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Find Out 7 Hip Thrust Alternatives To Build Stronger Glutes And Hamstrings

Hip Thrust Alternatives | My Workout Diet


No doubt that hip thrust exercise is one of the best exercises for targeting glutes. If you have no problem with this exercise, then you can perform this exercise.

But on the other hand, there are many people facing problems with hip thrust such as lower back pain, feeling uncomfortable by placing a barbell, or not being able to engage glute muscles.

While hip thrust is out, it’s very important to train glutes for improving hip stability, reducing lower back pain, better deadlift and squat, and also it adds some size to glutes.

In this blog, we will find best hip thrust alternatives to include in your exercise routine for training glutes with the same effect.

What muscles are involved with hip thrusts

The main hip thrust muscles worked while performing hip thrust are gluteal muscles, because it’s compound exercise – it also targets other muscles too.

  1. Gluteus Maximus : There are three glute muscles and gluteus maximus is one of the largest muscles and provides most of the shape to the upper and lower portion. This muscle is targeted most in hip thrust and is responsible for hip extension.
  1. Gluteus Medius : The gluteus medium is the 2nd largest muscle of gluteal muscles, present above and underneath the gluteus maximus. Main function of this muscle is hip abduction. 
  1. Gluteus Minimus : This is the 3rd muscle and is the smallest one of 3 hip muscles. This muscle internally rotate the muscle by working with the other 2 muscles.
  1. Hamstrings : The hamstring muscles are present at the back of the leg. This muscle involves while performing hip thrust. 
  1. Quadriceps : Quadricep muscle is present at the front of our leg and consists of 4 different muscles such as the vastus lateralis, the vastus medialis, the rectus femoris and the vastus intermedius. The primary function of this muscle is hip flexion and knee extension.
  1. Calfs : Calve muscles help in stabilising lower leg muscles, when we raise the bar upward and reduce the chance of falling to one side.
  1. Core Muscles : For reducing the chance of injury and in order to keep focus on targeted muscle, engagement of core muscles are essential.

What is a barbell hip thrust?

The barbell hip thrust alternatives is the exercise that targets your glute muscles and hamstring muscles, mainly your glutes. This exercise is performed by placing a loaded barbell on your pelvis muscles, shoulders on table and knees at 90 degrees. Pushing upward, by engaging core muscles and by squeezing glutes.

The glute muscles must be trained with heavy weights because glutes are the strongest muscles. Building glute muscles provide more strength in other lower body exercises such as deadlift, squat etc. 

Top 7 Hip Thrust Alternatives

1. Cable Hip Extension 

Cable Hip Extension | Hip Thrust Alternatives
  1. Lower down the pulley and stand straight in front of one pole of the cable machine.
  2. Hold the pole of the cable machine with one leg attached to the cable just below calf muscles and above ankles.
  3. Exhale and extend the attached leg in backward direction while keeping it straight.
  4. Continue moving your leg keeping your torso stable, until you feel contraction in your glute muscle.
  5. Inhale and slowly return to the starting position with the same movement.
  6. After completing 10 reps, switch to the other side and perform the same movement.

Tips: Adjust the cable pulley at the lower position and attach cable just above your ankle. Choose a weight that allows you to complete the desired number of repetition without any imbalance. Contract glutes at top for targeting all muscles properly. Engage core muscles for stabilising the movement and to prevent lower back injury.

Reps : Try to go for 6-12 reps with this single leg hip thrust alternatives.

2. Straight Leg Kickback

Straight Leg Kickback | Hip Thrust Alternatives
  1. Firstly, position yourself in a doggy pose with your knees and palms on the floor.
  2. Keep your spine neutral, core engaged and look forward.
  3. Exhale and lift your right leg assuming kicking back to an object. Keep your torso stable.
  4. Continue kicking backward until you feel contraction in glutes or until your leg is greater than parallel with the floor.
  5. Inhale and slowly bring back your leg to the starting position. 
  6. After completing 10 reps on the right side, switch to the left leg and peerfrom same movement with the same repetitions.

Tips: Your palms should be placed just under your shoulders and start this exercise in doggy position. Perform every rep with full range of motion, means extend your leg upward as you can it will help in better contraction. Exhale while lifting leg and inhale while lowering. If you feel imbalanced, you can use a wall. Focus on quality of movement.

Reps : Try to go for 10-12 reps with full range for this hip thrust alternative at home.

