Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2019) 18, 198 - 206

Review article
Barbell Hip Thrust, Muscular Activation and Performance: A Systematic Review
Walter Krause Neto1,2, , Thais Lima Vieira2, Eliane Florencio Gama1
Author Information
1 Department of Physical Education, Laboratory of Morphoquantitative Studies and Immunohistochemistry, São Judas Tadeu University, São Paulo-SP, Brazil
2 Department of Graduate Studies, Estácio de Sá University, São Paulo-SP, Brazil

Walter Krause Neto
✉ Rua Taquari, 546 - Mooca Unit - P.O box 03166-000 - São Paulo, SP – Brazil
Publish Date
Received: 27-08-2018
Accepted: 24-01-2019
Published (online): 01-06-2019
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The present systematic review aimed to analyze the activation of the muscles involved in the barbell hip thrust (BHT) and its transfer to sports activities that include horizontal displacement. A search of the current literature was performed using the PubMed, SPORTDiscuss, Scopus and Google Scholar databases. The inclusion criteria were: (a) descriptive studies, (b) physically trained participants, (c) analyzed muscle activation using normalized EMG signals or as a percentage of maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) and (d) acute or chronic transfer of the BHT to horizontal displacement activity. Twelve articles met the inclusion criteria and the following results were found: 1) neuromuscular activation: hip extensor muscles (gluteus maximus and biceps femoris) demonstrated greater activation in the BHT compared to the squat. The straight bar deadlift exercise demonstrated greater biceps femoris activation than BHT; 2) Regardless of the BHT variation and intensity used, the muscle excitation sequence is gluteus maximus, erector spinae, biceps femoris, semitendinosus, vastus lateralis, gluteus medius, vastus medialis and rectus femoris; 3) acute transfer: four studies demonstrated a significant improvement in sprinting activities after BHT exercise; 4) as for the chronic transfer: two studies demonstrated improvement of the sprint time, while other two studies failed to present such effect. We concluded that: a) the mechanics of BHT favors greater activation of the hip extensor muscles compared to more conventional exercises; b) regardless of the variation of BHT used, the muscle excitation sequence is gluteus maximus, erector spinae, hamstrings, and quadriceps femoris; c) the acute transfer of the post-activation potentiation of the BHT is significant, improving the sprinting time; and d) despite training with BHT submaximal loads can improve sprint times, further investigations are needed.

Key words: Exercise, skeletal muscle, muscle contraction, athletic performance, sports

           Key Points
  • Barbell hip thrust exercise presents greater activation of the hip extensor muscles compared to more conventional exercises.
  • Post-activation potentiation of the barbell hip thrust is significant, improving short sprint time.
  • Barbell hip thrust training with sub-maximal loads can improve sprint times.
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