The hip thrust is one of the best exercises for building your glutes and hamstrings. That’s why it’s often done by both professional athletes and newbies to the gym. With that said, finding the best barbell pad for hip thrusts is what will make the exercises more enjoyable for you and help you improve your form. Anyone who has ever tried to do hip thrusts without a hip thrust cushion knows just how uncomfortable it can feel, and when the weight is heavy, it can even cause pain. Along with that, other key exercises, such as the squat, are also more comfortable to do if you have a pad on hand.
That’s why, in this article, we will be talking about the best hip thrust pad you can find on the market, what our top seven look like and what details you should consider when choosing which one to get.
And so, without further ado, let’s get started.
Top 7 Best Barbell Pads Reviewed
- Iron Bull Strength Advanced Squat Pad — Top Pick
- Dark Iron Fitness Barbell Pad — Runner Up
- Yes4All Barbell Foam Nylon Pad — Premium Pick
- DMoose Barbell Pad
- ProFitness Barbell Pad
- POWER GUIDANCE Barbell Squat Pad
- ABMAT HIP THRUST PAD — Best Alternative
There are many brands that offer barbell pads for hip thrusts, and it’s challenging to make a choice if you don’t know the market. That’s why we’ve decided to select the seven best products and give you a short review of each option. That way, you will make an informed choice, and you will get a high-quality, long-lasting item for your workouts.
1. Iron Bull Strength Advanced Squat Pad — Top Pick
Iron Bull Strength has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality fitness accessories. From wrist wraps and belts to knee sleeves and barbell pads. All of their products target professional or semi-professional lifters and are made to last through many strenuous workouts. They offer a perfect blend of good prices and high-quality products, which is something we all look for.
- Material: Rubber, Foam
- Color: Black
- Item Dimensions: 40.6 x 7.6 x 7.6
- Weight: 59 grams
Iron Bull’s Advanced Squat Pad has basically everything you need from this accessory, and it all comes at a great price. It has an ergonomic design, which makes it suitable not only for hip thrusts but also for squats and other exercises. It’s made from durable, high-quality, thick foam that absorbs all the stress the weight can cause and makes you feel more comfortable during the movement. Additionally, it has a vital anti-slip matte finish which helps you get a better grip and not worry about the barbell slipping.
Iron Bull Strength has a vital anti-slip matte finish which helps you get a better grip and not worry about the barbell slipping.
Ergonomic design that makes it versatile
Made out of thick, durable foam
Could be better:
Comes in only one size
2. Dark Iron Fitness Barbell Pad — Runner Up
Dark Iron Fitness is another brand that specializes in making high-quality and durable fitness accessories. They also offer everything from belts and gloves to the pads we’re currently discussing, and their main focus is on making leather items that feel comfortable.
- Material: Synthetic leather, Foam
- Color: Black
- Weight Limit: 400 pounds
Dark Iron Fitness’s barbell pad is specifically made to fit Olympic-size bars perfectly. It has a ¾” dense foam that gives you optimal support while also feeling comfortable. Thanks to the synthetic leather and thick foam, this pad doesn’t flatten easily and retains its shape, even when you’re lifting heavy weight. Along with that, this special material doesn’t absorb sweat, and it won’t start to smell after your fifth training session.
Thanks to the synthetic leather and thick foam, pad Dark Iron Fitness barbell pad. doesn't flatten easily and retains its shape, even when you’re lifting heavy weight.
Doesn’t slip when performing exercises, ensuring maximum security
- Retains its shape for a long time
- Several different designs with motivational quotes
Could be better:
Can be slippery due to the material its made from
Lacks an ergonomic design
3. Yes4All Barbell Foam Nylon Pad Squat Pad — Premium Pick
Unlike the other brands we discussed, Yes4All doesn’t just make accessories for your body, such as belts, gloves, and pads. They also offer all sorts of training equipment, such as plyo boxes, barbells, kettlebells, and so on. Yes4All has proven itself to be a trustworthy company that produces excellent, professional-grade products that can withstand the test of time and your many workouts.
- Material: Synthetic Rubber
- Color: Black/Blue/Red
- Item Dimensions: 0.16 x 0.03 inches
- Weight: 0.4 pounds
- Weight Limit: 22 pounds
The nylon pad from Yes4All Barbell is a great option, especially if you’re on a budget. It’s made to fit both standard and Olympic bars (which is great news for beginners), and it’s pretty thick, which makes it all that more comfortable. It’s made out of synthetic rubber covered with nylon so that it won’t change its shape quickly and it won’t retain moisture. It has an easy slide design, which makes it quick for you to put it on and remove it from the bar.
