Differences in the Electromyographic Activity of Lower-Body Muscles in Hip Thrust Variations

J Strength Cond Res. 2020 Sep;34(9):2449-2455. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002859.


Collazo García, CL, Rueda, J, Suárez Luginick, B, Navarro, E. Differences in the electromyographic activity of lower-body muscles in hip thrust variations. J Strength Cond Res 34(9): 2449-2455, 2020-Coaches often use variations of an exercise to train a specific muscle. The purpose of this study was to analyze motor patterns in 4 variations of one of the most popular strength training exercises for the lower body: the barbell hip thrust. Seven experienced personal trainers performed a series of 8 repetitions of each variation with a load of 40% one repetition maximum. Subjects rested 3' between series. Electromyographic (EMG) muscle activity was measured in the rectus femoris, vastus medialis; vastus lateralis; gluteus maximus; gluteus medius; biceps femoris; and semitendinosus. Variations of the hip thrust exercise were performed by changing the position of the feet (feet were moving away from the body) and the direction of force exerted by subjects (intentional force aimed at hip's external rotation and knee's flexion). Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed significant differences in EMG in all muscles except for the gluteus medius, where no differences were observed among variations. The results obtained suggest that hip thrust variations have different motor patterns, which can be exploited to adapt an exercise to the individual needs of each athlete.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Buttocks / physiology
  • Electromyography
  • Hamstring Muscles / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity / physiology*
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Young Adult