Feet Elevated Glute Bridge

How To Do A Feet Elevated Glute Bridge
By Alli McKeeFebruary 18, 2016

Feet Elevated Glute Bridge Exercise

The feet elevated glute bridge exercise is phenomenal for improving the strength and development of the glutes, and for the overall function and health of the entire body. Strong glutes matter!! It is a great exercise that will help you transition from a glute bridge on the floor to a hip thrust with your shoulders on a bench.

Equipment needed:

You need a bench to do this bodyweight exercise.

Ability level:


Beginners should start out with feet elevated bodyweight glute bridges.


Intermediate lifters can add additional resistance in the form of bands or chains, or can opt for the single leg variation. If you’re doing a lower body workout, you can use the feet elevated glute bridge as a warm-up to prepare your body for the compound movements, or you can perform the feet elevated glute bridge after a squatting, lunging, or hinging exercise as part of a lower body superset. If you’re doing a full-body workout, you can pair the feet elevated glute bridge with an upper body pushing or pulling exercise. You can also use it at the end of the workout, as a glute finisher. Intermediate lifters might perform 2-4 sets of 6-12 reps of the feet elevated glute bridge, or can do up to 25 reps if the exercise is being used to really work the glutes hard at the end of the workout.


Women who are comfortable with the feet elevated glute bridge may choose to perform barbell feet elevated glute bridges. You can also make the exercise more challenging by doing a glute bridge hold and pausing for a longer time at the top of the lift and really challenging the glutes concentrically, or performing negatives and lowering in 3-5 seconds, really challenging the glutes eccentrically. You can also perform any of the above options while using a single leg.

Benefits of Feet Elevated Glute Bridges:

How a woman chooses to use a feet elevated glute bridge is highly dependent on her overall technical ability and experience, how much resistance is being used, the set/rep scheme used, where it falls in the workout, what it’s paired with, and what the rest periods are.  In general, feet elevated glute bridges can be used to do any or all of the following:

  • increasing glute strength
  • building muscle
  • improving aesthetics of the glutes (higher, rounder, firmer)
  • increasing speed and power by teaching optimal hip extension, which will be beneficial to running, jumping, and other sports specific movements
  • improved full body function and health as strong glutes positively impact the alignment and mechanics of the spine, pelvis, femurs, knees, ankles and feet
  • increasing performance in the weight room
  • increasing athleticism and sports specific performance
  • fat loss (if your diet and exercise routines are conducive to fat loss)

How to perform a Feet Elevated Glute Bridge:

  • Lie on a mat, position your body so it is facing straight ahead, and place your feet on top of a bench.
  • Your feet should be hip to shoulder width apart, and it is to you whether you put your heels on top of the bench, or opt for playing the mid/backs of your feet on the edge of the bench.
  • You can place a small yoga block or pad under your head if this is more comfortable.
  • Before you start, take a deep breath into your belly (360 degrees of air around the spine) and brace your core (imagine blocking a soccer ball with your stomach).
  • Initiate the glute bridge and pick up your hips by driving through the heel and squeezing your glutes. Do NOT arch your lower back. This is extremely important.
  • At the top position, hold for a count or more as this will really utilize the glutes. It is imperative that you lock out by squeezing your glutes, not by arching your lower back.
  • When you are in the top position, your body should be in a straight line from the knees to the shoulders.
  • During the lowering phase, control the movement with your glutes.
  • For the duration of the exercise, it’s important to keep your rib cage tucked toward your hips (closing the space in your midsection) and keep your core braced. Do not allow your rib cage to lift or lower back to arch.
  • Make sure that your weight remains on the heel and mid-foot but keep your toes down, particularly your big and baby toe. This will dramatically improve your stability, and ability to perform this exercise.
  • Do not allow your knees to collapse in or fall outside of your feet.
  • Keep your neck in a neutral position as you lift yourself off the floor.
  • Reset before each rep
  • You have the option of touching down to the mat between reps, or stopping just before your hips touch the mat. If you do the latter, it will be more challenging.

Video Transcription: 

So if you’re not quite ready to elevate your back on a bench, elevating your feet on the bench can be a nice transition from a normal bodyweight glute bridge on the ground to elevating your back. So I’m just going to lay on my back, again having my head supported. I’ll elevate my feet on the bench. Some people like to put their heels on the bench some people like to put their toes on the bench, it's really just whatever’s comfortable for you and whatever makes you feel your glutes the most. Big breath in, let the air out, come up and squeeze, come down. Again you want a nice straight line from the knees to the shoulders at the top.

If you want to make it more challenging, you can go with the band again. Exact same thing as doing this on the ground, here driving out against the band. Also if you have a foam roller or a ball that you can put in between your knees, you can think about crushing that while you do the glute bridge as well. And that is, like I said, a nice transition from the bodyweight glute bridge on the ground to the back elevated bodyweight hip thrust.



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About the author:  Alli McKee

Alli is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She's contributed to and modeled for a number of major publications including Oxygen magazine and the New Rules of Lifting: Supercharged. You can find out more about Alli on her personal blog at www.allimckee.com.

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