Yes4All Barbell Foam Nylon Pad made out of synthetic rubber covered with nylon so that it won’t change its shape quickly and it won't retain moisture.
Won’t absorb moisture
Suitable for both Olympic and Standard bars
Could be better:
Users report it can slip off the bar when doing heavier lifts
The DMoose fitness store is a terrific place for many athletes. They offer not only gear but also supplements and even boxing equipment. And all of their products are made by the company itself and are not sourced from various providers. Along with that, they make all their inventory with the intention for it to be used by dedicated athletes who want to achieve results and not waste time and money by shopping at all kinds of different stores.
- Material: Rubber
- Color: Black/Red/Pink
- Item Dimensions: 17 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches
- Weight: N/A
When it comes to getting extra support during your exercises with the barbell pad, the one from Dmoose takes the crown. Not only is it made with thick, high-quality foam and with an ergonomic design, but it also has straps, which help secure the pad over the barbell. Additionally, you get more security and stability from the fact that the pad is made out of EVA foam which is non-slippery and comes in various colors.
When it comes to getting extra support during your exercises with the barbell pad, the one from Dmoose takes the crown.
Great security thanks to the straps
Enhanced, non-slippery grip
Could be better:
The lack of coating makes it easier for you to damage the padding
ProFitness store is an excellent place for all powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters, as it offers all the accessories they might need at a terrific price. There you can find leather belts, gloves, knee sleeves, and other accessories (such as a barbell pad) that are specifically made for pro-lifers. ProFitness is dedicated to making comfortable, long-lasting, and high-quality accessories that can be used by beginners but are more suitable for seasoned lifters that are looking for professional-grade products.
- Material: Rubber
- Color: Black/Red/Pink
- Item Dimensions: 18” x 3.5”
Unlike the other pads we just discussed, the ones from ProFitness are a bit longer, so they might be more suitable for those of you that are taller or just have a wider back. Along with that, they’re made with high-density foam, thick and durable, which makes them suitable for all kinds of exercises, regardless of how heavy you’re lifting. Additionally, this barbell pad has the so-called “easy slide” design making the process of taking it off and putting it on relatively quick and easy.
ProFitness Barbell Pad Squat Pad made with high-density foam, thick and durable, which makes them suitable for all kinds of exercises, regardless of how heavy you’re lifting.
Slightly longer, which makes them suitable for bigger athletes
Easy slide design, which makes the process of putting the pad on and removing it quicker
Could be better:
Slightly pricier than the other options we’ve provided you with
Power Guidance is the dream store for anyone that wants to build a home gym. It has all the equipment that you need, from machines to barbells, free weights, and all kinds of accessories. Everything they offer is of terrific quality, and it will last you a long time, even with frequent use. And if you purchase several items, you get a huge discount, thus making it slightly cheaper for you to build your own gym at home.
- Material: Foam
- Color: Black/Grey/Pink&White/Pink/Red
- Item Dimensions: 16.93 x 2.76 x 2.76 inches
- Weight: 200 grams
The barbell pad from Power Guidance has everything you need to support your heavy sessions when you’re doing squats and hip thrusts. It’s versatile, has an ergonomic design, and is easily portable, so that you can carry it around in your gym bag comfortably. Along with that, it has an anti-slip design, as the pad is made from advanced material that won’t roll or shift.
The barbell pad from Power Guidance versatile, has an ergonomic design, and is easily portable, so that you can carry it around in your gym bag comfortably.
Suitable for all kinds of bars
Anti-slip design for safety
Ergonomic design that ensure more comfort
Could be better:
Tends to fall off the barbell easily.
7. ABMAT HIP THRUST PAD — Best Alternative
Rogue Fitness is a company that doesn’t need an introduction. It’s one of the most recognized and well-known brands within the fitness community. They make all sorts of apparel, equipment, and accessories, and everyone knows that their products are incredibly durable, high-quality, and made for professional use. Along with that, they not only offer traditional accessories such as the barbell pad (for example) but also alternatives for people that want to use them.
