Any fitness professional has an exercise that they claim to be the BEST for firming and strengthening the glutes; however, when these claims are made, do they provide you with reasons behind why their exercise is so great? Not only is the glute bridge great for strengthening the backside, but is has many other great benefits giving you more “bang for your buck” leading to why I love it so much. In this article I will list all the great reasons why you should incorporate the glue bridge into your regular fitness regimen.
No, this exercise is not only for women striving for their dream bum. Both men and women from professional to recreational athletes all the way down to the sedentary individuals can benefit from performing this exercise! The more you sit, the weaker your glutes become and these muscles hold the key to your speed! Men, if you are looking to get faster at your sport then training your gluteal muscles is a great place to start. There is a common misunderstanding that the secret to jumping higher and running faster is all in the calfs. I see many people doing hundreds of calf raises with weight vests thinking this is going to help them jump higher; however, the source of all your power and speed is in the good ol’ glutes!
1.) Not only is it great for firming the glutes, but the bridge is also important for improving core stabilization while the hips are extending. This is very important in prevention of lower back pain, because the lumbar spine must be stabilized during lower body extension to reduce strain on the lower back.
2.) No equipment is required so it can be performed anywhere and everywhere you are able to lie down on a flat surface.
3.) Can be made more challenging with or without adding equipment. (See video below for a great way to make the glute bridge more challenging!)
Start by lying face up on the floor with arms to the side, knees bent, and heels on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground until knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line making sure to squeeze your glutes as you reach the top of the movement. All of your weight should be balanced between your shoulders and your feet. After holding for 2-3 seconds, slowly lower your hips back to the ground and allow it to slightly touch the ground before completing another rep.
Try performing 2 sets of 8-10 reps of this exercise 2-3 times per week to start seeing results.
There are many different ways to perform the glute bridge in order to strengthen the glutes and teach them to fire properly with other muscle of the core in order to produce power and protect the lower back.
Below are a few videos to give you an idea of a couple different alternatives to perform the glute bridge:
Note: Adding the mini band helps fire the gluteus medius along with gluteus maximus for maximum glute activation. This mini band can also be used in the basic bodyweight glute bridge also.
There are many other ways to perform the glute bridge, so feel free to CONTACT ME if you would like further instruction or ideas.
-Be careful not to hyper-extend your back as you reach the top of the movement.
-If you experience lower back pain while performing this exercise, stop immediately and consider seeking help from a fitness professional.
Michelle Roots BA KIN, CSCS, PES, PN1