Hip thrusts and glutes bridges are one of the best categories of exercises out there. They strengthen the often weak glutes and hamstrings. They’re easy to load and relatively hard to hurt yourself doing, especially compared to other exercises like squats and deadlifts.
They belong in some variation in just about every training program.
However, loading up hip thrusts with a barbell creates a problem. It’s really uncomfortable. You can either rest it on your hip bone and let your pelvis suffer, or you can move it a bit up and let your intestines crumble.
They’re all bad options. That’s where barbell pads can come in.
There are plenty of people who might just tell you to “tough it out.” This is not a gloves-at-the-gym situation. Your hands do get callouses and adjust to grabbing weights. Your pelvis will always feel crushed.
This is holding you back from lifting more weight. I’ve seen people add a hip thrust pad and add literally 100 pounds to their glute bridges right away. Literally the following set. Once you add the pad, you can focus on the task at hand. For just a few bucks that is a huge return on investment when it comes to strength gains.
Sure, it’s better than nothing, but that old piece of foam that’s filled with everybody’s neck and hip sweat has been crushed under weights countless times. Besides being kinda gross, it’s worth it to get your own.
And, almost all hip thrust pads you can buy, as we’ll look at, fit into your gym bag.
However, not all of the products out there are the same. There are many different styles of varying quality. Here’s a look at 10 of the best hip thrust pads.
Now, keep in mind, we wanted to include various styles and types so you can get a spectrum of what’s available, so “best” can mean many things. It’s a blend of quality, cost, comfort, and more. You can see our “How We Ranked” section for more on this.
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
This is the best product on the market for hip thrusts and glute bridges. In fact, it’s one of the only products that’s made specifically for hip thrusts and glute bridges.
Most other products are neck pads that double as hip thrust pads, which isn’t ideal because they’re not made for the unique challenges of hip thrusts.
Specifically, the bar can rest right on the pad, wherever feels best for you, and it stays put. Unlike most products which are circular, you don’t have to worry about the bar rolling round as you go for a heavy set.
And the Abmat is probably the most durable product on the market. I’ve had mine for several years now, and it works as good as new with no real signs of damage. It does come in at $50 price point, which is more expensive than most, but there’s a good reason for that: it’s the best one.
It’s the most durable, the one that will keep you comfortable during your hip thrusts and allow you to truly challenge yourself without annoying worries.
Dark Iron’s barbell pad is also a great option. It isn’t made for hip thrusts specifically, but it doesn’t have the arch in the middle that you’ll see in other products. While that arch is nice for back squats, it serves no purpose here.
This product, like the Abmat, also holds up with heavier weights. It is made of foam, but it’s a super dense foam that doesn’t flatten, and I can tell it’s made from higher quality materials than most other brands.
Finally, at just $20, you won’t beat the price. So if you’re looking for something cheaper, this is the best one in this price range.
Another durable option, I also like the J Bryant barbell pad because it’s not arched. More importantly for hip thrusts, this one will withstand heavy weight.
It’s high-quality, but it’s also very thick. So if you see yourself doing hip thrusts in the 405+ plus range, either go with this one or the Abmat. Coming in at $38, it’s very well priced for the quality.
The thickness, I will say, isn’t all upside. For hip thrusts and can be obnoxiously thick, but other people I’ve talked to don’t mind it, so it’s a bit of personal preference.
For under $20, this is the least expensive option that I can still give a nod to when it comes to quality. Clearly it’s made for squats, because it has the arch where the neck goes, but it still gets the job done.
In fact, unlike the two previous options, this one is much easier to slide on and off, so it does have its convenient advantages.
It won’t hold up to the same level with heavy weights, but it’s still a solid, dependable option, at a great price.
This option from Power Guidance is a unique one on the market. And it’s only one of two options on our list that’s made specifically for hip thrusts.
In this one, the square part will rest against your hips, rather than a round part.
I love the concept, but some users report that it doesn’t hold the bar snugly, so I could benefit from some fine-tuning.
This one is just like the Iron Bull one, for the most part. In fact, if we’re being honest they probably use the same exact foam from the same exact manufacturer.
The main difference is it has a velcro strap.
From a technical standpoint, this sounds like all upside. It keeps the pad in place. However, it’s annoying to take on and off, and that can really break up the flow of your workout.
So use this as long as you’re willing to leave it on while you do all your sets of hip thrusts, it might be a better option since it’ll stay in place.
This bar pad from Harbinger is thinner than most of the other ones on the market, so if you don’t want something bulky, this is a good option.
It’s not as good for heavier weights, like the Abmat or J Bryant, but holds up as well as a few of our previous options. At just $18, it’s an inexpensive option. It’s also only 14” long (they also have a 16” option). This is a few inches shorter than most products, and because it’s thin, this makes it the easiest to fit into your gym bag.
This is another thick pad that can withstand heavier weights. It also has the velcro that goes across the pad, so it will stay in place. It’s made of leather, so it’s higher quality and durable.
The thicker pads can definitely limit your mobility though.
This pad comes with straps, but they completely slide off, so it gives you an option. This is nice because sometimes you may need the extra stability, for extra heavy or challenging sets. Other times, you can leave the straps off.
Be careful though, those little straps are super easy to lose, if you’re a forgetful clutz like me.
All right, we gotta talk about how this one comes in four cool colors. Aside from that, it’s nothing special, but at a similar price point and similar quality to many of the other foam options on the list, the color options have to count for something. They have black, blue, pink, and red available.
While our list is filled 1-10, the reality is depending on what you’re looking for, you might prefer one over another, even if we’ve ranked it lower.
So as long as you understand where we’re coming from with our rankings, you can make your own decision.
Our number one ranking factor is how well the hip thrust pad does its job. It’s job, it’s only job, is to allow us to hip thrust heavy without any discomfort or worrying about the bar sliding or staying put.
The top options do a much better job of this, and in particular the Rogue Abmat, because, as we’ve said, this is the only thing it was made to do.
Another key ranking factor is how well it holds up with heavy weights. Glute bridges are an exercise where many people do 225, 315, 405 or ever more. It has to keep performing well, even under heavy loads.
Our top three I trust with these heavy loads.
Will it last a long time? Will it survive living in your gym bag? You don’t want to have to come back to this article a few years from now and get another one. We biased the ones that are higher quality, like the Rogue Abmat and J Bryant.
Cost as number 4? Yes. In this particular case, we didn’t worry about cost too much because all of these are inexpensive. It’s an inexpensive, one-time cost. Ranging from $20-$50 is not a huge difference in the grand scheme, as you’ll get way more out of whatever you pay in the form of booty gains.
When you think about all the oher things you spend money on when it comes to fitness, like supplements, workouts, clothing, and more, this is an insignificant cost.
That said, we still for sure considered the price in our rankings, and understand some people will prefer to save $30 and get a cheaper option.
Now that you’ve got your hip thrust pad, you have to do your hip thrusts. And, you should make sure you do them with great form and understand where they should fit in your program.