What muscles does the Barbell Hip Thrust target?

The hip thrust is a major glute-building exercise for which technique and form are key in order to really target your glutes. Beginners can start with dumbbell hip thrusts before moving on to the barbell version.

How to do a Barbell Hip Thrust?

First, find a bench or a box that with the right height: when you sit on the floor against the bench, it should touch your shoulder blades.

Your feet stay flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart. Look down (tucking your chin into your chest) and engage your core (to avoid over arching your lower back). Your hips, knees and feet are in line (toes are not pointing out).

Hold the bar on your hip bones (hands outside your thighs), drive through your heels to extend your hips. Your thighs are now parallel to the floor, your shins are perpendicular to your feet (not going over your toes) and your shoulders are still against the bench. Squeeze your glutes.

Pause for one second before getting back down (ideally not touching the floor with your glutes).

Video Demo 

Pro tips

  • If you feel it more in your hamstrings (back of your legs) than your glutes you might need to adjust your foot placement (bringing your feet closer to you)

  • If you’re not really feeling it in your glutes, start by activating them. Using a band, do some crab walking and bodyweight hip thrusts.

How to tell if you’re doing it right?

It’s firing up your glutes!