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Hip thrusts are one of the best exercises for gluteus maximus activation. To ensure you can lift comfortably with good form, you’ll need a great hip thrust pad.
A barbell pad protects your hips from bruising and reduces the direct pressure of the load that is placed on your hips during heavy hip thrusts. So what is the best barbell pad for hip thrusts?
The Dark Iron Fitness 17 Inch Extra Thick Barbell Pad is the overall best pad for hip thrusts with the durability and thickness required to protect your upper leg. Most pads tend to move around when performing the exercise, which can be frustrating, but this pad stays firmly in place. This is impossible to find in other products.
- Best Overall Barbell Hip Thrust Pad – Dark Iron Fitness 17 Inch Extra Thick Barbell Pad
- Best Velcro Pad – Cheeky Fitness Co. Velcro Hip Thrust Barbell Pad
- Best Budget Pick– Lxuemlu Barbell Pad for Hip Thrusts and Squats
Why Should You Trust PowerliftingTechnique?
Here at PowerliftingTechnique, we’re a team of expert passionate powerlifters and coaches with years of combined experience in powerlifting and strength training. We’ve used our knowledge and professional experience to offer up-to-date, accurate information about the best powerlifting and weightlifting products on the market so you can find the most suitable fitness equipment for your home gym.
How We Chose the Best Barbell Hip Thrust Pads
We have tested several of the best barbell hip thrust pads that are currently on the market to determine which are the most durable and high-quality options. We considered multiple different factors when determining the best barbell pads for hip thrusts, including design options, materials, fit and thickness, and security.
If you want to find out more about all of the barbell pads for hip thrusts I tested, as well as how to pick a barbell hip pad, then read on!
Top 10 Barbell Pads for Hip Thrusts Available on the Market
1. Dark Iron Fitness 17 Inch Extra Thick Barbell Pad – Best Overall
Dark Iron Fitness is one of the best sports accessories and equipment manufacturers out there, and their barbell pad is one of the overall best ones on the market because it combines reliable materials, solid features, while staying cost-efficient
This one uses premium quality foam with 3/4 inches thickness to fill out the pad, which makes the barbell pad quite reliable and doesn’t bend.
The overall thickness of this barbell pad is 17 inches, which is good enough for hip thrusts. However, if you train with a lot of weight, you can opt for the ones made with 1 1/2 inches for better durability. I would buy the 1 ½ inch version if you plan on doing hip thrusts with anything over 225lbs (two plates).
This barbell pad features a full velcro coverage, which makes it quite easy to fit over a barbell, whether it’s standard or Olympic. The full velcro coverage also makes it pretty stable and prevents the barbell from sliding off or moving side-to-side.
- Available in a variety of designs
- The synthetic leather finish doesn’t absorb moisture and makes it slip-resistant
- The full velcro coverage allows for easy on and off while preventing the bar from sliding off
- Lacks a middle groove, which only impacts how the barbell sits on your back if you’re using the pad for squats (not hip thrusts)
2. Cheeky Fitness Co. Velcro Hip Thrust Barbell Pad – Best Velcro Pad
If you’re mainly looking for a decent barbell pad with velcro tape closure, this one should work best for you.
Unlike most velcro barbell pad options on the market, this one has a remarkably big velcro tape, which accounts for a much more secure fit over the barbell.
This prevents the pad from rolling over during hip thrusts. The foam is also covered with a reinforced fabric that extends the lifespan of the pad. This material also has decent traction, which stabilizes the padded barbell on your hips.
As for functionality, the barbell pad is designed to fit both 2 inches Olympic barbells as well as smith machine barbells. This means that you can use them for alternative techniques for glute isolation training as well.
The pad has an overall thickness of about 16 inches, which isn’t as thick as the Dark Iron Fitness one, but thick enough to protect you from bruising during a hip thrust. Moreover, it has a middle groove that makes it a good option for squats as well.
- Features two large velcro tapes for added security
- Fits over thick and thin bars comfortably
- Reinforced fabric with high traction
- Might have a little strong plastic smell for the first few uses
3. ProFitness Barbell Hip Thrust Pad – Best Strap Pad
When it comes to security and handling the heaviest of barbells, fastening straps on a hip thrust bar pad are the most reliable attachment method.
The ProFitness barbell pad is specifically designed for hip thrust. It uses a combination of durable straps and heavily cushioning rubber foam to absorb the impact of the heavy barbell on your hip bones.
To use this kind of thrust pad, you only need to slip the barbell into the crevice of the barbell pad. After that, you must wrap the straps from both ends and pull them tightly.
