Does it matter which one you are doing?⁠

Building strong glutes is key for performing plenty of exercises correctly and with good form. In this post I am comparing two of the most popular exercises in bootybuilding. Both exercises, the hip thrust and the glute bridge, are glute dominant, meaning that they are a good choice for building strong glutes.⁠ But are they doing the same and can they be done interchangeably?


Building strong glutes with the HIP THRUST

>>your torso is elevated<<⁠

Woman setting up for a hip thrust at the gym   Woman performing a Hip Thrust

The main advantage of the hip thrust is a high range of motion allowing for a (theoretically) optimal glute activation and engagement. However, the hip thrust brings a bunch of challenges along:⁠

  • The setup can be tricky unless you have a fixed setup or machine like @theglutebuilder
  • A lot of people are finding it very uncomfortable to have the shoulders resting on a box or a bench. Can be especially tricky for skinny peeps.⁠
  • Even though the main target are the glutes, the quads and hamstrings are working, too, and some people will mostly feel it there. This can be an issue with foot placement or glute activation in general.⁠


Building strong glutes with the GLUTE BRIDGE⁠

>>your shoulders remain flat on the floor <<⁠

Girl setting up for a glute bridge at the gym  Girl doing a glute bridge at the gym

The main advantage of the glute bridge is an easier setup & execution. All you need is the floor, a mat and your bodyweight or a sandbag, dumbbell, kettlebell or barbell. Many people will be able to activate and feel their glutes much better in the glute bridge and therefore find it easier to build strong glutes than with the hip thrust. Because of the smaller range of motion a lot of quad & hamstring engagement is taken off. This, however, doesn’t necessarily mean it has a bigger effect on your glutes.⁠



From my own training and training with my clients, my general recommendation would be to start off with the glute bridge if you are a beginner. Start with small weights and work your way up to a loaded bar. When this feels comfortable, I would then progress to the hip thrust. Starting with body weight and small weights to figure out foot placement and exercise execution until you actually feel that your glutes are the dominant muscle here. Then start loading the bar.⁠

You need to figure out for yourself where you can best activate your glutes because this is where you should feel the exercises the most.


If you are not going to the gym yet but you would like to get into strength training, also check my other blog post about working out with resistance bands

If you live in Berlin and you would like to learn how to do those kind of exercises properly, check out my offer for personal training.