Glute Bridge- Answering the Basics


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.

glute bridge

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!



7 thoughts on “Glute Bridge- Answering the Basics

  1. To keep things interesting and effective, you can also add variations to it.Make sure you have great form and don’t progress to single leg glute bridges until you know that your technique is solid.

  2. […] sure you perform hip thrusts with quality technique and pause at the top of each rep to make sure you reach full hip extension. If you feel your lower […]

  3. Monique says:

    Hi, I was wondering if you don’t feel the burn in your butt as your doing the workout but you feel the pain your butt later on or the next does that take the theory away you have to feel it in your butt

    • Katie says:

      If you’re doing a lower body exercise somewhat correct, your glutes are going to fire and get in on the action. They’re big muscle groups and take the load off other muscles, it just depends on how much they take over. If underdeveloped they’ll let the quads, low back, adductors, hamstrings and other areas be the prime movers, even though they’re getting some work. This is why you should still focus on visualizing and feeling your glutes do the majority of the work during exercise. It will ensure that you continue to make improvements in glute strength and growth, without building up the other areas too.

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