Although ProFitness might take a little longer to attach to barbells, the straps ensure an extreme level of barbell stability to reduce the risk of sliding off to a minimum.
The downside with the straps is that it’s annoying to take on and off and definitely adds time to each set.
- Provides an excellent level of security against sliding and rolling off
- Available in three different colors
- Offers a decently wide coverage over the barbell
- Takes a bit longer to put on and off
4. Plan4U Barbell Pad for Hip Thrust – Best Leather Pad
If you don’t mind splurging a little more to invest in a serious bar pad that offers high quality in terms of materials and features, consider this one from Plan4U.
What makes this bar pad for hip thrusts unique is that it’s made of thickened foam with a decent texture to avoid collapsing with time.
The exterior is made of synthetic leather. This material offers excellent skin traction, stabilizing the barbell/padding for hip thrusts or squats combination and preventing the hip thrust pad from sliding over. Moreover, the leather is waterproof and won’t absorb moisture or make odors.
The barbell pad is 16 inches long and about 2 inches thick, making it one of the thickest in the market. This product is also lightweight and easy to pack, as you can attach it externally to your bag using the D ring.
- Durable velcro tape for security
- Thick design for extra protection
- The D ring attachment makes it easy to pack
- A bit bulky, which may not be the best if you plan on putting it in your gym bag
5. J Bryant Fitness Hip Thrust Pad for Barbell – Thickest Pad
If your body reacts badly to bruising or bruises easily, you should look for the thickest and longest barbell pad possible to distribute the weight of the barbell as much as possible.
In that case, the J Bryant Fitness Barbell Pads are your way to go. This pad is 2.1 inches thick, making it one of the thickest in the market.
The company offers the pad in both 15.7 and 11.8, so you can choose the one most suitable for you. However, I recommend that you go for the longer one in that case.
The leather external case prevents slipping and prevents absorbing sweat and moisture, which makes it easier to clean.
- One of the thickest models on the market
- The synthetic leather case for protection and stabilization
- Ideal for lifters who are starting to add serious weights to their hip thrust
- Premium price tag
6. POWER GUIDANCE Barbell Squat Pad – Easiest to Put On and Off
If you don’t carry a lot of heavy weight on your barbell when doing the hip thrust but still want to avoid bruising, you might want to consider a model that’s quite easy to put on and off to save yourself time and hassle.
Moreover, it doesn’t use straps or velcro tape to secure the barbell. Instead, you only need to slip the barbell in, and you’re good to go!
Remember that this model might be suitable only if you lift relatively light loads on the barbell and only want to avoid mild bruises. You’ll also find this hip thrust pad moving around on the barbell during hip thrusting because it’s not totally secure.
- Affordable price
- Doesn’t use straps or velcro for fastening, which saves time
- Lightweight and easy to pack
- Not suitable for heavy hip thrusting
7. EXOUS Bodygear Barbell Pad – Best Pads with Velcro Fasteners
If you’re all about securing the bar pads, you should consider barbell fasteners over quick-slip and velcro ones. However, such a barbell pad would take a long time to attach.
Lucky for you, the EXOUS solves this problem. It’s the best pad for hip thrusts with velcro fasteners, and it combines the security of strap fasteners with the ease of use and speed of attachment of velcro ones.
With this pad, you only need to put them over the bar, then wrap the strap around the barbell pad and secure it with velcro.
- Excellent value for its price
- Quick and decently secure
- Thick foam construction
- Might start to flatten with time
8. FITGIRL Hip Thrust Pad – Most Padded for Women
Many women who start hip thrusts are surprised by the amount of bruising they can cause. The FITGIRL hip thrust pad is specifically designed to address this problem.
While it might not be the thickest barbell pad on the market, it’s one of the softest barbell pads on the skin with extra-plush cushioning, and that’s why I think it’s the best hip thrust pad for women.
Moreover, the hip thrust pad dimensions are designed according to the female body dimension, so they’re easier to use.
The barbell hip thrust pad also has an aesthetically appealing design for active women and uses a velcro tape fastening system to make it functional and easy to use.
- Comes with soft padding
- Ideal for women’s average hip and shoulder dimensions
- Stylish design
- A bit pricey for a hip thrust pad
9. Iron Bull Strength Advanced Hip Thrust Pad – Best Quick-Slip Design
The Iron Bull is one of the best barbell pads one the market when it comes to easy attachment and ease of use.
In addition to being one of the most affordable models on the market, it’s also quite lightweight and easy to pack.
