Training

How To Do The Glute Bridge | Technique Form and Variations

In this day and age who doesn’t want a good butt? You can’t look at any social media athlete, influencer or fitness blogger without routines that promise you the bottom of your dreams.

And what’s one of the key movements that’s always included in every workout?… The Glute Bridge! A valuable move that will help build stronger and fuller glutes.

  

What is the glute bridge?

The glute bridge is an exercise which targets the glutes but also activates the hamstrings and your lower back.  At a very basic level the same as a hip thrust but performed while lying flat on the floor instead of on a bench or raised surface. It can be progressed with tempo, bands, weight, and even elevating the feet to continue to challenge you and give that booty burn no matter how advanced you are.

 

How to do the glute bridge

So how do you perform a glute bridge? Follow the below steps and start working your glutes more effectively and efficiently. 

  1. Lay on your back with your feet flat against the floor and knees bent. 
  2. Engage your glutes by squeezing them and lift your hips off of the floor driving them up towards the ceiling. At the top of the movement make sure your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. 
  3. At the top of the movement pause at the top and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, hold for 1-2 seconds, and then lower back down slowly to the starting position.

 

How long to hold a glute bridge: How long to hold a glute bridge is really determined by the type of workout, you’re sticking to a basic glute bridge, aim for three to four sets of 15 to 25 reps and hold for 1-2 seconds at the top of the movement.

If you are looking to perform the basic movement but add intensity lower the reps to 5-10 but hold for 5-10 seconds at the top. If you’re looking to progress even further, start using weight or elevation, opt for the lower end of the set and rep and hold time range until you build up strength.

 

Glute bridges — common mistakes and how to avoid them

A Lot of people look at the glute bridge as an easier exercise but those people are more than likely not performing it correctly. You’ll find this movement in a whole variety of workout and rehab plans but many people do not execute it correctly so make sure to avoid the below mistakes and really work your glutes properly. 

 

1. Incorrect setup – Feet too wide/far/close to the body

Many people’s set up is slightly wrong, this means they shift the tension and workload from their glutes into the hamstrings or lower back, which isn’t the purpose of the exercise. This means make sure you work within your own hip and pelvic structure to hit the glutes. 

Ensure your feet are in a good position to ensure your hips are centred as possible to aid in stronger glute contraction and ensure your feet aren’t too wide and are in line with your hips. 

 

2. HyperExtension of the lower back

Whenever we workout we want to make sure we are engaged in our core and keep our spine neutral, before even starting the movement a lot of people over ache their back. 

The best way to test this is to see if when you’re laying on your back on the floor in the starting position try and slide your hands under your lower back if you can then you are hyperextending the lower back. Squeeze your bum and drive your lower back into the floor by engaging your core, this is the correct starting position and you want to hold this tension throughout the movement. 

3. Pushing through the heels of your feet

There are variations where you can isolate but using the front of feet but in general,you want to spread the load across the entire foot like you would with any big compound movements.

The best way to help with this is to think about your feet like a tripod which has two points across the front of your feet and one in the heel. You want to screw your feet into the ground and drive up through the entire foot. 

 

4. Lifting your torso off the ground

A common mistake is allowing the torso to move freely and lifting the whole back and shoulders off the floor. You want to imagine your sternum is anchored to the floor and that you are concentrating on lifting from the hip and squeezing your glute in order to drive them high.

The higher a bridge doesn’t mean you are working harder, you want to ensure the spine is neutral and the abs are engaged with movement and workload in the glutes. 

 

5. Tempo

Going too fast is a common fault in many exercises; a lot of people aim to blast through reps as quickly as they can. The best thing you can do for yourself and your progression is to slow down and really concentrate on the mind to muscle connection and think about what muscles you are working in movement.

Time under tension can help improve your strength more effectively and efficiently. The best way to do this is to count yourself through the movement and taking 3-4 seconds both the eccentric and concentric phase. 

 

Glute bridge variations and progression

Once you’ve mastered the basic movement there are a whole variety of progressions and variations you can try to keep challenging yourself and continue to build stronger glutes because everyone needs strong and study glutes for a strong foundation in other larger compound movements. 

 

Single leg glute bridge

This movement is great for further isolating the glutes and really building strength in the glutes. 

 

  • Lay on your back with your feet flat against the floor and knees bent, lift one leg off the floor and straighten (ensuring the sole of your foot is facing the ceiling) 

 

  • Engage your glutes by squeezing them and lift your hips off of the floor driving them up and your foot up towards the ceiling. At the top of the movement make sure your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. 
  • At the top of the movement pause at the top and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, hold for 1-2 seconds, and then lower back down slowly to the starting position.
  • Once complete switch legs and repeat. 

 

 

Banded glute bridge

Take isolation of the glutes a little further and add a  band when performing them to provide resistance and create tension on the target muscle group. 

 

  • Wrap your band around your thighs just above the knees. 

 

  • Lay on your back with your feet flat against the floor and knees bent, make sure to push the knee out against the tension of the band.
  • Engage your glutes by squeezing them and lift your hips off of the floor driving them up towards the ceiling. At the top of the movement make sure your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. 
  • At the top of the movement pause at the top and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, hold for 1-2 seconds, and then lower back down slowly to the starting position.
  • Once complete switch legs and repeat. 

 

 

Weighted glute bridge

Challenge your glutes even further by adding weighted resistance. 

 

  • Lay on your back with your feet flat against the floor and knees bent.

 

  • Place a weight across your hips. 
  • Engage your glutes by squeezing them and lift your hips off of the floor driving them up towards the ceiling. At the top of the movement make sure your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. 
  • At the top of the movement pause at the top and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, hold for 1-2 seconds, and then lower back down slowly to the starting position.
  • Once complete switch legs and repeat. 

 

 

Barbell glute bridge/ Hip thrusts

Want to add more weight resistance and challenge your glutes even further.

 

  • Sit on the floor with our legs out in front of you and roll the barbell over your hips.

 

  • Lay back and place your feet flat against the floor and knees bent. 
  • Engage your glutes by squeezing them and lift your hips off of the floor driving them up towards the ceiling. At the top of the movement make sure your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. 
  • At the top of the movement pause at the top and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, hold for 1-2 seconds, and then lower back down slowly to the starting position.
  • Once complete switch legs and repeat. 
  • If you want to progress then try moving to hip thrusts placing your back on a bench. 

 

 

 

What muscles do glute bridges work?

It’s in the name…. This exercise is perfect for building and strengthening your glutes (bottom) but also activates the hamstrings and lower back. Overall it can help strengthen your posterior chain which will help with larger compound movements. 

 

What are the benefits of glute bridges?

Glute work is important for building strength, stability, endurance, and power in the posterior chain. The glutes are used in and important for a whole variety of movements so the more you can activate them the better. The glutes also help with your other training, stronger glutes mean better and stronger lifts such as squats, deadlifts, cleans, snatches and even jumping. Overall the stronger and bigger your glutes the better your posture, reduce risk of injury, and help with stability and not to mention the aesthetics (which we all know we’re chasing).  

 

Take Home Message

No strength or power athlete has a small booty, because a good house is built on good foundations. The posterior chain is so important for not only for compound and isolation training but also everyday movements. Isolating, activation, and strengthening them will ensure not only will they be looking peachy but your lifting, movement, and training will improve.



Amy Golby

Amy Golby

Writer and expert


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