Part 4: Bootilicious – The Glute Bridge

So the glute bridge is one of my favorite moves. It can be a good part of any warm up or a great strength exercise by itself.

It is also a great way to mix up your hip hinge workouts from vertical to horizontal! It is also incredibly hard for many people to keep their core tight enough so that they don’t feel this in their low backs, but instead feel it in their butts.

Really really focus on drawing your belly button in toward your spine when doing this move so you DON’T feel it in your low back!

So the basic glute bridge is done on the ground. You should place your feet about hip width apart and bend your knees bringing your heels in close enough that you can touch them with your finger tips.

You then squeeze your butt cheeks and raise your hips as high up as you can. You should basically be on your shoulders and heels when you drive up. You should actively squeeze your belly button in toward your spine and squeeze your glutes.

Make sure that you aren’t just simply pushing back into your shoulders off of your heels. You actually want to drive straight up and while you are pushing through your heels you want to actually think about driving your shins forward.

You should feel this move in your glutes and a bit in your hamstrings NOT in your low back.

photo (40)

You can also do this move with one leg raised. I like to do it with one leg off the ground with the knee bent to 90 degrees and the foot flexed. I focus on getting my hips up just as high as they were with two legs. Try to also not let your hips rotate!

Another variation that I like of the basic glute bridge is the bridge on the power wheel.

photo (56)

Basically the same as the glute bridge on the ground EXCEPT you have to really drive your feet straight down into the ground and squeeze your butt and core or you are going to wobble over or the wheel will run off.

Many people also feel this move a lot more in their hamstrings.

This variation is a great way to advance the traditional glute bridge and make it into a great part of your workout.

To make this move harder, you can actually roll the wheel out and then back in toward your butt. The key though is to NOT drop your hips even as your roll out.

A great intermediate move if the power wheel is just a bit too hard especially moving it in and out is the glute bridge on the sliders.

Put your heels on the sliders and raise up into a glute bridge. Just like with the power wheel, straighten the legs out keeping the hips high and then bring the heels back in so that you are in the basic glute bridge position. Repeat slowly and make sure to keep your core tight so that your low back doesn’t feel this move.

The last glute bridge variation that I really like to use is a great strength move. A beginner can do this with only their back on the bench and feet on the ground. To make it more advanced, you can do it with your back on a bench and your feet up on a bench as well (or your back on the ground and feet up). To make that harder, do it with only one leg.

The hardest variation actually returns you to the position with your back on the bench and feet on the ground. You can add weight to this position by laying a barbell across your hips.

(I will take a picture but didn’t have time today to set up everything)

Actually you can almost weight down any position to make it harder EXCEPT the power wheel. If you advance from this move, you could weight down the one-leg variation.

But make sure that when you weight down the glute bridge, YOU DON’T FEEL IT IN YOUR LOW BACK.

Focus on really keeping the core tight by “drawing in” your belly button toward your spine!

So if you want a bootilicious (aka perky, toned) butt, try some of these moves. They will also really help up your deadlift numbers if you are looking to get your lift numbers higher!

What’s your favorite glute bridge variation?

Posted on March 23, 2013, in Man Bicep Form Bible, Workout and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Your glute activation articles are pretty specific that’s why I’m asking you this question.

    When you mention squeezing the glutes and lifting the hips, are you squeezing the glutes as they say pinching a quarter, then lifting as you maintain that squeeze or are your lifting your hips AS you squeeze. The two are quite different. Also, are you focusing more on pushing through the heel, on lifting the hips or both? Thanks for the great info.

    • Hi John

      You want to drive up through the heels but not back. The point is to not rock forward onto your toes, as many people do, to get their hips higher because that doesn’t allow the glutes to work as hard. So you should think about driving through your heels the entire time.

      And as you raise you want to squeeze your glutes, but you also want to make sure to squeeze them up at the top like you are pinching a quarter. Your glutes are the driver so you should feel them squeezing as you lift up and then holding the tension at the top.

      You do also want to keep your core engaged as you lift and not hyperextend your low back.

      Does that make sense? Hope that helps!

      • Thanks for the Reply! I think I understand. But this begs another question. When I push my heels into the ground and lift my hips my glutes start to squeeze on their own, now is this the squeeze you are talking about? Or do a I add another conscious squeeze in on top of that? I guess the best way to describe it is when doing a bicep curl, my bicep contracts not because I am contracting it but because I am flexing my arm, I guess you could say I am squeezing my bicep but thats really secondary. Is the same thing going on here?

      • You want to consciously squeeze your glutes as well. Many people actually don’t only use their glutes to bridge. Many people actually start to use their backs or their hammies. So if you feel your butt working instead you are fine. The conscious squeeze is for those who compensate with other muscles.

      • I’m sorry I didn’t thank you for this, it’s the squeeze as you move that has helped. Thanks Man Bicep!

      • My pleasure! Glad it helped!

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