How To Do Glute Bridges
What Is A Glute Bridge
The glute bridge is a lower body exercise that trains hip extension to strengthen the glutes, as well as the quads, hamstrings, core, and lower back. Strengthening the glutes in hip extension can help improve posture, reduce back pain, lower risk of injury, and build glute size.
The glute bridge follows the same movement pattern as the hip thrust, but the upper back is on the floor rather than on a bench. This reduces the range of motion, meaning less muscle fibres are recruited. However, it allows the exercise to isolate the glutes more. If you struggle to feel glutes in a hip thrust, or find hip thrusts hurt your lower back, glute bridges can be a great alternative to build strength and mind-muscle connection and perfect your form. Glute bridges are also useful to warm up and activate the glutes before a workout, or performed high rep to build endurance.
While glute bridges are often done bodyweight only, which we cover below, it is possible to load glute bridges with dumbbells or a barbell, or do single leg glute bridges, to make this exercise more challenging.
Commonly Asked Questions On Glute Bridges
Glute bridges do work the hamstrings, however the glutes are the main muscle group strengthened in this exercise. If you want to focus on the hamstrings, deadlifts and good mornings are more hamstring focused hip extension exercises.
The muscles in the lower back are worked in glute bridges, however they should not feel painful during or after this exercise. Keeping a neutral spine helps to prevent tension from switching from the glutes to the lower back, making sure the glutes are worked hard and the back is protected from injury. You can do this by engaging the core, tucking the pelvis under, and squeezing the glutes.
Glute bridges are an effective but accessible way to train hip extension and strengthen the glutes, making it an ideal exercise for beginners learning the hip extension movement pattern. Glute bridges are also good for warming up the lower body and activating the glutes before a workout, building glute strength and endurance, and can help to improve posture.
Glute Bridge Tips
Preventing the lower back from arching is key to ensuring the glutes power the hip extension, rather than the lower back. Think about pulling your belly button towards the spine and bringing the pelvis and chest closer together to create a neutral spine, then maintain this shape throughout the bridge.
How To Do A Glute Bridge
Lie flat on your back with arms straight by your side, knees bent hip-width apart, and feet flat on the floor.
Engage your core by pulling the belly button towards the spine and tucking your pelvis under so your lower back is flat against the floor.
Use your glutes to push your hips 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.
Squeeze your glutes and hold the top position for a second before slowly returning to the start position, making sure your back doesn’t overarch.
Slowly return 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.