The glute bridge is one exercise you want to add to your lower body workout. It’s a great exercise to strengthen multiple muscles in your lower body including the glutes and hamstrings.
It’s also one exercise that involves your core and opens up stiff and tight hip flexors.
But if one benefit of the glute bridge is to be highlighted, it’s how hard it works your butt. A strong butt is key not only for its aesthetics of it but also for functional reasons.
It prevents injury, supports posture, and improves your everyday performance.
Glutes also produce the majority of the power your lower body generates.
The stronger your glutes become, the more powerful your overall lower body gets and adds more to your daily functions.
If you also apply a macro perspective, working your glutes also helps other parts of your body like your core and back.
It improves the spinal stabilizing muscles and can lead to better posture and reduced back pain.
To those looking for a stronger butt, the glute bride certainly has great appeal. It’s also convenient that it requires no equipment and takes very little space.
All you need is a space to lie down and a flat, comfortable surface. It’s suitable for people of all fitness levels as it is a low-impact move and gentle to the knees and hips.
Here are 5 glute bridge exercise variations you can get started with.
1. Glute Bridge
Let’s start with a basic bodyweight glute bridge.
You see people perform this simple glute bridge in two ways: Hold or Pulse.
Whether done isometrically or dynamically, this exercise works the same target muscles.
Primarily, it engages and penetrates your glutes, hips, and hamstrings.
It also works the core, abs, and back.
This is a great variation to start off with before adding any challenge to the glute bridge exercise.
Here is how to perform the bodyweight glute bridge.
- Start on your back on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your feet flat and rest your hands at your sides.
- Pressing the pelvis into the floor, lift your hips off the floor until your knees, glutes, and shoulders are in a straight line. Be sure not to overextend your back and squeeze your glutes while pressing up the pelvis.
- Hold your bridge position for 1-2 seconds before returning to the start position. Compete for 8-10 reps for the dynamic glute bridge.
- To perform the bridge hold, hold the top position for longer and complete fewer reps.
2. Marching Glute Bridge
The marching glute bridge is a variation of the classic glute bridge.
As you hold your glutes and hips at the top, you alternate between the right and left leg to test out your balance and strength.
This unilateral element of the marching version helps work each side of your lower body equally to help restore any imbalances.
As you support your lower body with one leg, this move trains for more balance and stability.
It also requires a greater core involvement, making it almost a full-body exercise.
Here is how to perform a marching glute bridge.
- Start on your back and rest your hands by your sides with palms facing up. Bend your knees, so your feet are flat on the ground.
- Brace your core and lift your pelvis up by pressing your heels into the ground. Your shoulders, glutes, and knees should form a straight line.
- Hold your bridge position while you lift one knee toward your chest. Pause at the top for a second and bring it down to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat.
- That’s one rep. Keep alternating sides until you complete 8-10 reps.
3. Butterfly Glute Bridge
The butterfly glute bridge is a variation that uniquely combines the seated butterfly stretch with the bridge.
You’ll feel a great stretch both in your glutes and hip flexors.
But don’t let the stretch component fool you into thinking this is an easy exercise.
It’s actually quite challenging.
At least, don’t take this simple exercise casually.
The opening of your hips at the top requires more balance and stability. It requires more involvement of your glutes and hamstrings to support the body alignment while the hip flexors open up.
As you perform this exercise, feel the lengthening of your leg muscles and involvement of your glutes.
Here is how to perform the exercise.
- Lay on your back on a mat with the sole of your feet touching together. Position your feet about a foot from your glutes.
- Brace your core and press up your hips towards the ceiling by pushing the side of your feet into the ground.
- Hold the hips at the position where your torso and thighs are in a straight line. Squeeze your glutes and release them after 10 seconds and come down. Repeat 3 times.
4. One-Leg Glute Bridge
One-leg glute bridge is an advanced version of the bodyweight bridge.
It focuses on performing one leg at a time and tests your balance.
It’s a great way to work on the strength of each leg independently and build stability.
This also combines the hold and dynamic movements.
While the bottom leg stays in place and stabilizes the butt and core, your top leg performs dynamic up and down movements.
Each leg is put to use simultaneously but operates different functions.
Completing 10 reps per side will give you a nice burn on your hamstrings and butt muscles.
Before trying this variation, be sure to learn the basic bridge form.
Here is how to perform the one-leg glute bridge.
- Start flat on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle and keep your feet flat on the mat.
- Press your weight against your pelvic bones and keep your back flat. Brace your core and lift your right leg up and fully extend.
- Press your hips upward, so your butt is in line with your shoulders and knees. With the left leg in place and keeping your core tight, lower your right leg to the mat and bring it up.
- That’s one rep. Complete 10-12 reps before switching sides.
5. Glute Bridge and Curl
The bridge and curl is a challenging lower body exercise that can truly activate your glutes. It helps to build your strong behind and prevent pain and injury related to weaker glutes.
By adding a curl to the bridge exercise, you are adding even more demand to your gluteus muscles, making them stronger and firmer. Gliders help your feet to slide up and down, creating a moving surface. This adds more challenges to your glutes, hips, and core.
This exercise also proves that you don’t always need new exercises to keep your workout fun and effective. Sometimes, all you need is a pair of sliders to turn the same old exercise into something more exciting and fun!
If you don’t have sliders, you can also use a towel on a slippery surface like a hardwood floor.
Also, this simple tweak helps you hit the same group of muscles from different angles, giving them more workouts than the regular bridge.
How to do a glute bridge and curl
- Start on your back with both heels on gliders. Keep your arms by your sides and let your legs extend out with a slight bend in your knees.
- Brace your core, lift up your hips, and slide your heels towards your glutes in one motion. Bring your feet in until your body forms a straight line from the knees to your shoulders.
- With control, slowly slide your feet back to the starting position without overextending your back.