What is a glute bridge?
A glute bridge is an exercise that strengthens your glutes and hamstrings while enhancing core stability. A glute bridge is extremely easy to add to your strength training workout, especially on those days when you plan on hitting booty and legs.
Which muscles are used for a glute bridge?
Just like its name suggests, performing the glute bridge is going to primarily target the glutes, specifically the muscle called the gluteus maximus, which is the biggest and strongest muscle in the gluteus area.
While you are performing the glute bridge, the hamstrings will also jump in to assist in this hip extension part of the exercise.
In addition, the transverse abdominis will be activated as you are keeping your core tight during the movement.
What are the benefits of a glute bridge?
This great exercise will bring many benefits to your body, but some of the most important benefits of a glute bridge include:
– Glute Strength
The glute bridge will help you build some major strength in your lower body. Stronger glutes are going to be a big help in your performance in a variety of exercises, as well as your daily activities outside of the gym.
For example, the glute bridge can serve as a fantastic supplementary exercise if you are trying to reach a personal record on your deadlift, squat, or hip thrust.
Stronger muscles in your gluteal can also boost your performance in athletic movements that rely on lower body explosiveness, such as running or jumping.
– Improved Posture
You might be surprised to hear this, but your spine is not very likely to be the one responsible for your posture! For the majority of people, weak or tight hip flexors may actually be the ones to blame, and the issue is just reflected in your upper body area.
When they are tight or weak, hip flexors cause the lower back to over-activate, leading to back pain or stiffness. To avoid the pain and discomfort in the lower back, many people end up slouching over, especially if they spend a lot of hours every day working a desk job.
The glute bridge, and many other exercises will help you maintain proper posture by taking the pressure off your back muscles.
– Improved Aesthetics
If you are trying to build a bigger, more defined, or more toned butt (and who isn’t?), the glute bridge will be your friend on that journey. The basic glute bridge is an isolation exercise, which means that it directly targets your glute muscles, making your booty appear more balanced and well-rounded.
How to do a glute bridge?
In order for this (and any other) exercise to be safe and effective, it must be performed in the good form. Here is how to properly do a basic bodyweight glute bridge.
- First, find an open space on the floor or ground. If you have a mat, you can perform the exercise on it; carpet is fine too.
- Lie down on the ground and rest your hands on your sides. Place your feet flat on the floor at hip width apart and have your knees bent. Make sure your upper back is flat on the floor.
- Slightly push your low back into the ground, creating the sensation of your core muscles and gluteal muscles tightening. Make sure you have your knees bent and feet flat the whole time.
- Bring your hips upwards to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Avoid arching your back, make sure your hips and shoulders are aligned. Keep your heels on the floor at all times.
- Once you are in this position of a straight line, squeeze your core and your butt muscles at the top of the movement. Make sure to squeeze glutes hard, keeping your core engaged and a neutral spine.
- Hold the position and feel the burn in your hamstrings, glutes, and core.
- Slowly lower the hips to return to the starting position. If you slowly lower your body into the starting position, you are engaging all of the muscles, especially the weak glutes and hamstrings.
Glute bridge variations
There are several glute bridge variations, and each of them has a different purpose. The most popular variations of the glute bridges include:
Single Leg Glute Bridge
The single leg glute bridge is performed similarly to the standard glute bridge, apart from the fact that one leg at the time is kept up, while the movement is performed, and one leg stays on the ground. Because you are using just one leg at a time, a single leg glute bridge is more intense than the bilateral version and will work your core muscles to a much bigger degree to help you with stability.
Weighted Glute Bridge
The weighted glute bridge is a fantastic variation of the glute bridge that will allow you to push your strength by adding weight. The weight can be added in any form (barbell, kettlebell, or dumbbell); make sure to use some cushion if you fell discomfort to your hips. Other than the extra weight, the weighted glute bridge is performed the same way as the standard glute bridge.
Glute Bridge with Band
Glute Bridge with Band is just what the name suggests: a glute bridge performed with the resistance band. Place it around thighs, just above your knees. The band provides extra resistance, making the muscles work extra hard to complete the move.
It is best to avoid glute bridges if you are in the final stages of pregnancy, or have just delivered, if you are healing from surgery or an injury involving your back, abdomen, pelvis, hips, knees, or ankles or if you have an abdominal hernia. Make sure to stop the exercise if you feel pain in your lower back or in your hips. A burning sensation when you are starting a new exercise is normal, but doing a glute bridge should not hurt.
Do glute bridges make your bum bigger?
By strengthening the muscles in your gluteus area, the glute bridges will make your butt appear more toned, muscular, and bigger.
Is hip thrust or glute bridge better?
If your fitness goal is to keep yourself fit and strengthen your muscles, glute bridges are the perfect, effective exercise without being too challenging.
The main difference with hip thrust is that when performing a hip thrust you make a bigger range of motion. So if you are a beginner start with glute bridge first and then gradually progress towards hip thrust. But once you master it keep the glute bridge and its variations in your routine with hip thrust for best results.
Are glute bridges better than squats?
These exercises are different, and they target muscles differently, but they are both great! Squats are a more compound movement that work legs to a bigger degree and glute bridges make more emphasis on your posterior muscles. The choice will depend on your fitness goals, but the best thing to do is to incorporate them both in your fitness routine.
How long should you hold glute bridge?
If performing a glute bridge as a static exercise then the goal should be to hold in the position for about 15-30 seconds and feel the burn in your thighs and glutes during the workout. If that is too challenging initially, try holding for just a few seconds, increasing the time period as you get stronger.
How many glute bridges should I do?
Glute bridges can be done daily as part of a warm-up part of the workouts or a standard part of the strength workout routine. The ideal number of sets and reps would be 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 15 reps. If that is too easy then try some of the glute bridge variations.
Does glute bridge burn belly fat?
If done regularly, regular glute bridge can help reduce your belly fat by burning more calories but bigger benefit of glute bridge is keeping your supporting muscles toned and firm.