Can You Do RDLs And Hip Thrusts Together?

heavy hip thrust
November 11, 2022 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “can you do RDLs and hip thrusts together?”. Both exercises are fantastic for building up the posterior chain and adding strength.

RDLs target the hamstrings to a greater extent than hip thrusts. With hip thrusts more emphasis is placed on your gluteal muscles. This article will explore various factors surrounding this question. 

Can You Do RDLs And Hip Thrusts Together?

In short, yes you can. Performing RDLs and hip thrusts together in the same workout is a great way of hitting your posterior chain muscles.

Both exercises work similar muscles, with the hip thrust hitting the glutes harder. It is possible to handle very heavy weights on both movements. 

I wouldn’t recommend going super heavy on both exercises in the same workout. This is because it will induce too much fatigue and also increase the risks of injuries.

Instead it is better to go heavy on one of the exercises and lighter on the other. You can alternate heavy and light sessions for each of the exercises. It is a personal choice which movement you prioritise more in your training.

How Heavy Are You Going?

As already mentioned earlier, it is not recommended to perform both hip thrusts and RDLs super heavy in the same session. Both movements are compound exercises and going too heavy on them both will take you longer to recover from.

In addition there is more chance of injuries. Instead it is best to go heavy on one of the two movements. I would recommend treating the RDL as a power exercise and going heavier on this.

In my view, hip thrusts are not really worth going super heavy on. I will elaborate on this point later in this article. The trend of performing hip thrusts has really taken off amongst women who want to build bigger glutes.

You are a lot more likely to see women doing heavy hip thrusts in the gym than men. Building bigger glutes is an objective that is more common amongst women.

RDLs Are Better Suited For Loading Heavy

Romanian deadlifts are a variation of deadlift that really hits the hamstrings and posterior chain hard. It will help you to develop bigger hamstrings and glutes and increase your deadlift indirectly. 

I have done an article already on the romanian deadlift which you can read HERE. It is one of the best assistance exercises that you can do for bringing up your deadlift. It will also make your hamstrings brutally strong.

The key is to perform the exercise with solid technique and ensuring a flat back. Don’t allow your lower back to round as you lower the weight down. Make sure that you keep the tension on your hamstrings.

By contrast the hip thrust is not as useful when it comes to building your deadlift. It is better for bodybuilding and building up the size of your glutes. 


Are Heavy Hip Thrusts Worth It?

I am going to make a controversial point – that is, going ultra heavy on hip thrusts is not worth it!

The idea of hip thrusting heavy has been popularised on Instagram and is prevalent in the female lifting community. Every woman wants to have great glutes and this exercise has been in the spotlight as a result.

However, there are many accounts of women who have bruised their hip bone from doing super heavy hip thrusts. In my view there are better and safer ways to target the glutes.

Reverse hypers and 45 degree back extensions are two exercises that will give you great glutes and are both very safe to perform. You can go heavy on both movements safely.

Therefore, I would advise people to hip thrust with lighter weights and put more emphasis on the peak contraction. Also be aware that there are other exercises out there that can build up your posterior chain with far lower risks. 

>> Learn How To Build Bigger Glutes!

heavy hip thrust

What Muscles Do You Want To Emphasise?

If you are looking to work your hamstrings with more intensity then you should prioritise the romanian deadlift. If you are looking to just isolate the glutes, then you should put more attention on the hip thrust.

Overall, I would recommend people to prioritise the romanian deadlift over the hip thrust in their training. This is because it has more benefit and real world application. 

The hip thrust is the icing on the cake to building a bigger booty. There are even hip thrust machines which you will find in commercial gyms nowadays. I would say that this would be a safer way to perform hip thrusts.

Do You Want To Increase Your Deadlift?

If you want to increase your deadlift it is better to prioritise the romanian deadlift and take out the hip thrust. The hip thrust will not really serve you too well in this regard.

For increasing the deadlift it is best to perform movements that are extremely specific to the deadlift.

Deadlifts, romanian deadlifts and rack pulls from below the knee are some of the best exercises for helping you to achieve a bigger deadlift.

The hip thrust is more of a bodybuilding move for the glutes. You will get the most out of the hip thrust if your glutes are already very weak. If not, there are other exercises that can serve you better for bringing them up.

Final Thoughts

Can you do RDLs and hip thrusts together? Just to reiterate, yes you can. However, be careful how heavy you go on both exercises.

It is better to prioritise the romanian deadlift and go heavier on this exercise. There are safer exercises to load heavy than the hip thrust – these exercises include the reverse hyper and 45 degree back extension.

If you want to focus on improving your deadlift, in my opinion it would be best to completely take out the hip thrust and put a lot more attention on bringing up your romanian deadlift as an assistance exercise.

If you have any comments on this topic please leave them below. As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!

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