Last updated on October 29th, 2022 at 06:53 pm
Who else wants to know the ideal hip thrust to squat ratio?
I’m sure we can all agree that these are two of the finest lower body exercises out there.
Plus, if you’re “all about the booty”, you definitely want to be performing both movements as regularly as you can.
However, should you be able to hip thrust a certain weight compared to your squats, and vice versa?
Or is there no real comparison between the two exercises?
Let’s find out.
Hip Thrust to Squat Ratio
There isn’t an exact hip thrust to squat ratio. However, most well-trained individuals should be able to hip thrust a lot more than they can squat. That being said, a great ratio to aim for is for your hip thrusts to be 25% more than your barbell back squat. So, as an example, if you’re able to squat 300lbs, then your goal should be to hip thrust 375lbs.
How Much Should You Hip Thrust Compared to Squats?
It would be fantastic if there was an “ideal” hip thrust to squat ratio, so that we’d all have something very specific to aim for.
However, in truth, the simple fact that squats are a fairly technical exercise, which require balance and coordination, makes it impossible to give an exact ratio.
Plus, some people will always find it much harder to squat than others.
And that’s something else to always take into consideration.
We are all different from each other, our bodies are different, and how our bodies react to exercise can once more be completely different to each other.
That being said, it is widely accepted that you should be able to hip thrust more weight than you can squat.
In fact, Bret Contreras, the man who introduced the hip thrust to the world, states that hip thrusts should use the heaviest weight of the three main lower body barbell exercises.
In other words, you should be hip-thrusting with more weight than you deadlift, and you should be deadlifting more than you squat.
As I’ve mentioned, the way in which your body reacts to exercise will also make a difference.
Furthermore, the exercise you perform more often will typically be the “heavier” movement.
As an example, most competitive powerlifters are able to squat huge numbers, but I’m willing to bet that their hip thrust will fall well behind this.
In fact, although I can’t be certain, I would hazard a guess that most competitive powerlifters rarely hip thrust, if ever.
This simply comes down to the fact that they are trying to get stronger and more efficient at performing the “Big 3 Lifts”.
So realistically, there is no one-size fits all when it comes to the perfect hip thrust to squat ratio.
Average vs. Elite Lifters
A prime example of this is the comparison between “average” and “elite” lifters for both movements.
StrengthLevel is a website that allows users to input statistics about various lifts, which in turn provides some great information for the rest of us.
It appears that “average” lifters appear to hip thrust 1% less weight than they squat.
However, when we look at “elite” lifters, it appears that they are typically hip-thrusting 25% more weight than they squat.
And this of course fits in with what I’ve already said.
Plus, this actually makes a lot of sense, as squats are a more quad-dominant exercise, whereas hip thrusts are more about the glutes.
And most untrained individuals will usually have much stronger quads than glutes.
Even though the glutes are the larger muscle, they generally don’t receive much attention in everyday life.
And this especially true as many of us spend a large percentage of the day sitting on our butts, hunched over a computer screen.
That being said, it won’t take long for your glutes to “catch up” with your quads, and potentially take over in terms of strength.
Hip Thrusts vs Barbell Squats For Building Your Glutes
Do Hip Thrusts Help You Squat More?
Hip thrusts and squats will definitely hit the glutes, but by varying degrees, and even slightly different areas of the glutes.
The best way to look at this is that hip thrust works the glutes in such a way that you are challenged to maintain posterior pelvic tilt during the movement.
However, when it comes to squats, it’s all about maintaining hip abduction, while the glutes are being worked.
That being said, squats will always bring the quads, adductors, and hamstrings more into play.
This in itself should tell you that hip thrusts can definitely help to improve your squat technique, as well as allowing you to squat more weight.
However, rather than going into the anatomy and biomechanics of the similarities between the two exercises, let’s look at the details of a study to prove this point.
The Hip Thrust-Squat Result Study
The study was conducted by the Journal of Sports Science on 20 male collegiate baseball players.
The 20 participants had an average barbell back squat of 188lbs between themselves.
They were then divided into 2 separate groups for the 8-week study.
The first group performed a regular baseball training regimen, but they also added hip thrusts, three times a week, over the 8-week period.
Plus, their aim was to increase the intensity of their hip thrust workouts over the 8 weeks.
The second group simply performed the regular baseball training regimen.
At the start and end of the 8-week study both groups of participants tested their squat 3-rep max.
The second group, who only performed regular baseball training, didn’t see any significant improvements in their 3-rep max squat at the end of the study.
However, the first group, who had performed 24 hip thrust workouts in addition to their baseball training, saw some dramatic improvements in their squat.
In fact, the group averaged a 31% increase in their 3-rep max squat.
This “experiment” saw the first group take their squat from 185lbs to 237lbs.
And remember, this all came about from simply performing hip thrusts three times a week, for 8 weeks.
In other words, there was absolutely no squat training done during the 8-week period.
This in itself shows how hip thrusts can help you squat more.
So, I hope you understand that there is no “ideal” hip thrust to squat ratio.
That being said, as someone fairly new to training you may find that you tend to be more quad-dominant.
This simply means that your quads are generally the strongest and most activated muscles in your legs.
So, you would usually be able to squat more than you hip thrust.
However, with regular training, especially with more focus on the posterior chain, it won’t be long before your hip thrusts catch up, and eventually take over.
A great aim to have is for your hip thrusts to eventually be 25% more than your barbell back squats.
However, another fantastic advantage of working on hip thrusts is that it can actually help you to eventually squat more weight.
If you’re hoping to squat more weight, in fact to build muscle all over, then you can learn more from my review of the Massthetic Muscle workout program.
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.