A Comparison of Gluteus Maximus, Biceps Femoris, and Vastus Lateralis Electromyography Amplitude for the Barbell, Band, and American Hip Thrust Variations

J Appl Biomech. 2016 Jun;32(3):254-60. doi: 10.1123/jab.2015-0091. Epub 2015 Dec 22.


Bridging exercise variations are well researched and commonly employed for both rehabilitation and sport performance. However, resisted bridge exercise variations have not yet been compared in a controlled experimental study. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the differences in upper and lower gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and vastus lateralis electromyography (EMG) amplitude for the barbell, band, and American hip thrust variations. Thirteen healthy female subjects (age = 28.9 y; height = 164.3 cm; body mass = 58.2 kg) familiar with the hip thrust performed 10 repetitions of their 10-repetition maximum of each variation in a counterbalanced and randomized order. The barbell hip thrust variation elicited statistically greater mean gluteus maximus EMG amplitude than the American and band hip thrusts, and statistically greater peak gluteus maximus EMG amplitude than the band hip thrust (P ≤ .05), but no other statistical differences were observed. It is recommended that resisted bridging exercise be prescribed according to the individual's preferences and desired outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Buttocks
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Hamstring Muscles / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Quadriceps Muscle / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / methods*