Muscle activity in the back squat versus hip thrust exercise

...is the hip thrust an alternative?

The hip musculature is considered to be paramount for sport performance and injury prevention, since it has an integral role in multiplanar motion and lower extremity stabilization. Extensive research has investigated the back squat as a staple exercise in strength and condition programs aimed at enhancing gluteal and lower extremity performance.

Despite this, additional literature has shown that, even though the back squat has a positive effect in increasing strength and size of gluteal musculature, there is poor translation to functional performance.

Considering this, the authors of the present study looked to compare the activation of the hip thrust exercise with the back squat as a possible alternative to lower extremity strengthening. Overall, it was shown that the barbell hip thrust exercise had greater activation in the biceps femoris as well as upper and lower glutes when compared to the back squat.

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