Shown in the video I demonstrate a hip thrust set up for those that can't get their hands on a fancy machine. I'm using normal gym club steps as I like adjusting the height to my preference, but a gym bench works as well. @bretcontreras1 has studied the hip thrust exercise intensively, and we definitely credit him with popularizing this great exercise. Most recently, he has published 2 peer-reviewed articles looking more in-depth at the barbell hip thrust.
His first article in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics in 2016 compared the EMG activities of the gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and vastus lateralis during the barbell hip thrust, banded hip thrust, and the american hip thrust. He found that the barbell hip thrust variation elicited statically greater mean gluteus maximus EMG amplitude in comparison to the American and banded hip thrusts. What the differences between the three variations? The barbell variation is shown in the video. Simple. The American version incorporates a posteior pelvic tilt along with the hip thrust, which was thought to promote greater gluteus maximus activation. The banded hip thrust is something along the lines of the Cali Lift Glute Developer. KEY TAKEAWAY? Do the barbell hip thrust variation for greatest EMG activation.
His second article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning in 2016 compared the barbell hip thrust to the front squat. He found that the barbell hip thrust was likely superior for improving normalized isometric mid-thigh pull strength and potentially had beneficial effects for 10m and 20m sprint times. This is in comparison to the front squat which revealed potential beneficial effects for increasing vertical jump height. KEY TAKEAWAY? Training specificity is EXTREMELY important. A hip thrust motion (horizontal) may translate more to horizontal velocity and sprint speeds whereas a front squat (vertical) may translate more to vertical jump height.