- Material: Cordura
- Color: Black
- Item Dimensions: 18” x 9” x 1.75”
This hip thrust pad is specifically made to help with the stability and safety requirements you need during this movement. It’s an excellent upgrade for those of you who have only used a rolled-up yoga mat or towel, as it serves the same purposes but in a much better way. It’s manufactured in the US, and it has a multi-layered technology that makes the distribution of the weight much more effective and protects the pelvis at the same time. The foam pad is also super flexible and thus makes the thrusting movement a lot easier thanks to the extra stability.
ABMAT HIP THRUST PAD manufactured in the US, and it has a multi-layered technology that makes the distribution of the weight much more effective and protects the pelvis at the same time.
Can be used for bars, dumbbells, and kettlebells
Multi-layered technology for distributing the weight
Condura layer to make the pad more durable
Could be better:
A lot pricier than all other options
Can be used only for hip thrusts
What Exercises Are Good to Do With a Bar Pad?
All exercises where you have to place a barbell on any part of your body (hips, back) and have it stay there throughout the entire movement are ones you can use a bar pad for. The list includes not only hip thrusts but also squats and lunges. Some gym goers think that using a pad is for “sissies”; however, if you get bruised easily or if you feel pain from the barbell when doing any of these exercises, it’s smarter to get a barbell pad and start training normally.
What Are the Benefits of Barbell Pads for Hip Thrusts?
Many lifters don’t think they need a barbell hip thrust pad and either doesn’t use one at all or just end up rolling up yoga mats and gym towels as makeshift padding for hip thrusts.
Unfortunately, these smart and on-the-spot solutions are a lot less comfortable than an actual bar pad for hip thrusts simply because the comfort level and ease of use are not near the same level. Along with that, using slippery objects like yoga mats and towels can be unsafe and lead to slipping and falling.
With that said, getting a bar cushion for hip thrusts is not that expensive at all and is definitely worth the trouble if you plan on doing the movement regularly. However, that’s not the only reason why you should want to buy a barbell pad for hip thrusts, and below, we will see all the other benefits this piece of fitness equipment offers.
They Prevent Bruises
Doing hip thrusts without barbell cushions can not only be painful, but it can also cause some serious bruising, especially if you’re lifting heavy weights. This usually happens because the barbell tends to puts a ton of stress on your hip bones, and this ends up putting your tissue between two hard objects - the barbell and your bones. Of course, an exercise like the glute bridge pad is not needed as the weight is likely not to be heavy, and it won’t cause you any harm.
Now, many of you might be thinking that getting a bruise is not that big of a deal, and it’s not something worth worrying over. However, if you get a more serious bruise, it can actually hurt, and it will make it more difficult to you to do hip thrusts the next day and the day after.
Although we’re discussing why a foam barbell pad is needed for hip thrusts, the reality is that one of the best things about this fitness accessory is the fact that you can use it for many exercises. The best example is for squats, as for some people carrying a barbell on their back and close to their neck can also lead to bruising and makes it more challenging for them to balance the weight of the barbell effectively.
Make the Exercise Feel More Comfortable
The main idea behind using a barbell pad is to make the movement feel more comfortable while you’re training, especially if you’re doing heavy squats and hip thrusts. If you get a high-quality barbell pad, it will be made of a thick foam cushion that prevents direct contact between your skin and the barbell.
Why does comfort matter? Because when you feel more comfortable during the exercise, you can perform the movement with better form and control, which will ultimately make it easier for you to reach your lifting goals.
Less Direct Contact With the Gym Barbells
We all know that the equipment in the gym is not always the cleanest. And it’s something that you need to consider when touching all the barbells and machines there. What’s good about using a barbell pad is that it will help you avoid direct contact with the barbells in the gym, which will be crucial for hygienic reasons.
Along with that, while some gyms do offer a barbell pad, a ton of other people have likely used it before you, and it has absorbed all their sweat, which is something you might want to avoid getting in direct contact with.
Support During Hip Thrusts
When Do You Need Barbell Pads for Squats?
When Do You Need Barbell Pads for Hip Thrusts?
If you’re performing a real hip thrust with a barbell and not a glute bridge, you will need some padding. That’s because using the barbell can lead to bruises, and it can make the movement feel more uncomfortable and even painful, especially if you’re lifting a heavy weight. However, don’t assume you only need a barbell pad when and if you lift a ton of weight. In reality, for some people, even feeling the weight on the barbell squishing their tissue can be painful, and those that easily bruise also have to use a pad at all times. Otherwise, they risk feeling a ton of pain while performing this great exercise.