3. Flutter Kicks

Flutter Kicks | Hip Thrust Alternatives
  1. For performing this exercise you just need a stable surface and a bench.
  2. Lie face down on the bench in this way that your hip is just above the end of the bench and legs held out in the air.
  3. Inhale and while holding the bench with your hands lowering right leg and raise left leg at the same time.
  4. Continue lowering the right leg and raise the left leg until your hamstrings and glutes get pumped. 
  5. Then return to the starting position and take a small rest.

Tips: Keep your legs straight in the air. Your legs must be fully extended but avoid locking your knees. Steadily breath throughout this exercise, so oxygen reaches the targeted muscles. Avoid using the moment to lift your leg, keep steady movement. If you feel discomfort, take a short break or consult with your trainer.

Reps : Start with a number of repetitions and duration that challenge you.

4. Sliding Floor Bridge Curl

Sliding Floor Bridge Curl | Hip Thrust Alternatives
  1. Lie with your spine in contact with the floor and place your arms to the sides of your torso.
  2. Place the slider under your heels with your toes off the ground.
  3. Exhale and with your heels pull the slider towards your lower back while raising the glutes.
  4. Continue curling your legs to the end point.
  5. Inhale and allow your legs to push the slider back to its place by extending legs

Tips: When you get into bridge position, stop and return the slider to its starting point. Use your glutes for pushing and pulling the slider. Before starting this exercise, perform a little bit of cardio for pumping up muscles. Exhale while lifting your body and inhale while extending your legs forward.

Reps : Continue performing until you feel your glutes get pumped.

5. Barbell Deadlift

Barbell Deadlift | Hip Thrust Alternatives
  1. Load the barbell with appreciative weight and position yourself in the centre barbell by placing feet equal to shoulder width. 
  2. Grab the barbell with shoulder width apart with one palm facing towards your body and one away in forward direction.
  3. Maintaining straight back, lower your body while leaning forward. Inhale and by pushing through your heels lift the barbell upward.
  4. Continue lifting the barbell upward until your legs fully extend and slightly bend backward engaging lower back muscles. 
  5. Pause this position for a second.
  6. Exhale and lower down the barbell with the same movement by bending your knees and maintaining a flat back.
  7. Before beginning another rep, rest the barbell on the floor for a second.

Tips: Avoid bending your back while lifting barbell off the ground, use quads and heels for lifting. Keep your feet slightly in the outer direction. Breathing is very important, inhale while lifting the barbell upward and exhale while bringing the barbell back to the starting position. Warm up muscles especially hips, lower back and legs.

Reps : Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps each.

6. Dumbbell Lunges

Dumbbell Lunges | Hip Thrust Alternatives
  1. It’s great dumbbell hip thrust alternatives, Stand straight while holding dumbbells in both hands and place them to the sides of your torso, facing towards each other.
  2. Holding dumbbells in both hands, make a long step with the right leg in forward direction while placing others at the same.
  3. Inhale and lower your body by bending both knees.
  4. Continue lowering until your left knee touches the floor or your right becomes parallel to the floor.
  5. Exhale and push back to the starting position by extending your knees and get ready for the other side.
  6. After completing the desired number of reps, switch position and perform the same movement with the other side.

Tips: Take forward steps with your comfort level, but taking long steps engage your glutes more. Avoid jerking and swinging, keep a maintained form. Keep playing with different variations such as walking lunges, reverse lunges, stationary lunges, this help you to target your glutes from different angles.

Reps : Perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps each.

7. Stiff Legged Barbell Deadlift

Stiff Legged Barbell Deadlift | Hip Thrust Alternatives
  1. Place the barbell on the ground and position yourself in the centre of the rod with shins 1 inch away.
  2. Maintaining straight legs, straight back, bend your upper body and grab the barbell with overhand grip with arms fully extended.
  3. Inhale and by pushing through heels raise the barbell up while maintaining straight back.
  4. Continue raising the barbell upward until your torso makes a straight form. Slightly bent backward.
  5. Hold for a second, exhale and lower the barbell keeping back flat to the starting position.
  6. Rest the barbell on the floor for a second to get ready for another rep.

Tips: Make sure not to bend your back while lifting the barbell off the ground, use quads and heels for lifting. Keep your core muscles and glutes engaged throughout the movement. If feeling discomfort, stop performing further. Talk with your trainer to correct your form in order to prevent any injury.

Reps : Perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps each.


The hip thrust is a great compound exercise for targeting glute muscles, but the concern is that some people may be facing some problems while performing, like with barbell placing over pelvis, not being able to target glute muscles and feeling unnecessary pain in the lower back.

But luckily, there are a lot of hip thrust alternatives that we discussed earlier for targeting glute and hip muscles. Give them a try and choose which ones suit you and add them into your workout routine.

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