Hip thrust pads are a quick way to protect your hips, stabilize the bar, and push more weight. Here is a breakdown of my favorite barbell pads for hip thrusts.
The hip thrust has become one of the most popular exercises in the gym in recent years.
There is a heap of benefits to hip thrusts, including:
The exercise is very effective for creating killer hip extension. The learning curve on hip thrusts is short, it targets your glutes and posterior chain like few other exercises can, and will help power up your main lifts.
But as awesome as the exercise is, there is that stainless-steel or chrome barbell being loaded up right by your private parts.
As you get stronger and begin pushing serious weight, and the bar is balanced on your upper thighs, you will want to provide protection and padding between yourself and the bar.
Bruising, discomfort, loose weights, and a bar digging painfully into your thighs and pelvis don’t need to be part of the deal.
Enter the hip thrust pad.
Simple in design, a good hip thrust pad will protect your crotch and bones, stabilize the bar, and ultimately help you lift more weight safely.
Here is a rundown on the best barbell pads for hip thrusts.
Iron Bull Strength Barbell Pad
⭐ Best barbell pad for hip thrusts
Thick, super comfortable, and a piece of cake to clamp on and off the bar, the Iron Bull Hip Thrust and Squat Pad is my number one pick.
Using this pad, instead of my local gym’s soft, velcro-snapping pad almost instantly added an extra 80 pounds to my hip thrusts. Because the bar was no longer jabbing through the thin padding from my gym’s pad, and also not rolling around when I tried to explode up through the ascent of the lift, I was able to pile on a couple of extra plates and smash some PRs.
The Iron Bull pad is very thick—with 1.25 inches of durable foam, you won’t feel the bar through it at all. I regularly use this pad with weights of up to 450 pounds and it happily takes the beating without falling apart.
The above pad has seen bi-weekly use for the past six months and it still looks brand new.
Make sure that when you clamp on the bar pad to have the opening facing up so that the bar doesn’t slide out when lifting.
Inexpensive, durable, and available in a half dozen colors, the Iron Bull is the ultimate barbell pad for hip thrusts. Pick one up at Amazon for less than $20 here.
Iron Bull also sells it from their official store online here.
Rogue Hip Thrust Pad
⭐ Best flat pad for hip thrusts
While a neck barbell pad can be easily used for doing hip thrusts, and there are a lot of reasons for using one, there is another option for padding your hips and pelvis (besides rolling a yoga mat or stuffing pillows between yourself and the barbell).
Rogue’s Hip Thrust Pad is designed specifically for doing hip thrusts and protecting the pelvis while keeping the bar in place.
Rogue, who also makes some of my garage gym gear, including their bumper plates and flat weight bench, built this pad 1.75″ thick, giving you lots of padding, no matter how heavy you crank up the hip thrusts.
I wasn’t completely sold on this kind of pad (hence why it wasn’t in my original draft of this round-up), but I bought one and really liked it.
Even though it’s flat, the barbell stayed firmly in place, “sinking” into the pad, and the pad is long enough at 18 inches that it fully protected my hips from the bar.
The only drawback is that they are more expensive than your traditional neck pad (Rogue sells them for about $50–check their site for current pricing and availability), but if you hip thrust a lot and want a pad that is designed especially for this lift, you really can’t go wrong with it.
J Bryant Extra Thick Hip Thrust Pad
Looking for a pad that is all sorts you thick? The J Bryant barbell pad is the thickest one on the market, with a width of almost 6” total, giving you just over 2” of high-density foam padding between you and the barbell.
The exterior of the pad is made with non-slip leather that won’t slide around when exercising. The pad is cinched and locked on the barbell using a heavy-duty Velcro closure that fully closes when in use (unlike many of the “open” pads on the market).
Another little thing I really like about this pad is the small loop at the end of the pad which means you can easily carry it to the gym and hang it when not in use.
Lifters who want to provide extra cushioning to their hip thrusting will love this pad. Price-wise, J Bryant retails them for around $40, making them a mid-range pad that is upper-level thick.
Power Guidance Square Hip Thrust Pad
Hip thrust pads, as they have become more popular in gyms, are starting to come in different shapes and sizes. One of my favorites is this square-bottomed hip thrust cushion made by the folks at Power Guidance.
The shell of the pad is made with a polyester-leather material that doesn’t absorb sweat and won’t slip and slide, no matter how sweaty you get.
