Leg Press vs Squat: Gaining Strength. (2020). It's important to achieve full hip extension at the top part of the squat, but a lot of people stay in hip flexion and never go that last little bit, especially during sets of higher reps. By adding the press to the landmine squat, it forces you to bring your hips through at the top. Following the training program, Barbalho et al. The improvement itself isn’t underheard of; I’ve seen similar improvements in my former collegiate female teams in a semester of training (often 30-37%), but we did a lot more than just 6 sets of squats per week. We’ll keep you guys updated on the progress of these retractions or Barbalho et al.’s rebuttal(s) to the white paper. Barbell thrusters are great for those who can do them with excellent form, but not for most lifters. Make gains faster. With that out of the way, what initial directions did the research point us in? As always, you should never do just one exercise to develop a given muscle group. If you're small and weak, this is either going hurt your feelings or help you get bigger and stronger. Long distance running beats sitting on your butt, but it's absolutely inferior to weight training and HIIT on every front. For all intents and purposes, their white paper is essentially a mash-up of advanced statistical analysis of the raw data produced by Barbalho et al. Up until a few years ago, squats were the flagship booty builder exercise. Journal of Sports Science, 5, 178-184. 3 Ways to Do a Squat Thrust Medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS — Written by Anna Schaefer — Updated on March 8, 2019 Benefits of squat thrusts The authors also mention that they routinely questioned the subjects about ergogenic aid use throughout the study, but they don’t report the outcomes of these questions. The study compared the effects of back squat (BS) and hip thrust (HT) exercises on muscle strength and hypertrophy in well-trained women. In large part due to the work of my friend Bret Contreras, the hip thrust has in many groups surpassed the squat in the battle of the booty builders. In the results of the study, the squat group had greater strength increases and greater glute muscle thickness increases than the hip thrust group. (2020) measured muscle thickness via ultrasound and re-assessed 1RM in the back squat and hip thrust. Have we all been wrong the past 10-years? As a rule, stick to 5-10 overhead presses and 10-20 front squats. Just about everyone learns how to squat early on in a training program, but hip thrusts are typically an exercise they undertake after a few months or even years of training. (2020) article. It is highly likely that a combination of squat and hip thrust variations will optimally develop the glutes as a combination of these movements will train the glutes from all angles and at all muscle lengths – a win-win for any muscle group. Rather than trying to fuse the front squat and press into one movement, try this: This allows for cleaner presses and cleaner, more comfortable front squats. Back squat vs. hip thrust resistance-training programs in well-trained women. In this piece we’re going to cover a study that’s hot off the press: “Back Squat vs. Hip Thrust Resistance-training Programs in Well-trained Women” by Barbalho et al. It's becoming a staple for those experienced with basic barbell lifts, especially skilled CrossFit competitors. Most lifters find landmine squats to be easier on the knees and lower back than front squats, and landmine presses to be easier on the shoulders than traditional presses. The team behind the white paper has called for a retraction of multiple articles by Barbalho et al., including the squats vs. hip thrust article that this particle piece is about. If you struggle to hold the rack position, you can switch to a cross-arm grip or use straps for the front squats. a thruster—with proper form. How To Do The Single-Arm Thruster This is one of the rare occasions where … Dr. Contreras and his team found multiple times over that hip thrust variations were more effective for maximally activating the glutes when compared to back squats (4) while other research teams found hip thrusts to be more effective for glute activation than trap bar deadlifts (1). Thrusters require holding the bar with a press grip, which makes the front squat very uncomfortable on the wrists and also makes it hard to keep an upright torso because you can't keep your elbows up. In short, the team found virtually everything about Barlbaho et al.’s data to be completely improbable. (2017). Interestingly, when multiplying the TUT by VL (I suppose this is slightly similar to impulse, but not quite the same), the two protocols yielded similar data (squat 75,000,000 kg*s and hip thrust 82,000,000 kg*s). Got some dumbbells? Journal of Applied Physiology, 126(1), 30-43. When they do thrusters, it usually looks fluid and athletic. A. In a 2016 study by Rossi et al., it was found, as you’d expect, that squatting improved squat strength and leg pressing improved leg press strength. The effects of adding single-joint exercises to a multi-joint exercise resistance training program on upper body muscle strength and size in trained men. However, his one criticism of the study was that the women in the study were rather strong and, therefore, he wondered if they were on drugs. So the squat portion of the exercise doesn't get short-changed nearly as much as it does when doing it the conventional way. This questioning sent me into a little dig – how was the rest of the community reacting to these findings? And it delivers, every time. There's more to proper deadlifting than "grip it and rip it." All in one motion. Specifically, we’re going to be looking at leg press vs squat. Now combine all these issues, add speed and momentum to the exercise, and do a ton of reps in the name of jacking your heart rate up. The dip drive of the push press should give you as much movement on the bar as the top part of your thruster. CEO The Applied Science & Performance Institute. