What are Glute Bridge Exercises? Glute bridge variations Explained

Written by Danielle Foster
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The glute bridge is a powerful exercise that targets the gluteus maximus muscles in your butt. This move helps to strengthen and tone your glutes, hamstrings, lower back and core.

Glute bridges are a versatile exercise that can be done by anyone, regardless of fitness level. They require no equipment, just your own body weight. Glute bridges can be performed from the floor, as part of your warm-up or workout, or even during TV commercial breaks from the comfort of your couch!

Read on to learn proper glute bridge form, muscles worked, benefits and easy variations to include in your next workout.

How to Do a Glute Bridge

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do a basic bodyweight glute bridge with proper form:

  1. Lie face up on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on the ground about hip-width apart. Extend your arms by your sides.
  2. Engage your core muscles by drawing your belly button in towards your spine.
  3. Keeping your back straight, squeeze your glutes and push your hips up towards the ceiling until your hips are fully extended. Your knees, hips and shoulders should form a straight line.
  4. Hold this glute bridge position for 2-3 seconds, continuing to squeeze your glutes at the top.
  5. Slowly lower back down to the starting position in a controlled manner.
  6. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

What Muscles Do Glute Bridges Work?

Glute bridge exercises primarily target the gluteus maximus, the main muscle in your backside. They also activate the hamstrings, lower back and core muscles for stabilization.

By squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement, you'll feel your butt muscles contracting as they lift your hips off the ground. This helps to strengthen and tone the glutes. Proper form is important to get the most out of this exercise.

Benefits of Glute Bridge Exercises

What are Glute Bridge Exercises? Glute bridge variations Explained

Here are some of the top benefits of regularly performing glute bridges:

  • Strengthens and sculpts the glutes, hips and thighs
  • Improves lower body strength for daily activities
  • Activates and isolates the glutes
  • Helps correct muscle imbalances or weaknesses
  • Can help improve posture and alignment
  • Low-impact and joint-friendly
  • Requires no equipment for a quick workout anywhere

This exercise is especially helpful for targeting the stubborn outer glute muscles that can be difficult to work. Strengthening your glutes provides more power for athletic activities and can also relieve pressure on your lower back.

In addition, because it activates your core for stabilization, the glute bridge is a great functional exercise that trains your body to work as one unit. Strong glutes paired with a solid core is key for improving overall movement patterns.

Glute Bridge Variations

Once you've mastered proper form on the basic bodyweight glute bridge, try these variations to switch up your workout:

  • Single-Leg Glute Bridge - Perform a glute bridge while keeping one leg extended for more focus on your standing leg.
  • Elevated Glute Bridge - Place your heels or shoulders on a bench to increase the range of motion.
  • Banded Glute Bridge - Loop a resistance band around your thighs right above your knees.
  • Weighted Glute Bridge - Hold a dumbbell or weight plate on your hips as you lift up.
  • Shoulder Bridge - Keep your back flat on the floor and just raise your hips up.
  • Hip Thruster - Use a barbell across your hips to add resistance.
  • Glute Bridge March - Lift one knee up towards chest while in bridge position.

Try alternating between 10-12 reps of a few different variations for a well-rounded glute workout. Listen to your body and start with bodyweight before adding resistance or weights.

Sample Glute Bridge Workout Routine

Here is a 10 minute glute bridge workout you can do anywhere:

  • Glute Bridge: 2 sets x 15 reps
  • Single Leg Glute Bridge (each side): 2 sets x 12 reps
  • Banded Glute Bridge: 2 sets x 10 reps
  • Weighted Glute Bridge: 2 sets x 8 reps

Perform this routine 2-3 times a week after a warm-up for an effective glute sculpting workout. Add in other glute exercises like squats, lunges and kickbacks for a complete lower body routine.

Conclusion

Ready to feel the burn in your backside? Add glute bridge exercises to your existing workout program or do them on their own for a quick and easy way to strengthen your lower half.

Start slowly, focus on proper form and engage your glutes at the top of each rep. Feel free to experiment with different foot positions and variations to target your glutes from all angles.

With consistency, glute bridges can lead to a lifted, toned and sculpted backside! Just be sure to combine them with other strength moves like squats and lunges as well as cardio for an overall healthy and balanced workout routine.

References

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Danielle Foster is a dedicated Sports Nutrition & Weight Management Dietitian with a passion for promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. With a solid educational background and a wealth of research and publications, Danielle brings a wealth of expertise to her clients and readers. Her writing not only reflects her extensive academic training but also her practical experience working with athletes and individuals striving to achieve their fitness and weight management goals. Danielle's approachable and informative style makes her a trusted source for those seeking expert guidance in the realms of sports nutrition and weight management.

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