The glute bridge, hip thrust, and Kas glute bridge are three popular glute exercises.

Because each trains similar muscles and looks alike, many don’t understand how they differ and can’t distinguish one from the next.

In this article, you’ll learn what the glute bridge, hip thrust, and Kas glute bridge are, how they’re different, how to perform each, and which is best for you.

 

What Is A Glute Bridge?

The glute bridge is a bodyweight exercise that primarily trains the glutes and hamstrings.

It involves lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor and thrusting your hips toward the ceiling.

It’s popular among new weightlifters because it’s easy to learn and allows you to start with just your body weight and build strength over time.

It’s also highly adaptable. For example, most glute bridge variations use only your body weight (e.g., the marching, elevated, and single-leg glute bridge), though several others involve added weight (e.g., the barbell, dumbbell, and Smith machine glute bridge).

Thus, you can always find an effective glute bridge variation to include in your workouts, no matter how you like to train or what equipment you have available.

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How to Do A Glute Bridge

glute bridges vs hip thrusts

Model: Rachael Becker

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your arms by your sides and your palms facing the floor.
  2. Place your feet 15-to-18 inches apart, about 6-to-12 inches from your butt, and point your toes slightly outward.
  3. Lift your butt off the floor by pressing your shoulders and heels into the floor, pushing your knees out in the same direction as your toes, and squeezing your glute muscles
  4. Continue thrusting your hips upward until your butt, hips, and knees form a straight line and your shins are vertical.
  5. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position. 

What Is A Hip Thrust?

The hip thrust is a barbell exercise that trains the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. 

It involved thrusting a barbell toward the ceiling by lifting your hips while lying with your shoulders on a bench and your body perpendicular to it.

For many, the barbell hip thrust exercise is ideal for glute gains because it allows you to lift heavy weights safely and progress regularly, which is vital for gaining muscle and strength.

Because of how you position the barbell, the hip thrust also forces your glutes to work hard throughout the entire range of motion. This isn’t the case for most other glute exercises, where glute muscle activity typically drops at some point during the exercise. 

How to Do A Hip Thrust

How to Do A Hip Thrust

Model: Rachael Becker

  1. Sit on the ground with your back resting against a bench. The bench should be perpendicular to your body, and your shoulders should be resting on the middle of the bench.
  2. Roll a barbell over your thighs so that it sits in your hip crease (use a bar pad to protect your hip bones and make the exercise more comfortable).
  3. Plant your feet on the floor about shoulder-width apart and 12-to-18 inches from your butt so your knees are bent to about 90 degrees.
  4. Push the bar upward with your hips by pressing through your heels until your upper body and thighs are parallel to the ground and your shins are vertical. 
  5. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position.

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What Is A Kas Glute Bridge?

Unlike the regular glute bridge and hip thrust, which also involve muscles like the quads and hamstrings, the Kas glute bridge “isolates” the glutes. 

Despite its name, the Kas glute bridge is more similar to the hip thrust than the glute bridge. In fact, the Kas glute bridge is essentially a hip thrust with a shorter range of motion.

The main benefit of the Kas glute bridge is that it forces you to perform slow and controlled reps, preventing you from using momentum to cheat the weight up. Using this technique ensures your glutes do most of the work, which benefits glute gains.

How to Do A Kas Glute Bridge

hip thrust vs kas glute bridge

Model: Rachael Becker

  1. Sit on the ground with your back resting against a bench. The bench should be perpendicular to your body, and your shoulders should be resting on the middle of the bench.
  2. Roll a barbell over your thighs so that it sits in your hip crease (use a bar pad to protect your hip bones and make the exercise more comfortable).
  3. Plant your feet on the floor about shoulder-width apart and 12-to-18 inches from your butt so your knees are bent to about 90 degrees.
  4. Push the bar upward with your hips by pressing through your heels until your upper body and thighs are parallel to the ground and your shins are vertical.
  5. Lower your butt 3-to-6 inches, ensuring your shins remain vertical.
  6. Thrust your hips toward the ceiling and return to the starting position.

Hip Thrust vs. Glute Bridge vs. KAS Glute Bridge: Differences

All three exercises train hip extension (moving your thighs away from your upper body), which is the glutes’ primary function. As such, all three are effective glute exercises that are more similar than different. 

That said, there are a few slight differences between each.

First, you set up each exercise differently. Typically, you do glute bridges on the floor using only your body weight, whereas you use a barbell and a bench to perform the Kas glute bridge and hip thrust.

Second, the hip thrust has a longer range of motion than the regular and Kas glute bridge. This is significant because exercises with a longer range of motion are generally better for muscle and strength gain. 

Lastly, the glute bridge is the only exercise to which you usually don’t add weight. While this makes the glute bridge easy to learn and accessible to those new to weightlifting, it limits its muscle- and strength-building potential—something that isn’t an issue for the hip thrust and Kas glute bridge. 

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Hip Thrust vs. Glute Bridge vs. KAS Glute Bridge: Which Is Best for You?

While all three exercises are a means to the same end, your circumstances may make one more suitable than the others. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide which is best for you.

glute bridge vs hip thrust