The Glute Bridge
The Glute bridge is a great and fundamental bodyweight exercise that works the glutes and hamstrings, and is an awesome pairing with any squat variation to get a full leg workout. In fact, both glute bridges and squats are so fundamental that they are the 2 lower body exercises of the 6 exercises total in my BWF Primer Routine (A free routine for total beginners to exercise that’s meant to give you a slow introduction to fitness, that starts with just one exercise on day one and builds up to the full routine over 14 days).
Lying face up on the floor, chin tucked and knees up with feet flat on the floor. The distance of your heels to your butt will vary from person to person, and will be determined with a bit of experimentation (explained below).
From your start position, lightly brace your midsection, squeeze your glutes and think about driving your heels down into the ground and just slightly towards your body (not a lot). Push your hips as high as you can get them without breaking the tension in your midsection to cause your back to arch, and then return to the lying position.
The three keys in this position are:
- Shins vertical
- Lower back flat
- Hips fully extended.
Variations in Form:
Once normal glute bridges become easy, you can try doing them with one leg. You can either have your leg straight out or bent to 90 degrees.
Back Elevated (Hip Thrust) (+One Leg)
This is the standard form for a loaded hip thrust. The key here is to elevate on a surface that is at a height where your back touches the edge between the middle and the bottom of your scapula when your butt is on the floor. This will make it easy to pivot around and keep your back on it, while giving you good ROM.
This variation can also be done with one leg.
There are a number of hamstring focused variations for the glute bridge, covered in another entry:
So the absolute most common error made in glute bridges is extending the lower back at the top, this completely kills your glute activation and makes much more of the work done by your lower back, sort of nullifying why you’re doing a *glute* bridge to begin with!
To fix this, make sure you are solid in your bracing, and you can also tuck your chin to your chest.
This is more of an internal cue issue but it can also be a positional problem. If you are consistently finding that your quads feel like they’re working too hard, it’s either going to be the case that your feet are too close to your butt, or you need to be consciously engaging your glutes more as you drive up.
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