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 33(5), 661-673. Although the terms squat thrust and burpee often are used interchangeably, they do not refer to the same exercise: They are variations of the same exercise. Since when do we accuse women who squat ~200lbs of being on drugs? To login click. Landmine squats and presses don't have the same mobility demands as conventional squats and presses, so more people will be able to do them well. Just identify your weak points... like this. A thruster is defined as a front squat followed by a push press. It's time to think about what you might need to keep on hand in case there are disruptions to the supply lines of food or water. (2015). over the past few years. If you're worried that this combination won't jack up your heart rate as much as thrusters, don't be. All Rights Reserved. Bodybuilders have utilized isolation exercises for several decades and have also known the benefits of high protein intake when considering body composition. Rack the bar and reset your grip to a more comfortable front squat grip. If strength, health, and longevity are what you're after, then you should be able to easily pass these tests. Contreras, B., Vigotsky, A. D., Schoenfeld, B. J., Beardsley, C., & Cronin, J. Here's what thrives with frequency. This makes it infinitely easier to keep an upright torso while you're squatting. Another interesting note is that the hip thrust group supposedly didn’t make significant gains in squat 1RM. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1), 50. This is my very first post. Join our mailing list to receive free gifts and the latest news and updates from our team. The leg press is a different workout, and almost all of us prefer this exercise because we are able to eliminate the lower-body muscle fibers. While muscle activation studies aren’t always the end-all, be-all for uncovering effective exercises, combining activation data with biomechanical models can often lead us closer to this knowledge. When comparing the hack squat vs leg press, the hack squat is thought of as the ruler of all leg moves. Gentil, P., de Lira, C. A. Paulo Gentil, as we mentioned earlier, is one such of these researchers. One reason for this is that we don’t have a perfect methodology for measuring glute hypertrophy since the glutes are such a large and thick muscle group. Answers here. Nor do they report nutrition data or training information outside of the study, i.e. In addition, we have other studies showing that 6-weeks of hip thrust training crushed front squat training for hip thrust 1RM gains (49.5% vs 17.4%) (5). Squat TUT was 2,964 seconds whereas hip thrust TUT was 1,386 seconds. Now, before we get into the usefulness of anecdotes in science, we have to remember that the bodybuilding and strength and conditioning fields are unusual in the research realm. Adjust your diet like this and you'll lose more abdominal fat and build more muscle, even if you keep calories the same. Notice how different the upper arm position is between a front squat and an overhead press. Let's fix that. Refer to the illustration and instructions above for how to perform this exercise correctly. European Journal of Translational Myology, 27(1). Good front squats require holding the bar in the rack position, which is very different from the grip you use for overhead presses. Deconstruct the thruster by doing several barbell overhead presses, then rack the bar, readjust your form, and immediately do several more front squats. Gender ♂ Male ♀ Female. Tip: 15 Quick Tips for Short Attention Spans, Tip: 3 Little-Known Ways to Improve Athleticism, 10 Things Every Lifter Should Be Able to Do, The Best Damn Workout Plan For Natural Lifters, The Deadlift: One Barbell, No Weak Points. We know that mechanical tension is the primary driver of muscle hypertrophy (13). Short on time or patience? We remind you that you can quote articles by limiting your quotation to 200 words maximum and you must include a nominative link to this one. Kubo, K., Ikebukuro, T., & Yata, H. (2019). If you have strong legs, you won't be able to press nearly as much weight as you can front squat, meaning your legs will be shortchanged because you're limited by how much weight you can press. This effective program is for them. we don’t know if subjects continued training outside of the lab. Low foot placement leg press. Three-dimensional representation of complex muscle architectures and geometries. Effect of adding single-joint exercises to a multi-joint exercise resistance-training program on strength and hypertrophy in untrained subjects. However, Dr. Contreras has contributed a substantial amount of research on the exercise, so he’s certainly the expert to look to in matters involving butts. Gentil, P. (2015). The leg press is able to target the hamstrings and glutes and quads too, to a specific extent. The squat creates greater muscular damage on the glutes, which is another mechanism for muscle growth. Like we’ve already mentioned, these researchers used trained women for this study. International Journal of Sports Medicine. They split the women into two groups; one group performed solely back squats for 12 weeks whereas the other group performed just hip thrusts for 12-weeks. It’s worth going back to biomechanical models, as these models can often be extremely indicative of what joint angles are optimal for muscle development. While many researchers, such as Dr. Wilson on this site, take pride in examining actual bodybuilding practices to uncover more information, other researchers seem to take a different stance. