How to Do a Glute Bridge Using 3 Simple Progressions
Fitness pro Hannah Davis demonstrates how to safely and properly perform a glute bridge to enhance your squats, lunges, and deadlifts.
Glute bridges are the ultimate crowd-pleaser when it comes to booty-building workouts. They require no equipment or bulky weights, are easy for fitness newbies to catch on to, and are simple enough to allow for dozens of intense variations to challenge your muscles. (Related: What's the Difference Between a Glute Bridge and a Hip Thrust?)
But they’re also a foundational move a lot of people do wrong, says Hannah Davis, C.S.C.S., trainer and creator of Body By Hannah. If you aren’t properly activating your glutes while doing this exercise, you’re probably not performing the most effective squats, lunges, and deadlifts either, adds Davis.
Don’t worry, though. You and your booty aren’t a lost cause. Here, Davis shares a step-by-step guide to perfecting your glute-bridge form by working your way through three variations.
How it works: For each progression, complete 3 rounds of 15 reps.
Glute Bridge Progression 1: Knee-Hug Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Starting your workout off with this glute bridge variation while help you learn how to properly tuck your tailbone and prevent your lower back from arching—a common mistake that can end in injury. While you’re not going to get a huge range of motion with this movement, you’ll be able to better isolate your glutes.
A. Lie down with your back flat on the floor. Bend knees and place feet hip-width apart on the ground. Keep arms at your side, palms face down.
B. Tightly hug one leg into chest. Exhale and push through the opposite heel, with toes lifted off the floor, and press hips up as high as possible without arching your low back.
C. Inhale and gently lower hips back to the floor.
Repeat for 15 reps then switch sides.
Glute Bridge Progression 2: Floor Bridge
Thanks to the first progression, you should now have a solid mind-body understanding of where your pelvis should be while you complete a glute bridge. Avoid arching your back, which means you have an anterior pelvic tilt.
A. Begin with both feet flat on the floor.
B. Exhale and slowly push through both heels to lift hips off the floor. Tuck tailbone and lift the hips up as high as possible without allowing the lower back to arch.
C. Inhale and gently lower hips back to the floor one vertebrae at a time.
Repeat for 15 reps.
Glute Bridge Progression 3: Single-leg Bridge
Now that you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to take a shot at an advanced variation of the glute bridge. This single-leg glute bridge exercise will level up your lower-body training and make sure both sides are being targeted and engaged properly. This will ensure you're ready for any standing, weighted single-leg movement like a single-leg deadlift or pistol squat.
A. Starting in a floor bridge position, lift one leg straight up into the air and slowly press through the opposite heel.
B. Exhale and lift the hips up as high as you can without allowing the lower back to arch, keeping the tailbone tucked.
C. Inhale and lower hips back to the floor slowly with control.
Repeat for 15 reps and switch sides.