Last updated on October 29th, 2022 at 07:00 pm
So, you want to know whether there’s an ideal hip thrust to deadlift ratio?
Firstly, I have to say, there are few better exercises for your posterior chain.
And typically if you throw squats into the mix, you have a fantastic all-round lower body workout.
That being said, how do you know whether one exercise is keeping pace with the other?
Is there a certain amount of weight you should be hip-thrusting in comparison to your deadlift?
Or are the two exercises so disconnected that there’s no point in comparing them?
Allow me to reveal all.
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Hip Thrust to Deadlift Ratio
There’s no ideal hip thrust to deadlift ratio. This largely depends on how often you perform both exercises, your training experience, and your potential muscle strengths and weaknesses. That being said, there are stats that show that most “average” lifters will hip thrust 15% less than they deadlift. However, there are also stats which show that “elite” lifters typically hip thrust 9% more than they can deadlift.
Should My Hip Thrust Be More Than My Deadlift?
As I’ve mentioned, there’s no real “ideal” hip thrust to deadlift ratio.
And the main reason for this is that there are so many variables to take into consideration.
That being said, the man who brought the hip thrust into the world, Bret Contreras, certainly has an opinion of this.
Brett has always said that in terms of the “big 3 lower body lifts”, you should be hip thrusting the most weight, followed by deadlifts, and finally squats.
I guess this a great “ideal” to aim for, but this isn’t always the case for every single lifter.
Firstly, I will say that when most people are fairly new to training in the gym, there is the potential for lower body muscle imbalances.
In fact, many people in the modern day and age are quad-dominant, e.g. quads are relatively much stronger than hamstrings, and glute-strength is almost non-existent.
This has come about simply due to modern lifestyles, which sees us sitting far more often, and potentially hunched over too.
If you think about it, we spend many hours a day either sitting in front of a computer screen or staring down at our smartphones.
Furthermore, not many people practice the basic human pattern, the hip-hinge, that often.
So, typically when you first start out in the gym environment, it’s likely that the front of your legs are going to be much stronger than your posterior chain.
And this is especially true of the potential for glute-weakness, with all this sitting around every day going on.
In fact, this is even more obvious when you look at certain statistics comparing hip thrusts to deadlifts.
Let’s Look at Some Hip Thrust & Deadlift Stats
StrengthLevel provides a database where people can enter all sorts of facts and figures about various lifts and movements.
It was found that for the “average” male lifter, their hip thrust was approximately 15% less than their deadlift.
So, this encompasses most people who’ve been training in the gym for 6 months to around 2 years.
Once you get to the levels of being an intermediate lifter, your hip thrust should definitely have caught up.
In fact, once someone has become an elite lifter, typically training for 5 years or more, it shows that hip thrusts are approximately 9% heavier than deadlifts.
This actually makes a great deal of sense, as it’s likely that a person’s glutes and hamstrings will significantly increase in strength with proper training.
Basically, it’s almost like taking an inactive muscle and then really focusing on it, i.e. some amazing things can happen.
Interestingly, when looking at the two lifts for average and elite female lifters, hip thrusts were 6% and 22% higher than deadlifts respectively.
Now, regardless of how much booty training has been going on over the past few years, women are considered to be more quad-dominant than men due to having wider hips.
Therefore, based on that fact, you wouldn’t expect someone fairly inexperienced at lifting to be hip thrusting more than they deadlift.
But, then again, the deadlift is considered a far more strength-focused exercise.
That being said, the more experience you have in the gym, the more likely it is that you should hip thrusting more weight than you deadlift.
It won’t be a massive increase, but it should still be slightly more.
Now, just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons, I would say that this probably isn’t the case for the strongest people in the gym, namely powerlifters.
The reason I say this is because the main focus for most powerlifters will be the Big 3 Lifts – Squats, Bench Press, Deadlifts.
Therefore, it’s more likely that hip thrusts are used as an accessory lift, as opposed to a main one.
And this obviously makes a huge difference.
The more you focus on a particular lift, the more efficient you will become at it.
In other words, if you’re hip thrusting much more than you deadlift, then it’s likely to be the heavier lift, and of course, vice versa.
How Much Do Hip Thrusts Help Deadlifts?
Okay, rather than comparing the two exercises, I want to now look at whether there’s a potential crossover between the two.
Personally, I would say there’s a huge crossover, and hip thrusts can definitely help you to improve your deadlifts.
In fact, I would go as far to say that if you’re a complete novice lifter, you would probably be better off learning to hip thrust before you deadlift.
One of the main reasons for this is that many people new to lifting have extreme difficulty in performing a proper hip-hinge movement.
So, deadlifts typically become all about arm, upper and lower back strength, which is also a great way to get injured.
So, by starting out with hip thrusts, not only will you build some very strong and powerful hip and glute muscles, but you will have also perfected the hip-hinge before your first ever deadlift.
The exact same can be said for a more experienced lifter.
Without a doubt, strong glutes and hips, and a perfect hip-hinge, will dramatically improve your deadlifting technique.
Furthermore, hip thrusts can also help you to overcome one of the main sticking points in the deadlift.
Namely, the lockout portion of the deadlift, where you’re taking the bar from your knees to standing up perfectly straight.
In truth, this is all above the hip-hinge movement and posterior chain strength and power.
And all of these things can be significantly improved by performing hip thrusts.
Proper Hip Thrust Form
So, I hope you understand that there is no “ideal” hip thrust to deadlift ratio.
Unfortunately, there are simply too many variables to take into account.
That being said, a well-trained athlete should be able to hip thrust more weight than they can deadlift.
This won’t be a significant amount, and as shown by certain statistics at StrengthLevel, elite athletes are generally hip-thrusting 9% more weight than they deadlift.
Interestingly, an untrained or average gym-goer will generally hip thrust around 15% LESS than they can deadlift.
This actually comes down to the fact that many individuals have weak glutes and hamstrings, simply due to the lifestyle they lead.
We spend far too many hours sitting, typically hunched over a computer.
Add to this that untrained individuals rarely use the hip-hinge movement correctly in everyday life, and it’s easy to see why so many people have glute or hamstring weaknesses.
That being said, even though both are fantastic exercises, you can certainly increase and improve your deadlift by hip-thrusting more often.
You can also discover more about building muscle from my personal experience of using the 12-week workout program Massthetic Muscle.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.