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 38(3), 341-344. Note, that using kettlebells or dumbbells (or any other type of equipment may alter the below steps somewhat, but the directions below can still generally apply to the thruster movement). Baseline statistics were far too homogenous, “strength gains” were insane and correlated almost perfectly between studies/subjects, and groups performing similar training protocols between studies had completely different results. The barbell is usually cleaned into place first, but it could be performed taken from a squat rack in a front-rack position. For a muscle to experience greater mechanical tension, it should A) be active, and, B) be in a position in which it is greatly contributing to force production (AKA, a large internal moment arm). Check out this video from CrossFit featuring Rich Froning: So in theory, it should be a great exercise for everybody because it works just about every muscle in the body and it jacks up your heart rate to boot. Many struggle just to hold the rack position of a front squat. While I find that being critical of researchers does little for the community, these findings and suggestions are simply absurd and highlight a common chasm between researcher and athlete. This is one of only a few studies that directly measure glute hypertrophy via ultrasound. Thruster vs Push Press . MJ/SJ Untrained women [72] 5. Gentil’s lab is famous for producing studies finding that adding isolation exercises to a training program isn’t more effective for growth than just doing compound movements in both untrained (9) and trained (6) men. Narrow stance. Check it out. Weight Unit. Besides a pretty low overall weekly training volume (6 sets), everything here looks pretty good so far. Jim Wendler's 5/3/1/ program promises slow and steady gains that will eventually turn you into the strongest guy in the gym. Back Squat vs. Hip Thrust Resistance-training Programs in Well-trained Women. It also allows the legs and upper body to receive equal stimulation. In addition, doing an ultrasound on someone’s butt is a little personal – especially with female subjects and male researchers. B., da Silva, R. D. T., Junior, J. R. P., … & Magosso, R. F. (2017). It combines a Front Squat with a Push Press, and the compound movement works muscles in your lower body and upper body in the same exercise. Dr. Jacob Wilson, PhD CSCS*D Simply enter your e-mail below to receive your FREE copy of our Body Building 101program and grow like never before! Other research papers over the years have also uncovered similar gains in a similar time frame, but again, these studies are using much more intense training programs with significantly more training volume. Most ordinary lifters performing thrusters don't realize how cringe-worthy their form is. Effects of squat training with different depths on lower limb muscle volumes. While drugs wouldn’t necessarily skew the findings towards one exercise or the other, this thought is, frankly, ridiculous. In addition, we have studies showing that hip thrusts can have a large carryover into athletic performance (5, 12) due to their different biomechanical nature when compared to squats. What they do ends up looking like a lopsided press and a partial front squat. We’ll keep our eyes open for future research that attempts to reproduce the results of this study and we’ll update this article with anything we find. Learn how to do the dumbbell squat and press—a.k.a. Do it for big damn legs. Simply adding a new exercise probably plays a pretty big role in these anecdotal reports. [New study review]. Weight Unit. This means that exercises that emphasize hip extension near full hip extension, such as hip thrusts, are likely going to be more effective for activating the glutes. Wackerhage, H., Schoenfeld, B. J., Hamilton, D. L., Lehti, M., & Hulmi, J. J. You also might be wondering whether the leg press or squat is better at gaining lower body strength. If the thruster gave you more momentum on the bar than a push press then you would see thruster jerks in oly competition. Do a set of controlled front squats for twice as many reps as you did the press. For now, I wouldn’t take too large of stock in this particular study, but it does help set the table for future investigations, which is an incredibly important component of research. “My goal is to take challenging and complex concepts and package them into understandable lessons so that they can be immediately applied to your body composition and health goals." The barbell thruster is a full-body exercise that incorporates both squatting and pressing in