Are you ready for firm legs and a real hard butt? Then you should include Glute Bridges in your workout plan! This exercise strengthens the entire back of your legs. The best: You don’t need any equipment and you can easily do glute bridges at home!
The glute bridge, also known as a pelvic lift, is an exercise for the back of your legs and glutes. But it also strengthens your entire core muscles. Although you don’t need any additional equipment, this leg exercise is very effective.
The Glute Bridge is also ideal for beginners because it is very easy to perform. You can do the fitness exercise at home on a mat or at the gym. You will notice that just a few repetitions will strain your muscles. So if you’re looking for a leg and bottom exercise that will make you sweat properly, you should definitely try the Glute Bridge.
Which muscles does the pelvic lift workout?
Similar to the squat, a glute bridge trains the entire back of your legs and glutes. You workout with a glute bridge
- your hamstrings,
- your plate tendon muscle,
- your hemi-tendon muscle and
- your gluteus muscle.
However, since this exercise is not an isolation exercise, it also trains other muscle groups. This includes your core and abdominal muscles. Firm abdominal muscles are especially important so that you don’t fall into the hollow back when lifting the pelvis. The calf muscles are also trained.
Glute Bridge: correct technique & execution
So that you can do everything right during your glute workout, we’ll show you what a real glute bridge looks like. All you need for the exercise is a mat and exercise motivation. If you like it a little more demanding, add an extra weight. This can be a weight plate, a dumbbell or even a water bottle and heavy books. There are no limits to your creativity.
Lie on your back flat on your mat. Place your feet hip-width apart and pull them close to you so that your calves are perpendicular to the floor. Your head is flat on the mat, facing the ceiling. Your neck forms an extension to your spine. You place your arms stretched out next to your body on the mat.
Now raise your buttocks so that your lower back, buttocks and thighs form a straight line. In order to fully train the back extensor, also lift your shoulder blades slightly. Your knees shouldn’t touch as you move, but neither should they diverge too far. It’s best to keep your knees a fist’s width apart. Make sure that you push your buttocks up out of your leg muscles. Don’t try to pull yourself off with your arms
Hold the position for a second. Then lower your buttocks to just before the floor. Important: Do not put down completely! Then you push your pelvis up again. Especially when pushing out, make sure to tense your glutes properly. To avoid a hollow back, it is important that you also tense your stomach very tightly.
After a few repetitions, take a short break. Do you have the feeling that there is more? Grab your extra weight! The execution remains the same, only that you now do the exercise with weights. To do this, place the weight on your lower stomach or hip and hold it with your hands.
Common glute bridge mistakes
As with any exercise, there are a few things to keep in mind with the glute bridge. Even if the right technique takes some time, you should definitely pay attention to correct execution. This is the only way to ensure that you do not get injured and to achieve the full potential of the exercise. So that everything runs smoothly during your training, we have compiled the most common glutes bridges mistakes for you:
Correct breathing is very important for successful training. In general, the following applies to all exercises: During the concentric phase, i.e. whenever it gets strenuous for you, you breathe out. In the eccentric phase, when it gets easier again, you breathe in.
As a result, you breathe in when you lift your pelvis and breathe out when you lower your hips. Often we breathe the other way around. However, you will notice that after a while you will automatically breathe correctly.
Avoid pursed breathing
As with any workout, you should avoid press breathing. We often tend to hold our breath during strenuous exercise. However, this causes the blood to build up in your head. This can make you dizzy quickly. In addition, your muscles are not properly supplied with oxygen due to press breathing. Therefore, make sure to keep breathing while you walk into the bridge.
Keep your back straight
The glute bridge is also an effective hollow back training. Your abdominal muscles must be tightly tensed throughout the exercise. Because if your stomach is not firm, you can hunch your back while doing hip bridge. An easy way to find out if you are doing the exercise correctly is to film yourself doing it. This way you can see exactly whether your back is in a straight line and you can fix your hollow back if necessary.