The square bottom prevents the barbell from rolling away when you are doing your hip thrusts, and the Velcro closure keeps the pad secured to the bar when training. The flat bottom also makes it ideal for padding the barbell when doing bench press and you don’t want to risk bouncing the bar off your chest.
Available in both black and pink, Power Guidance offers a no-questions-asked refund policy for the pad. It’s priced very reasonably at $25-28 depending on the color you choose (check Amazon for current pricing and shipping options).
The square shape is a great alternative for hip thrusters who want to eliminate barbell rolling when performing this glute-blasting exercise.
ProFitness Barbell Pad for Hip Thrusts
If you are nervous about the pad rolling off while in use, the ProFitness bar pad is right up your alley.
The overall structure and design of the pad are almost identical to the Iron Bull pad, but with one very key difference: the two straps that allow you to super-secure the pad to the barbell, keeping it tightly in place so that you can focus exclusively on lifting like a champion.
Made with durable rubberized foam and easy to slide on and off the bar, the ProFitness hip thrust pad distributes the weight of the bar across the pad so that you can focus on hitting peak strength and form when lifting.
Priced very competitively, it comes in three colors, and has a solid five-star rating on Amazon from nearly a thousand reviewers.
Gladiator Strength Barbell Pad
Another in the extra thick pads, the Gladiators Strength also has two straps for a secure fit on the barbell, which means that you don’t have to worry about the pad sliding out when you are doing hip thrusts.
This hip thrust pad is also the thickest on our little list, with the non-slip, rubberized foam coming in at 1.3 inches in the thickness department.
The only drawback is that the straps are not attached to the pad, which means you will want to store and haul them with care as to not lose the straps.
Dark Iron Fitness Barbell Pad
The Dark Iron Fitness Barbell Pad is built like your more traditional bar pad. Although it is not as thick as the other pads on this list, doesn’t have the U-shape that makes it more comfortable on squats, and isn’t as thick (0.75”), this pad performs well.
Designed to wrap easily around your standard Olympic barbell, and featuring a Velcro-clasp to properly secure the pad to the bar, the Dark Iron Fitness is a budget-friendly barbell pad that won’t wilt under heavy weight or absorb sweat and moisture.
Gymletics Barbell Pad Kit
Building a thick booty is a predominant part of just about everyone’s workout routines these days.
Go to your local gym and there is a constant battle for cable machines to do kick-backs and benches for hip thrusting. With the Gymletics Barbell Pad and Ankle Straps Kit, you get a full bag of goodies for all of your booty blasting workouts.
The Gymletics Barbell Pad and Straps Kit comes with a 1.2-inch thick barbell pad for squatting and hip thrusting in comfort. The pad has a U-shape that makes the bar sit comfortably on your shoulders or hips.
But what sets this pad apart from the others are the collection of straps and resistance band that come with it. You get the straps for the pad itself, ankle straps for cable kick-backs, and a fabric resistance band for doing those high-rep glute exercises to sculpt and build your glutes. The gear is all stored in a breathable mesh bag.
Well rated, with a high 4 out of 5 rating on Amazon, and available in black and pink, the Gymletics Barbell Pad kit is an excellent bar pad for both beginners and intermediate lifters.
What are the Benefits of Hip Thrust Pads?
Hip thrust bar pads are essential for anyone who likes doing barbell hip thrusts.
They are extremely inexpensive and provide a heaping ton of benefits to lifters and athletes.
While gymgoers are understandably torn on the benefits of using this kind of pad for barbell squats, when it comes to hip thrusts, there’s no question that they will help you lift more weight more safely.
Here are the main benefits of using this specific tool.
1. Adds comfort to your hip thrusts.
Hip thrusts are one of my favorite all-time exercises in the gym. As someone who isn’t gifted with naturally thick glutes, this exercise is an excellent option for targeting the gluteal complex.
That said, as you get stronger with this exercise, and the weight starts to get extra weighty, you’ll quickly notice the discomfort of having a barbell across the hips.
In a study that found that hip thrusts were more effective than back squats for targeting the glutes, participants also noted the discomfort that comes with loading weight across the hip joint.
While fitness manufacturers are coming out with dedicated hip thrust machines that seek to alleviate this discomfort and add a fixed path to the exercise, hip thrust pads are your best friend for lifters who want to use a barbell for this exercise.