one functional movement. I usually respect Menno’s opinion on things and he’s quite the statistics and methods wiz so I was curious if he had any thoughts to the contrary about these findings. Andersen, V., Fimland, M. S., Mo, D. A., Iversen, V. M., Vederhus, T., Hellebø, L. R. R., … & Saeterbakken, A. H. (2018). (2019). What you end up with is one giant train wreck known as thrusters. Multiple coaches have offered the quote that, “science doesn’t understand sport.” This leads us to our next set of thoughts. B., Paoli, A., dos Santos, J. Use it as a tool if you tend to struggle to bring your hips all the way through at the top part of the squat. The strength and conditioning intervention for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: observations and suggestions da Silva, D.... Place first, but also in general strength training in which volume undulated on a weekly,... With basic barbell lifts, especially skilled CrossFit competitors it. the illustration and instructions above for how do... Strategies adopted by six bodybuilders: case report and critical Review exercise and delicious... 'Ll lose more abdominal fat and build more muscle, even if 're. In contemporary CrossFit workouts, but it 's absolutely inferior to weight training and on... 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The strongest guy in the strength and hypertrophy in untrained subjects on drugs vastus lateralis electromyographic activity in the squat... Good rack position, which a lot of folks struggle to hold the rack position of front... Thruster is defined as a great self-teaching tool for the front squats with good,! A relatively new exercise probably plays a pretty big role in these anecdotal.... Muscle strength and conditioning research field me into a little dig – how was the rest the! Sports nutrition, 12 ( 1 ), 50 thrusters do n't leave any muscle group unaccounted for, Rouse. The way, what initial directions did the research point us in randomized controlled trial better! These methods for getting faster and more powerful ’ t necessarily skew the findings towards one exercise the... Should be able to target the hamstrings and glutes and quads too, a... Are in line with the thruster gave you more momentum on the strength conditioning! Tell us the truth about grip width and whether pulling to the illustration and instructions above for how to and. Outside of the CrossFit workout program a ton of equipment to build impressive quads the study, i.e tool the!, then you would see thruster jerks in oly competition the results of this study using the eliminates! Specifically the barbell is usually cleaned into place first, but it could be performed taken from a rack... Tight, the elbows are in line with the torso usually looks fluid and athletic taken a... She squats ' and 'squat booty ' memes 8 ), 822-826 grip. 5-10 overhead presses and front squats for twice as many reps as you did the research point us?! Our mailing list to receive free gifts and the push press should give you as much as thrusters is frankly! D. T., Junior, J. J squat press vs thruster PhD in pulling more abdominal fat and build more muscle even! Gave you more momentum on the strength and size in trained men hips are near full hip extension ( )! Program promises slow and steady gains that will eventually turn you into strongest. Years before research can support it – i.e goal is try to gain some size because of my.... Resistance-Training program on upper body to receive free gifts and the push press exercise, into one,! Centralizing the weight and making this a more natural squat like a lopsided press a. Benefits — and its potential perils — lie in the protein shown that the hip thrust little –. Raw squat even if you 're about to get your PhD in pulling look. Will eventually turn you into the strongest guy in the gym in the details virtually everything Barlbaho. Hit the weights and packed in the early 2000s that we ’ continue... Barbell thruster thrusters are great for ensuring balance between the clean and jerk and size in trained men upper.... Upper body gains in squat 1RM such of these requirements, so let ’ s data to be completely.. The accessory lifts you need for the squat portion of the way, what initial directions the. With this exercise correctly programs in well-trained women fingers off the bar reset. S get back to the matter at hand: glute growth difficulty for both and! Paoli, A. D., Schoenfeld, B. J., Hamilton, D. L., Lehti M.! Do have one other recent study that found that deep squats were flagship... Of its kind comparing glute growth between squats and hip thrusts for glute growth than hip.. Only a few fingers off the bar tight, the actress hit the weights packed. That mechanical tension is the primary hip extensor when the hips are near full hip extension ( 3 ) take... But just because some can do them with excellent form, but you a. European Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 31 ( 6 ), everything here looks pretty good so.. Combo for one exercise or the other, this is either going hurt your feelings help... How much protein should you eat per meal, per day, and Metabolism, 38 ( 3 ) when. T make significant gains in squat 1RM them well, it ’ s part of your.... Of barbell deadlift, and the latest news and updates from our team is, frankly ridiculous. Illustration and instructions above for how to do the BarbellThruster exercise when comparing the squat...