Whilst the glute bridge is great for strengthening and toning your glutes (and who doesn’t want a toned behind!), it has many other benefits, including:
STRENGTHENING YOUR CORE - The glute bridge activates all the core muscles. Performing any variation of the bridge works these muscles, tightening everything up in one move.
IMPROVES POSTURE - The glute bridge helps build strength in the erector spinae (muscles that run along both sides of the spine), which helps you maintain proper posture when sitting or standing for an extended period of time. The added strength in your core that you’ll get from performing this exercise will also help improve your posture.
If you'd like more information about strengthening the glutes, read 'What are the glutes, and why should I work on them?'
THE BASIC GLUTE BRIDGE
Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Your feet should be just close enough that you can graze your heels with your fingertips. Your feet should be about hip width apart.
Bend your elbows so that only your upper arm is on the ground.
Keeping your feet flat, drive up through your heels and upper back to lift your glutes off the ground. Squeeze your glutes hard during this motion and keep your belly button drawn in so you don’t hyper extend your back. All of your weight should be balanced between your shoulders and feet. Don’t push backwards off your heels, make sure you’re driving straight up and that your knees aren’t caving in.
Hold the squeeze on your glutes for 3-5 seconds at the top and then lower smoothly all the way back down to the ground before repeating 12-15 times per set.
You should feel this move in your glutes and hamstrings and not in your lower back. If you’re feeling it in your lower back you are most likely raising your hips too high.
Don’t rush through this exercise. Take the time to hold at the top and feel the glutes activate.
SINGLE LEG GLUTE BRIDGE
If you feel ready to advance the basic glute bridge, try it on only one leg. Make sure that you can perform this variation with your hips as high in the air as you did with the basic bridge. If you can’t do that, revert back to the basic bridge until your glutes are strong enough to fully extend.
Set up as you would for the basic bridge then raise one leg off the ground. The raised leg can be bent, but make sure you don’t swing the leg as you lift. To ensure you don’t hyperextend your lower back you can also perform these with the knee of your raised leg pulled towards your chest.