Electromyographic Comparison Of Barbell Deadlift, Hex Bar Deadlift And Hip Thrust Exercises: A Cross-Over Study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The aim of the study was to compare the muscle activation level of the gluteus maximus, biceps femoris and erector spinae in the hip thrust, barbell deadlift and hex bar deadlift; each of which are compound resisted hip-extension exercises. After two familiarization sessions, 13 resistance-trained men performed a 1-RM in all three exercises in one session, in randomized and counterbalanced order. The whole ascending movement (concentric phase), as well as its lower and upper part (whole movement divided in two), were analyzed. The hip thrust induced greater activation of the gluteus maximus compared to the hex bar deadlift in the whole (16%, p=0.025) and the upper part (26%, p=0.015) of the movement. For the whole movement, the biceps femoris was more activated during barbell deadlift compared to both the hex bar deadlift (28%, p<0.001) and hip thrust (20%, p=0.005). In the lower part of the movement, biceps femoris activation was respectively 48% and 26% higher for the barbell deadlift (p<0.001) and hex bar deadlift (p=0.049) compared to hip thrust. Biceps femoris activation in the upper part of the movement was 39% higher for the barbell deadlift compared to the hex bar deadlift (p=0.001) and 34% higher for the hip thrust compared to the hex bar deadlift (p=0.002). No differences were displayed for erector spinae activation (p=0.312-0.859). In conclusion, the barbell deadlift was clearly superior in activating the biceps femoris compared to the hex bar deadlift and hip thrust, whereas the hip thrust provided the highest gluteus maximus activation.