I know, I know, I know—you're probably thinking, "Glute bridges? I know how to do glute bridges. What's so hard about glute bridges? Boooooring! What else you got?"
Hear me out. A glute bridge is a simple, yet versatile exercise that helps you activate and strengthen your glutes, teaches you to extend your hips while maintaining a neutral spine and braced core, and lays the foundation for you to progress to bigger and better booty-building exercises.
Glute bridges also help strengthen the mind-muscle connection for a lot of women. If your pelvis is tilted anteriorly, your glutes (and hamstrings) are in a lengthened position, and you probably don't use them the way you should. Performing a glute bridge properly helps you get a sense for how it feels to use your glutes effectively during a simple movement, so you can start practicing when performing more complex movements.
Remember, you want your whole body to move as a unit, with your core braced, your spine neutral, and your glutes doing the work.
Once you've mastered the basic glute bridge, there are several variations of this exercise you can do to make it more challenging.
This variation is great because it gives a little bit of tension as you drive your knees out slightly, and helps you really feel your glutes as you squeeze.
Don't be deceived! These can be pretty tough, so we advice you to perform them with one knee pulled to your chest, at least until you've mastered the movement. This will help you avoid hyperextending your lower back.
Tip: If you feel your hamstring start to cramp or dominate the movement, move your feet closer to your body.
If you're ready to step things up a notch, but aren't quite ready for the Back-Elevated Glute Bridge (aka the Hip Thrust), you can try the Feet-Elevated Glute Bridge instead. The Feet-Elevated Glute Bridge increases the range of motion and thus the time under tension and amount of work your glutes are doing, so it's more challenging than a regular glute bridge, but not as challenging as a Hip Thrust.
If you're new to strength training, the glute bridge and its variations can be used as the hip-dominant lower body exercise in your training program. For example, your workout might look something like this:
A1. Bodyweight Box Squat - 3 x 8-10
A2. Walk Out - 3 x 6-10
B1. Glute Bridge - 3 x 8-10
B2. Band Pull-Apart - 3 x 8-10
B3. Suitcase Carry - 3 x 10 yards
If you're an intermediate or advanced lifter, you have more options with the glute bridge, including, but not limited to:
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