Break It Down: The Glute Bridge

Finesse your form to build a strong derrière that powers you in athletics — and in life.

A well-developed backside will help you run faster, jump higher, twist explosively, and steer clear of injury. The classic glute bridge — and its variations, including the hip thrust and single-leg versions — is an excellent way to build strength, mobility, and stability in the butt and hips.

What makes this step so effective is that it homes in on the lower body, hitting the entire gluteal musculature: the gluteus maximus, the largest of the butt muscles, as well as the gluteus medius and minimus, smaller muscles that include the so-called side-butt.

To incorporate the glute bridge into your program, begin with body weight only, focusing on proper form and sequencing: Call your glutes into action by squeezing them so hard that they begin to rise off the floor. Doing this before you press through your feet is critical for making the most of this exercise.

Once you get the hang of the lift, you can add weight with a sandbag or barbell positioned in the crease of your hips. (Place the sandbag or bar on a foam pad or rolled-up yoga mat for comfort.)

For guidance on selecting weights and reps to match your goals, visit “Expert Answers on Figuring Out How Much Weight to Lift.”

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. From this position, engage your core, press your back into the floor, and begin squeezing your glutes.
  2. Keep the glutes engaged and weight evenly across both feet as you press your hips up. Extend your hips fully so your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
  3. Hold this position for one breath, continuing to squeeze your glutes. Take care not to overextend and arch your back by keeping your ribs in proper alignment.
  4. Slowly reverse the movement — keep squeezing your glutes and don’t collapse to the floor — to return to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Tip: Keep your arms at your sides, or if you are adding weight, use them to support the weight in the hip crease.

Tip: Brace your core throughout the movement to avoid overextending your lower back.

Tip: If your knees cave in toward each other, squeeze your glutes and pull your knees apart until they are in line with your hips and heels.

 

4 Variations

Hip Thrust

Man doing a hip thrustPhotos: Chad Holder; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: David Freeman

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Man doing a single leg glute bridgePhotos: Chad Holder; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: David Freeman

Marching Glute Bridge

Man doing a marching glute bridgePhotos: Chad Holder; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: David Freeman

Banded Glute Bridge

Man doing a banded glute bridgePhotos: Chad Holder; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: David Freeman

 

Blog Source: Experience Life | Break It Down: The Glute Bridge

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