Hip Thrusts VS Back Squat for Vertical Jump – Which is Better?

There’s a popular coach out there who’s trying to crown hip thrusts as the best strength movement for vertical jump. For most topics, he’s very smart, very sound, and has great opinions. However, on this topic, I disagree with him heavily.

Where does he get this crazy idea from?

Mostly from the EMG Activation of the glutes during the hip thrust.

If you don’t know, EMG essentially measures a muscular response to a certain exercise. In this case, the coach I mentioned above believes that because the glutes see more muscular response from the hip thrust than the back squat…

The hip thrust is better for getting a higher vertical jump…

Again, this guy is usually knowledgeable.

But here, I believe he couldn’t be more wrong…

And this is such a common sense thing.

Think about it… The hip thrust is an isolation movement which targets the glutes… So of course it’ll stimulate more activation in the glutes than the back squat….

But, more than that, the vertical jump uses more than just the glutes.

The vertical jump recruits muscles of the posterior chain, quads, and even some of the lower leg. Back squats also recruit the same musculature.

So while the hip thrust places more emphasis on the glutes than the back squat…

The back squat stimulates almost ALL the big contributors to the vertical jump.

Plus, the back squat is more sport-specific than the hip thrust. And this is simply because you’re in the same position in a back squat as you are in the vertical jump… Especially if you squat to quarter depth (something I’ll explain more below).

Even more…

You can amplify the vertical jump carryover from the back squat with certain training methods.

How to Amplify Your Vertical Jump Carry Over from Back Squat

When you train the back squat in a shorter range of motion AND use tempos, you have a powerful combination that will lead to better performance.

This is called Triphasic Training

Triphasic Training was developed by a college strength coach named Cal Dietz. I’ve posted about it many times on this blog (I linked one above). Over the years, I’ve found it’s the number one way to transfer absolute strength into more explosiveness.

And more than that…

It can help you get a higher vertical, help you sprint faster, rapidly change directions, and a bunch more.

Put simply, this kind of training is the secret sauce to transfer your strength training into elevated in-game performance.

So, how does it work?

In short, Triphasic Training dedicates one training block to one portion of movement.

The first training block is dedicated to the eccentric phase of the movement (think the lowering portion of a bench, squat or deadlift). The second training block is dedicated to the isometric phase of the movement (think the bottom position of a squat or bench press). And the final training block is dedicated to the concentric, or up, phase.

Emphasizing each portion of movement individually develops different characteristics.

As a quick example, isometric tempos increase motor unit recruitment in the muscles, among other things.

Eccentric and concentric tempos also have their own host of performance benefits.

Put simply, working each portion of a movement individually can massively help your vertical jump (way more than hip thrusts can).

But, you should tread carefully.

Going TOO crazy with this kind of training can quickly lead to overtraining, injury, and mangled muscle-building hormones…

Too little, and your athleticism won’t budge.

Luckily, you can learn how to use Triphasic Training for your vertical jump for free.

Just join my FREE Advanced Vertical Series.

This series is dedicated to teaching athletes and coaches how to increase their vertical jump with weight training, plyometrics, and more.

Plus, this Advanced Series helps you avoid common vertical jump training mistakes. Most athletes waste time and effort making these mistakes. At the worst, they end up injured.

Be different.

Join the Advanced Vertical Series. Click the link below:

Click Here to Discover How to Increase Your Vertical Jump (FREE)


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