bounce the load off the ground. Carry out all reps with one leg earlier than switching sides.

Advantages of Hip Thrust Alternate options

You’re not sacrificing outcomes when you’ve opted out of the traditional barbell hip thrust. In actual fact, there are just a few particular explanation why a barbell hip thrust various may very well be the popular selection as a barbell hip thrust alternative.

Avoids Hip Discomfort

Many lifters discover the bar’s place throughout hip thrusts to be too uncomfortable and never definitely worth the bother. As a result of the hip thrust requires a barbell to be laid throughout your hip area, it’s not unusual on your hip bones to come back into contact with the load, particularly if the bar shifts or slides throughout repetitions. Even on specifically designed hip thrust machines, the load is supported instantly throughout your hips by way of a belt or pad, which may nonetheless trigger excessive discomfort as the load pulls down by means of your pelvis.

Muscular person outdoors on ground doing leg exercise
Credit score: Maridav / Shutterstock

Nearly all of hip thrust options don’t require weight to be loaded in your hips in any respect. The one-leg landmine hip thrust, particularly, helps the load on a single facet and the angle of the landmine helps to offset the stress.

Elevated Muscle Recruitment

The barbell hip thrust can require some method, between setting your higher physique on the bench, positioning your toes appropriately, and sustaining a impartial physique place as your hips rise. Any errors in these steps can drastically scale back activation on the goal muscle tissue, making the train much less efficient.

These barbell hip thrust options are comparatively extra easy to grasp, whereas focusing on the glutes and hamstrings extra instantly both through the use of a single-leg emphasis or by decreasing contributing muscle tissue and dealing the goal muscle tissue in isolation.

Decreased Decrease Again Stress

Some lifters really feel decrease again pressure throughout the barbell hip thrust, as there might be some mobility necessities to securely and successfully carry out the motion. Most of the various hip thrust workouts scale back compressive pressure on the decrease again and don’t require as a lot hip mobility to carry out, which may make the workouts extra joint-friendly.

Extra Methods to Work the Posterior

The hip thrust is a comparatively common train, however regardless of the hashtags, it’s not a compulsory motion for constructing a robust, muscular set of glutes and hams. The efficient options laid out above might be plugged into any coaching plan whether or not your purpose is decrease physique power, total-body muscle, or the form of glute and hamstring growth that will get trending.


  1. Schoenfeld, B. J., & Grgic, J. (2020). Results of vary of movement on muscle growth throughout resistance coaching interventions: A scientific evaluate. SAGE open drugs, 8, 2050312120901559. https://doi.org/10.1177/2050312120901559
  2. Nunes, J. P., Grgic, J., Cunha, P. M., Ribeiro, A. S., Schoenfeld, B. J., de Salles, B. F., & Cyrino, E. S. (2021). What affect does resistance train order have on muscular power features and muscle hypertrophy? A scientific evaluate and meta-analysis. European journal of sport science, 21(2), 149–157. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2020.1733672
  3. Speirs, Derrick E.1,2; Bennett, Mark A.3; Finn, Charlotte V.4; Turner, Anthony P.2. Unilateral vs. Bilateral Squat Coaching for Power, Sprints, and Agility in Academy Rugby Gamers. Journal of Power and Conditioning Analysis 30(2):p 386-392, February 2016. | DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001096
  4. Lawrence, M. A., Somma, M. J., & Swanson, B. T. (2022). Impact of Load on Muscle Exercise, Kinematics, and Pressure Manufacturing Through the Reverse Hyperextension Train. Journal of utilized biomechanics, 38(5), 336–345. https://doi.org/10.1123/jab.2022-0046

Featured Picture: Viewfoto studio / Shutterstock

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