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How to do Glute Bridges & Hip Thrusts

What is a glute bridge?

What is a glute bridge

See all glute bridge variations

If you want to add some definition and tone to your lower body or glutes in particular, glutes bridges are a great exercise to add to your exercise routine. Not only will it target your glutes, you'll also strengthen your hamstrings, lower back and core.

The glute bridge exercise recruits one of the largest muscles in your body - your bum - also known as the gluteus maximus, so whether you’re looking to improve your strength or are working in an office desk role where you are sitting down for most of the day, this is a great exercise to try.

If you're keen to start targeting your gluteus maximus (the largest muscle in your bottom) read on to discover how to perform a glute bridge and get the most from each repetition.

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GLUTE EXERCISES

  • It is possible to perform hip thrusts everyday provided you do it at an intensity level that is appropriate and you give yourself adequate rest and time for your body to recover. It's important to keep in mind that more may not necessarily mean better or getting results faster - programming your workouts for optimal effectiveness would be recommended. If you're not sure how to programme your workouts, you can speak to a personal trainer for advice.

  • If formed correctly and over time with progressive overload, glute bridges can help to build your glute muscles and make them stronger.

  • The width of your hips is mainly based on your genetics and anatomy so performing hip thrusts would be unlikely to change the width of your hips. Hip thrusts can help to strengthen and make your glutes appear bigger which in turn, can change the appearance of your lower body.

  • Performing glute bridges should not be hurting your back. If you're feeling tension in your back performing glute bridges, then you may be performing the exercises incorrectly or your body may be compensating for other weaknesses. Common mistakes when perfoming glute bridges is not having the correct foot positioning for your body or overarching the back. If you would like someone to check your form, please speak to a personal trainer.

Glute bridge tips

  • Listen to your body to ensure you're performing the exercise effectively. When performed correctly, you should feel the pressure in the glutes and hamstrings.
  • When adopting the bridge position, the thrust of power should come from your hips rather than your feet.
  • Keep your core engaged throughout the exercise to avoid overextending your back, which can lead to lower back pain.  

How to do a glute bridge

Level: Beginners to Advanced

Equipment required: Exercise mat. If you wish to progress this exercise, you can place a dumbbell or barbell on your hips.

  1. Lie flat on your back with arms straight by your side, knees bent hip-width apart, and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Engage your core and glutes as you lift your hips up towards the ceiling so your shoulders, hips and knees are in a straight line. Your shin and thigh should roughly be at a 90 degree angle.
  3. Hold for a couple of seconds squeezing your glutes before slowly returning to the start position.
  4. Slowly return to starting position.

How to do a single leg glute bridge

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Equipment: Exercise mat

This exercise is performed in the same way as the lying glute bridge exercise above, however with one foot lifted off the ground, making it more challenging.

  1. Lie flat on your back with arms straight by your side, knees bent hip-width apart, and feet flat on the floor
  2. Lift your left leg off the floor by bringing your knee in towards your chest. Keep the left leg in this bent knee position.
  3. Engage your core and lift your hips up towards the ceiling, by squeezing your glutes.
  4. Try to keep your hips parallel to the floor, particularly the leg hip.
  5. Pause and slowly lower your hips back to starting position.

How to Glute bridge with a dumbbell

Level: Intermediate to Advanced.

Equipment: one dumbbell and a mat.

Once you have developed the strength to perform a bodyweight glute bridge with good form, you can look to make the exercise more challenging by adding load. One way to do this is with the a dumbbell sitting on top of your hips.

  1. Lie flat on your back with, knees bent hip-width apart, and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place a dumbbell on top of your hip bones and hold the sides of the dumbbell.
  3. Go into glute bridge position by lifting your hip and squeezing your glutes off the floor.
  4. Pause and slowly lower your hips back to starting position.

How to Barbell Glute Bridge

Level: Intermediate to Advanced.

Equipment: Barbell, weighted plates, barbell clips, a barbell pad, a mat.

Once you have developed the strength to perform a bodyweight glute bridge with good form, you can look to make the exercise more challenging by adding weights. One way to do this is with the barbell and weighted plates on either side. For this, it would be recommended to use a barbell pad, which is wrapped around the bar, to act as cushioning, and support your hips.

  1. Set up a barbell with weights suitable to you. Place a barbell pad in the center of the barbell. 
  2. Sitting on a mat with feet extended on the floor in towards you so that it centered infront of you and above your hips.
  3. Lie your back on the mat with hands on the barbell to prevent it from moving around.
  4. Bend your knees and plant your feet firmly on the floor.
  5. Make sure that your arms are extended and holding the bar firmly so that when you extend your hips up, the bar doesn't roll down your chest.
  6. Brace your core and lift your hips off the ground by squeezing your glutes, then slowly lower back to starting position.

   

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.