Confession: I Don't Like Hip Thrusts

Barbell hip thrusts have become allll the rage in the past few years thanks to Bret Contreras, aka "The Glute Guy". Because everybody these days wants a big bootayyy, right? I know I do! Some people consider them to be in the same category as the "big 3"(squats, deadlifts, bench press).

Let me start off by saying that I think hip thrusts, if done correctly, are a great exercise. I did them for years and actually got pretty strong on them. I was able to get up to 275 for 5 reps at one point.

But in the last few months, I haven't been doing them. Why? Well, really for no other reason than that I just don't really like 'em anymore! Not only that, but I didn't see much improvement in the size or shape of my glutes, and that's really the main reason I was doing them. Plus, they're also a pain to set up, and sometimes I just didn't feel like I was getting anything out of them.

Just like with any exercise, if something doesn't feel right to you, there's no reason you HAVE to do it. Squats and deadlifts are both EXCELLENT exercises, but they're not always great for everyone. If you've tried and absolutely hate those exercises, there are most definitely alternative exercises you can do instead(split squats, lunges, single leg deadlifts, RDLs, etc).

And that's how it is with me for  hip thrusts. I tried, and I got stronger on them, but I just stopped enjoying them. It got to the point where I was pretty much forcing myself to do them, because I just really wanted my glutes to grow! But they never got me excited like it is for me with squats and deadlifts.

So while I think that hip thrusts are a great exercise for some people, I feel that for the purposes of training my glutes, there are better exercises for ME. I actually feel single leg hip thrusts or glute bridges much more, as well as high rep hip thrusts with a band around my knees. I would love to try banded hip thrusts if I had a way to do them, as I do think I would like them a lot more than barbell hip thrusts.
Single leg hip thrusts are a GREAT alternative to barbell hip thrusts.
I also really love cable pull-throughs, back extensions, and reverse hypers for the glutes, and I can feel the burn so much more with those exercises. Not that feeling the burn is always what you're going for when lifting weights, but when it comes to isolating and growing the glutes, I do think it's important to have some exercises that you can really FEEL the glutes working and that just give you a great pump. Hip thrusts can do that, but so can many other exercises as well.

Now, I'm not saying I'll never do barbell hip thrusts again, but for the time being, I'm sticking with exercises that I can really feel and enjoy doing.

What about you? Do you do hip thrusts? Do you love them or hate them?


  1. Hi Lindsay! I understand how you feel! I keep trying to work in split squats, but they just never work for me, I always hate them and never am able to get the best glute activation....I just don't think they are for me! I actually love barbell hip thrusts but I understand how you feel because i am that way with other exercises.

  2. I've never liked regular split squats, but I love Bulgarian split squats, even though they are hard! The weird thing is, I actually used to really like hip thrusts...and then as time went on I stopped liking them! Maybe one day I'll get into them again!


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