Moreover, the Iron Bull is available in a wide variety of color options, so you can pick the one that suits your taste and matches your lifting gear.
- Available in a variety of color options
- Ergonomic design with a deep middle groove for squats
- Easily attached and removed
- The foam padding might start to crack with time
10. Lxuemlu Barbell Pad for Hip Thrusts and Squats – Best Budget Pick
If you’re on a tight budget but still looking for a decent option, you might want to consider the Lxuemlu barbell pad. This one offers decent pads that are easy to use without breaking the bank.
This barbell pad is surprisingly long and offers decent coverage over the barbell, standing at 17.5 inches long.
It comes with 2 inches fasteners to ensure a tight grip over the barbells during hip thrust. It’s also available in black, blue, and red to match your outfits!
- Ideal for buyers on a budget
- Easy to wash and dry
- Attaches quickly to the bar
- The velcro straps weaken with time
Hip Thrust Pad Features You Need To Be Concerned About
While shopping for a hip thrust pad, there are some features that you need to keep in mind in order to land yourself the perfect barbell pad that suits your needs.
Let’s have a quick look at them:
Pad Thickness and Material
One of the first things that you need to keep in mind while choosing a barbell is the thickness of the pad. This is because this thickness and material will tell you a lot about its ability to withstand the pressure of a heavy barbell.
Ideally, most barbell pads on the market will have an overall thickness of anywhere between 3/4 inches (1.9 cm) to 2.1 inches (5.3 cm).
The ergonomic design in a hip thrust barbell pad allows you to place the barbell comfortably while exercising.
Ideally, most barbell hip pads should have balanced length and thickness so that it doesn’t feel too bulky or thin, which are both undesirable.
Moreover, a versatile hip thrust cushion that works for various exercises, such as hip thrusts, squats, bench presses, and lunges, should keep your body contours in mind throughout these exercises.
Most barbells will have a middle groove that allows the barbell to sit comfortably on your neck during squats and lunges while outlining the thickest parts for hip thrusts.
There are various ways to secure or attach the pad to a barbell. The choice here depends mainly on the amount of weight you’re going to lift rather than opting for a hassle-free design.
Ideally, if you do hip thrusts casually and don’t add a lot of weight to your barbell, you might want to consider a lightweight design, such as the quick slip one.
Most lifters that do hip thrusts regularly should consider a barbell pad with velcro straps because they balance time and security.
However, if you’re planning to challenge your limits while doing hip thrusts, you should consider an option with straps.
They take longer to attach but they’re the safest and prevent the barbell from sliding off and causing injuries.
If you’ve been lifting for a while and your body starts to get a little sweaty, loaded barbells can be pretty slippery, which can be a huge risk of injuries if it slips and falls.
That’s why you need to make sure that the external material or casing is slip-resistant and won’t allow the barbell to roll.
Synthetic leather is an excellent option in that case because it also doesn’t absorb the moisture, so it doesn’t smell.
Do You Really Need A Pad For Hip Thrusts?
Many lifters might resort to using their gym towels or rolled-up yoga mats as supports or makeshift bar cushion for hip thrusts and squats.
However, most of these solutions are technically inferior to a barbell hip thrust foam pad because they don’t offer the same level of comfort that these pads have, as they’re usually clumpy and much thinner when rolled around a barbell.
They also lack the proper security and protection from slipping or falling. On the other hand, barbell pads are extremely affordable and easy to pack in your gym bag.
They also have velcro or straps to secure the grip and prevent the barbell from sliding off the pads.
Hip thrusts have been shown to increase deadlift strength. To learn more, check out my article Do Hip Thrusts Help Deadlifts?
6 Benefits of Using A Hip Thrust Pad
Barbell pads are extremely beneficial and inexpensive lifting accessories that might have more benefits than you think.
While some lifters might debate whether they’re good for squats, they’re undebatable when it comes to hip thrusts.
This comes down to a specific set of benefits that makes protection and padding necessary for such an exercise. Here are some of the benefits of the barbell pads:
1. They Protect Your Hip Bone from Bruising
Let’s start with the most obvious and common reason why a lot of people use barbell pads. The hip thrust is an extremely beneficial exercise yet it causes some serious bruising.
This happens because the barbell puts a lot of pressure on that area. The pressure squeezes your muscle tissues between two hard objects, which are your hip bones and the barbell.
Of course, such bruising looks extremely bad. But what’s worse than how it looks is that this bruising actually starts to hurt, making it a bit challenging for you to do hip thrusts on your next leg and lower body day.