What to Look For in Barbell Pads?
If you’re already convinced that you need to go and buy a barbell pad, then you need to consider some features that it needs to have so that it can be as useful to you as possible. Let’s take a look at what they are.
Pad Material & Thickness
Two things that you should always look into before deciding on a barbell pad are its thickness and the material it's made from. That’s because these two features are the most vital ones for the pad’s ability to withstand the pressure of a heavy barbell. In an ideal situation, you want the pad to be made of silky smooth, thick foam with an overall thickness that can be between 3 to 2.1 inches. Along with the thick foam or rubber that will ensure comfort, you also need a cover on top of them that is anti-slip and won’t absorb moisture. The combination of those 3 things can be difficult to find, but it’s best if you want to buy a product that you will successfully use for a long time.
There are many ways to secure a pad to a barbell. And which one you choose depends more on the kind of weight you’re looking to lift rather than on the design. In case you don’t plan on lifting a ton of weight, you will want to consider a simpler design, such as the slip one - it’s easy to put on and take off, which makes it ideal for quick gym workouts.
On the other hand, if you’re doing hip thrusts regularly and with a ton of weight, you will want to consider buying a pad that has velcro straps attached to it, which helps with balance and security. With that said, if you truly plan on going hard and lifting close to a one-rep maximum often, then you should consider a pad with straps. While they do take longer to attach to the barbell, the straps remain the safest way to prevent the barbell from slipping and potentially causing injuries.
You need an ergonomic design because it’s what will ensure that you feel comfortable with the barbell on your bones while performing the movement. The ideal barbell pad should have balanced thickness and length so that it neither feels too thin nor too bulky.
Furthermore, you should look for a versatile barbell pad that works for all the exercises we discussed - not only hip thrusts but also squats, lunges, front squats, and others. That, however, means that it should keep your body’s contours in mind through the different movements. Typically, barbells have a groove in the middle that enables them to be placed comfortably close to your neck when doing lunges and squats - that’s the exact place where the thickest part of the pad should be.
If you have any experience with lifting, you know that when you get past the warm-up sets, your body will start to get a little sweaty. Unfortunately, loaded barbells can also become a bit slippery, and that combination can potentially lead to injuries if the heavyweight slips and falls off you. That’s why, when getting a barbell pad, you need to make sure it’s made from a slip-resistant material of some kind that won’t allow the barbell to roll.
One great option is synthetic leather because it also doesn’t absorb sweat and so it won’t start smelling after a few sessions.
Should I Use a Barbell Pad for Hip Thrusts?
Yes, you should use a barbell when doing hip thrusts. It will make you feel more comfortable during the movement while also reducing the chances of injury and potential bruises. If you choose not to do so, you risk getting injured or suffering from harsh bruises that will make your sessions more difficult.
How do I make my bar not hurt when hip thrusting?
The best way to avoid feeling pain while doing the hip thrust is by using a thick, high-quality barbell pad that will protect your skin and make the exercise feel more comfortable. Alternatively, you can go for a hip thrust pad that offers more stability and can be used not only with barbells but also with dumbbells and free weights.
What can I use if I don't have a hip thrust pad?
Now the best option is to always go for a pad. However, if you’ve forgotten yours at home or you simply don’t have one yet, you can use a yoga mat as the first best option. If your gym doesn’t have mats available, you can alternatively use your towel to make it more comfortable for you to perform the exercise.
As you can see, having a barbell pad at your disposal is a terrific way to enhance your workouts and make it more comfortable for you to perform some key exercises, such as the squat and hip thrust. Additionally, the barbell pad protects you from getting bruises and potential injuries. If we have to recommend only one barbell pad to get, we will go for the one made by Iron Fitness as it has everything you need design and functionality-wise while also coming in at a terrific price. Having said that, what do you think about using barbell pads? Do you have one, and if so, did you see improvements in your training when you started using it? LEt us know in the comments!
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I'm Tanya, and I love lifting weights. 6 years ago, I picked up Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit. Weightlifting is a unique sport because it's just you against the bar. There are no teammates to help you out; it's all on you.
I'm also passionate about helping other women achieve their fitness goals. That's why I started my blog and write some products reviews. I want to show other women that they can do anything they set their mind to!