Let your head rest
When things get difficult during training, we tend to tend to lift our heads off the mat. So make sure that your head is on the floor throughout the exercise. Keep your eyes on the ceiling. This is the only way your neck forms an extension to the spine and the risk of injury remains low.
Place your legs hip-width apart
When lifting the pelvis, you can subconsciously squeeze your knees. By twisting your toes slightly outward, your knees will automatically fall outward. Also make sure that you place your legs hip-width apart from the start and always leave a fist-wide space between your knees. If this is difficult for you, you can wedge a tennis ball or a crumpled up T-shirt between your knees.
Push off with your feet
Many feel the glute bridge more in their thighs than on the back of their legs or in their buttocks. If this is the case for you, make sure that you deliberately push yourself off with your heels. You can put your toes in the air to help. Your arms should also lie very quietly next to you. If you feel like you’re pushing yourself too hard with them, bend your arms 90 degrees. In this way, you reduce the contact surface and you can less push yourself off with them.
Training sets & repetitions
The number of training sets and repetitions depends on your personal goal. In a training plan to build muscle, the so-called hypertrophy area is used. That means, do between 8-12 repetitions and 3 to 4 sets. If you want to improve your maximum strength, i.e. your muscle strength, 3 – 5 repetitions are sufficient. It is particularly important that you go to your extreme limits. In order to strengthen your maximum strength with the Glute Bridge, you should use an additional weight to help.
Glute Bridge Variations
One of our top tips for building muscles quickly is: No matter how demanding the exercises – after a while the muscles get used to the strain. You can tell by the fact that the training is less strenuous for your body. So before you fall asleep on your glute bridges, you should take the exercise to the next level. You have three different options:
Glute bridges with weights
If you have started with your own body weight, it is now time to put more weight. If you train in a gym, you have the choice between a dumbbell, barbell or weight plate. If you do exercise at home, pick up some heavy object. This can be, for example, a filled water bottle, a bag with books or a heavy cardboard box.
Place the weight on your lower stomach or hip. In the beginning, the extra weight on your body can hurt a bit. In this case, just put a towel under yourself. With a barbell, it is recommended to attach a neck pad to the bar. The execution remains unchanged: tense muscles, straighten your back and push your buttocks up. While doing this, hold the weight with your hands.
Single Leg Glute Bridges
Another possibility to increase the level of difficulty a little is to do the exercise with only one leg. Here you first clamp one leg behind the thigh of the other or hold it stretched out in the air. Then push yourself off with the leg that is standing on the mat. Make sure that your hips stay centered at all times and do not tilt to one side. You will quickly notice: This variant requires strong abdominal and trunk muscles!
Elevated Glutes Bridges
To increase the range of motion a little, you can put your feet higher. If you train in the gym, a step board or bench are good options. You can put a box under yourself at home, or you can put your feet against the edge of the bed or sofa. The rest of the execution remains unchanged: your arms are next to your body. The abdominal and gluteal muscles are tightly tensed.
When is the right time to increase the level of difficulty?
Please note that you should only choose a higher level of difficulty for your exercises if you are really confident with the execution. Flawless technique is the be-all and end-all for long-term sporting success. If you are unsure, film yourself exercising. This way you can better assess what your exercises look like and go to a higher training level without worry.
We also recommend that you always do a few warm-up sets with a low weight or your own body weight, regardless of your training level. 1-2 sets of 15-20 repetitions are sufficient. The warm-up sets are very important. As a result, all relevant muscle fibers are better supplied with blood and your joints are mobilized. This is how you prevent injuries. They also serve as a small warm-up program for your central nervous system in order to prepare for the later stress phase.
Summary: Glute Bridges
- Glute bridges are an effective exercise for the back of your legs, glutes, and calf and abdominal muscles.
- You can do the exercise in the gym or at home. All you need is a mat and your athletic motivation.
- Always keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles tense. This is how you prevent an arched back.
- The exercise is very versatile. It can be easily modified and made a little more difficult. You can do the Glute Bridge with one leg or take an additional weight.