Moreover, this impact can also happen on your neck and shoulders while you squat a heavy load frequently, especially if your body tends to bruise easily. Hip thrust barbell pads that are thick enough to prevent this bruising reaction from happening.
2. They’re Versatile and Can Be Used for Other Areas
Although they’re a must-have when you are training your hips, barbell pads are usually quite versatile and can be used for different workout exercises.
For example, squats can also benefit from having a barbell pad on your shoulder. Similar to their function in hip thrusts, they also protect your shoulder and neck from bruising and help in distributing the weight of the barbell efficiently.
3. They Can Prevent Some Serious Injuries
Most of these barbell pads are designed with a bit of slip resistance, thanks to the external material, whether it’s foam or leather.
Even polyester fabric offers better slip resistance than sweaty palms, so all in all, the chances of a slippery accident are generally reduced.
Moreover, during hip thrusts and other lifting exercises that involve supporting the barbell with other parts than your hands, the direct pressure of the barbell can push down on your bone structure.
4. They Keep You Comfortable During Exercise
One of the main functions of a barbell pad is to keep you comfortable during workouts, especially during hip thrusts and squats. The thick foam cushions the barbell and prevents direct contact with your hip bones as well as neck and shoulders.
This problem is even more noticeable if you’re doing the hip thrusts with an Olympic size barbell, which is heavier than average barbells. By staying more comfortable during a lift you’ll be able to focus on improving your technique.
5. Offers Adequate Support Throughout the Hip Thrust Movement
As previously mentioned, barbell pads are used as a form of support during exercise.
Similar to wrist wraps and knee sleeves, they offer a bit of body security that allows you to lift more weight whether directly by improving the technique or indirectly by strengthening your grip and feeling your glutes as well as allowing you to jump higher.
Barbell pads do a similar job in a way, as they can help in distributing the weight of the barbell instead of focusing the pressure on single points on each hip.
6. They Reduce Direct Contact and Friction with Gym Barbells for Hygiene
One thing you need to always keep in mind while you’re in a gym is that the equipment there isn’t always clean. A lot of hands touch these barbells and you land them on your body.
If you want to avoid getting in direct contact with the gym barbells for hygienic reasons, using your own barbell pad will give you that, especially if you get one with larger barbell coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should You Use a Pad for Hip Thrusts?
I recommend that everybody use a high-quality barbell hip cushion when hip thrusting. Doing so will relieve some pressure from your hip bones, making the exercise more comfortable and preventing bruising. A hip thirst pad is much more secure and protective than using a rolled-up yoga mat or piece of clothing to cushion the bar.
What is the Padding Called for Hip Thrusts?
The padding used for barbell hip thrusts is called a hip thrust pad or a hip thrust cushion. Usually, hip thrusts barbell pads are made out of rubber, synthetic leather, or thick foam and can have Velcro or strap fastenings.
What Can I Use if I Don’t Have a Hip Thrust Pad?
If you don’t have a barbell hip thrusts pad on hand, you can use something soft and padded to place between your hips and the barbell. A rolled-up yoga mat or sweater are great alternatives to support your hips and reduce discomfort and the risk of bruising.
Can Any Bar Pad Be Used for Hip Thrusts?
Yes, you can use can any bar pad for hip thrusts, and many great brands offer top-quality barbell pads to cushion your hips. However, if you want extra security, go for a hip thrust pad with Velcro or fastening straps to secure it on the barbell.
There you have it! A complete guide with everything you need to know about the best barbell hip thrust pads.
As you can see, these pads are a must-have piece of gym accessory if you do hip thrusts as well as alternative exercises, such as lunges and squats, to a lesser extent.
If you want to get a nice barbell pad that rounds up all the necessary features while staying durable and reliable, you might want to consider the Dark Iron Fitness 17 Inch Extra Thick Barbell Pad.
This one uses quality synthetic leather to stabilize the barbell and prevent it from slipping out of the pads. It’s also durable and affordable, which makes it a great value for its price.
However, if you don’t mind splurging a little more to land the thickest barbell pad for the highest protection against bruises, you should consider the J Bryant Fitness Hip Thrust Pad for Barbell.
Other Hip Thrust Articles
- Do Hip Thrust Help Squats? (Science-Backed)
- Hip Thrust vs Deadlifts? Difference, Pros, Cons
- Don’t Feel Your Glutes Hip Thrusting? Try These 9 Tips
- 9 Best Barbell Hip Thrust Alternatives (With Pictures)