Smith Machine Hip Thrusts

Using the smith machine for hip thrusts

From the gym to your kitchen, from working out to cooking, there are a plethora of ways to get in shape and stay healthy. A popular exercise often used is the hip thrust. 

With this exercise, you have quite a few choices when it comes to equipment. One option that is growing in popularity is the smith machine hip thrust.

Smith machine hip thrust

Here are five reasons why you should consider using the Smith machine for your hip thrusts:

1) The smith machine is a great way to increase the intensity of your hip thrusts. You can focus on time under tension and connecting with the glutes instead of concentrating on balancing the barbell bar. 

2) It provides a stable base for your body, which makes it easier to maintain proper form. you don't need to worry about balancing the bar and stabilising the shoulders on a bench. 

3) The smith machine can help you to isolate your glutes, which will lead to greater muscle growth.

4) The machine provides smooth gliding rails for the barbell making it easy to keep strict form without the worry of being crushed under the weight. 

5) The smith machine is convenient for loading/unloading the bar with weight plates. It also allows you to start with the bar further off of the ground making it easier to slide your hips underneath it. 

What exactly is a hip thrust?

A hip thrust is a type of exercise that helps to improve muscle strength and conditioning in the gluteal muscles. It is also a great way to increase your flexibility and mobility.

The traditional, bodyweight hip thrust is performed by lying down on your back on the floor with your legs bent at the hip and then pushing your hips up towards the ceiling. You should keep your shoulders pressed against the ground, and use your abs to push yourself up. 

By adding a loaded barbell on top of your hips, you can perform the same movement with added resistance. This makes it easy to use progressive overload to develop the glutes and assisting muscles.


Hip trust

Benefits of hip thrusts

Hip thrusts are one of the most popular exercises for sculpting your butt and hips. They have a lot of benefits that make them a great choice for anyone looking to achieve better strength, flexibility and mobility. 

One of the primary benefits of hip thrusts is that they work both your glutes and your hips simultaneously. This makes them a powerful exercise for toning and shaping your hips and butt. They also help to improve your balance, coordination, and strength.

Hip thrusts are also a great way to increase your cardio endurance. Because they require you to use both your upper and lower body, you'll be working at a high intensity for a long period of time. This will help to boost your cardiovascular fitness.

How do I do a Smith machine hip thrust?

To perform a hip thrust on a smith machine, follow this simple guide:
  1. Place a dumbbell bench sideways at the back of the smith machine, this is going to be used to rest your upper back on
  2. Set the bar to a low level but leave enough room so that you can slide your legs underneath it
  3. Load the required weight plates onto the bar and slide your legs underneath it so that it is resting on elevated hips when it is lowered.
  4. If you are using heavy weights, you may want to add a pad to the bar for comfort
  5. Lie back on the bench so that your shoulder blades are resting on it.
  6. Slide your feet backwards by flexing at the knee so that it pushes your hips up to the bar.
  7. Make sure that your feet are flat on the ground and you have a sturdy stance, lift the bar from the safety hooks.
  8. Slowly lower your glutes to the floor with the bar resting on your hips.
  9. When your glutes are an inch away from the floor, thrust the hips up in an explosive motion.
  10. Hold this position for 3 seconds and squeeze the glutes before slowly lowering the glutes to the floor again.
  11. Repeat for the required number of reps and set. 
  12. Be sure to breathe out as you thrust upwards and breathe in as you lower downwards. 

Muscles worked during the hip thrust

Muscles worked by the hip thurst

The main target muscles for smith machine hip thrusts are the glutes. It is a compound exercise so there are a few other muscles that assist in the movement and stabilise the body. 

Your quads and hamstrings play a huge part in moving the weight up and down by assisting the glutes. The lower back, ab and calves also get a good workout as they stabilise the body when using good form. 

Alternatives to smith machine hip thrust

B stance hip thrust

This is exactly the same as a regular hip thrust and can be performed with just bodyweight,  barbell weighted or in the smith machine. 

B stance hip thrust

The slight difference between a B stance hip thrust and a regular hip thrust is the placement of the feet. One foot is planted on the ground but the other foot is extended slightly and balancing on the heel. 

This is effectively a one-legged hip thrust as the firmly planted leg will be doing all of the work. The other leg is just resting on the heel for balance and stability. 

Stiff leg deadlift

The stiff leg deadlift is a great adaptation of the deadlift that really targets the hamstrings and glutes. It needs to be performed with a lighter weight than you would use for a traditional deadlift as you are lifting with your lower back and not pushing with your legs. 

Set up as you would for a traditional deadlift, stand at the bar with feet at shoulder width, bend the knees slightly and lean over the bar grabbing it that is just wider than shoulder width. 

Stiff leg deadlift

Use an overhand grip and raise the bar upwards by straightening the spine and hinging at the hip. Keep the legs in a rigid but slightly bent position. 

Use a moderate weight with a slow, controlled motion. Strict form and maximum time under tension is the key to the stiff-legged deadlift. 

Glute kickbacks

Glute kickbacks are a great exercise for isolating the gluteal muscles. they can be performed on a glute kickback machine, a low cable pulley with an ankle strap or just with bodyweight. 

Glute kickback


The deadlift is known as the king of lifts as it targets the entire posterior chain. If you regularly train with heavy deadlifts, you probably already have well developed gluteal muscles. 


If you have never used deadlifts before, add them into your bodybuilding routine and see the benefits in your glutes, posterior chain and pretty much all other major muscles in the body. It is a good idea to wear a lifting belt for safety and wrist straps to assist with grip strength

Kettlebell swings

Kettlebell swings do not really do much for the glutes by way of hypertrophy but are great for adding flexibility and mobility. Try adding them in as a warm-up or as a finisher at the end of a heavy back 
Kettlebell swing

If you are just using smith machine hip thrusts for functional strength and mobility, try switching it out for kettlebell swing occasionally. 

Glute bridge

There are a few key differences between the smith machine hip thrust and the glute bridge. The primary difference is that the hip thrust is a compound exercise that uses both the hips and the glutes. 

The glute bridge, on the other hand, is an isolation exercise that uses just the glutes.

Glute bridge

Glute bridge vs smith machine hip thrusts

The hip thrust has several great benefits that make it a better choice than the glute bridge. 

First, it’s a more versatile exercise. You can use it for strength training, cardio, and hypertrophy. 

Second, it’s a more challenging exercise. Because it uses both your hips and your glutes, it will help to build both muscle and strength. 

Third, it works your core muscles as well as your glutes. 

Fourth, it’s a great way to improve your balance and coordination. 

And finally, it’s a great workout for your legs and butt! 

There are several problems with the glute bridge. 

The first is that it can be hard to do, especially if you haven’t done a lot of glute work before. Also, it can be dangerous if you don’t have proper form. 

And finally, it doesn’t build as much as the hip thrust does. 

So for all those reasons, this exercise is probably not for everyone. If you want to give your butt a workout but don’t want to stress your back or knees, look no further than the hip thrust!


In conclusion, we can see that the Smith machine is a great way to perform hip thrusts. It allows you to perform an otherwise awkward exercise in a comfortable, convenient and safe way. No messing around with a barbell bar, no uneasy balancing and no risk of the bar crushing your hips. 

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