October 11, 2013 by Katie
What is a glute bridge?
A glute bridge is an exercise that targets the gluteal muscles along with the hamstrings, quadriceps, abdomen, and erector spinae. The goal however, is to have your glutes dominating the movement. When you reach this point you will know that you’re performing them correctly and are ready to add load.
Why should I perform glute bridges?
Because you want a better booty of course! And if you sit for longer than 3 hours a day, you need this exercise. The truth is; your glutes are lazy. They will turn off after too much sitting due to them not being worked. Turn them back on with bridges!
The glutes are the powerhouse muscles of your posterior chain. Although lunges, squats, and deadlifts are great for strengthening and building muscle in your legs, they can over develop the quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductors, especially when performed incorrectly. Glute bridges, on the other hand, primarily target your butt, which is often neglected and underdeveloped in most athletes. If your goal is to build a better butt and body and improve athletic performance, you need to implement glute bridges!
What rep scheme should I use?
You should use a variety of rep schemes based on how well you’re feeling your glutes. I recommend starting with a low volume rep scheme, around 20-30 total repetitions a session, until you have mastered the bridge. If you can feel your glutes firing during every rep, feel absolutely no back pain, no strain on your hamstrings or your quads, and your hip flexors are well stretched out, then you can start adding in volume and variations.
Remember, it’s a good idea to always switch it up. One day do high volume work (around 50-100 body weight bridges), one day do single leg bridges (10-40 each leg depending on where you’re at), and on another perform low (3-8) or high volume weighted bridges (9-50 depending on the load), also known as weighted hip thrusts.
Helpful tips for glute bridges:
- One of the first things you need to do is play with your foot position. The best place to start is with you feet flat, positioned straight, hip-width apart, and with your heels around a hands distance from your butt. From here, you can play with variations until you find where you feel your glutes the most. You can slightly turn your feet out or you can play with the distance between your heel and butt. If your heels are too close, then you will feel your quads and your low back more. With your heels further from your butt, you will feel your hamstrings more. You want to find the middle ground so that you can maximize glute contraction.
- Drive through your heels to maximize glute and hamstring activity. If you feel your hamstrings overtaking, then drive through your entire foot and see if that helps with pulling back in the glutes. Avoid going up onto the toes.
- To avoid hyperextending your low back, keep your abs braced.
Now, go do your bridges!