2. Hip thrust pads can be used for other exercises.
Barbell hop thrust pads can often be used for other exercises in the gym. The pads that clamp onto barbells can also be used when doing back squats to protect your shoulders and neck from the weight drilling into your musculature and bones.
Similarly, the flatter hip thrust pads, like the one made by Rogue, is a great pad that can be used for stretching. Although not particularly designed for it, I love using mine for padding my knee when doing kneeling hip flexor stretches.
[Got tight hip flexors? Check out this comprehensive review I did on Unlock Your Hip Flexors here.]
3. Prevents the barbell from rolling and seesawing.
Now let’s talk safety. (Because safety never takes a holiday, am I right?) Stability is crucial when you are lifting heavy weights during your workouts. A barbell that wobbles and rolls is a significant risk to you and your workout buddies.
When propping a loaded barbell onto your hips and raising it off the ground, you will notice that part of your energy is devoted to keeping it balanced. A good hip thrust pad gives the barbell a thicker foundation to rest on, which drastically reduces rolling and teetering when executing this lift.
This added stability means you can dedicate more of your physical and mental energy to excellent technique and chasing new PR’s.
4. Hip pads help do the barbell hip thrust with proper technique.
Lifting with good form is paramount. Lousy technique means we are overcompensating with muscles that aren’t supposed to be used, opening ourselves to injury, and leaving a lot of unrealized gains in strength, muscle and power behind.
Anecdotally, it’s very difficult to perform heavy barbell hip thrusts without a pad. By the time your hips get to the top of the lift and your hips have fully extended, the barbell—and all of the weight plates loaded on it—are drilling into the hip joint. Instinctively, lifters will pull short, not doing the full range of the lift, leaving behind significant gains.
A pad on your hips protects the bones and joints so that you can do the full lift, every time, no matter how much weight is on it.
How to Choose the Right Hip Thrust Pad
Hip thrusts are one of my favorite all-time exercises in the gym.
They are awesome as they laser-target the posterior chain, and compared to traditional lower body muscle-builders like barbell squats, research  has shown that they do a better job of targeting the glutes.
But as awesome as they are, resting a fully loaded barbell on your pelvis can be painful.
That’s where a hip thrust pad can be so powerful.
You can lift heavier weights without bruising your pelvis. Instead of bruising yourself up and being conservative with the number of plates you load on the bar, you can chase heavier weights without the fear of gnashing up your hips.
Sounds pretty good to me!
There are a couple of other side benefits as well, including added bar stability (less rolling of the barbell) and protecting your clothes from the knurling on barbells.
Choosing the best hip thrust pad comes down to paying attention to a handful of things.
Here are the big three.
✔️ Thickness of the pad.
The main thing to look for is the thickness of the hip thrust pad. Thicker pads keep the bar from digging into your hips.
Look for something that is in the neighborhood of 1.5” to 2” in thickness to adequately buffer the steel shaft of the barbell.
The best hip thrust pads have added padding where your hips meet the bar.
✔️ Easy to put on and take off (but not too easy).
Most barbell pads are easy to “clip” onto the shaft of the barbell.
Others have fasteners that keep the pads from rolling around, and the strictly pad versions—like Rogue’s hip thrust pad—are wide enough that you can tuck the pad easily under the bar.
Barbell hip thrust pads need to be relatively easy to put on and take off without being at risk of coming loose while in use.
For lifters who want an extra layer of security when doing hip thrusts, some pads offer fasteners that fully lock the hip thrust pad onto the barbell.
While I’ve never had the need for this—the open barbell pads have always stayed in place and not rolled onto the “open” side of the pad—this is a feature that some lifters and gymgoers appreciate and want in a hip thrust pad.
The Final Rep
Hip thrusts are a killer exercise to add to your workout routine.
And picking the best hip thrust pad for your workouts will make this exercise even more effective as you will be able to lift more weight safely and without smashing up your pelvis.
💪 My favorite hip thrust pad on the market is Iron Bull Strength’s Barbell Hip Thrust Pad. I’ve had it for three years now and it still looks brand new, and more importantly, it protects my hips so that I can chase new PRs instead of bruises on my pelvis.
💪 For lifters who want to use a literal pad for hip thrusts instead of a barbell pad, Rogue’s Hip Thrust Pad is the best on the market. 18” wide and plenty thick, the pad grabs the bar so that you can perform hip thrusts in comfort.
Ultimately, hip thrust pads help you do one thing and one thing really well—hip thrust like a boss!
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