Glute Bridge Exercise: How To Do Hip Raises To Really Heat Up Your Butt Muscles
“When we do a glute bridge, we move in the horizontal plane or in a vector,” says Miklaus. “This stimulates other muscle fibers than movements like squats, lunges or step-ups.”
Why are strong glutes important?
Strong glutes affects more than just your exercise. Sure, they’ll help you squat or lift more weight, but they’ll also help you perform everyday actions like squatting or picking up a box more easily, says Miklaus.
When your glutes are strong, they can do the job should instead of your body having to tap into other muscles like your hamstrings or the back extensor muscles to get the job done instead. If your body relies too much on these other muscles, it can create tension, which can create the conditions for low back pain, says Miklaus.
Finally, strong glutes – which are part of your core – also play a role in proper posture and can help you stand erect.
“Over time, a strong muscle tone in the gluteal muscles allows them to be more” on “, which helps with postural support, stability and general daily tasks,” says Miklaus.
Are gluteal bridges safe?
Done correctly, glute raises or bridges are safe for most exercisers and, as mentioned earlier, can even help ward off injuries by building strength in the hip area. Still, there are a few things you can do to make sure that you are doing the exercise correctly, and therefore the safest way.
For one, make sure you maintain proper spine alignment throughout the movement. Your body should form a straight line from your hips to the top of your head, says Miklaus. You also want to make sure that you don’t arch your back, which can create strain. One way to protect yourself from this is to make sure you are pressing your lower back into the floor (activating your core as if you were doing a crunch) as you move.
If you aren’t feeling the glute bridge exercise in your glutes – let’s say you feel it more in your hamstrings – you might want to play a little with your foot positioning, says Miklaus. The closer your feet are to your bottom, the more you should feel the movement in your bottom. The further away your feet are, the more likely you are to feel it in your hamstrings.
Which bridge variations should you try?
One of the great things about the Glute Bridge is its scalability – it’s great for both beginners and those looking for an advanced challenge. If you’re just starting out, the bilateral gluteus bridge from the floor, where you only use your body weight, is the best place to start, says Miklaus. Once you’ve mastered that, you can try resistance glute bridges using either a miniband glute bridge, a dumbbell glute bridge, or a barbell glute bridge. You can also perform a raised buttock bridge (often called a hip thrust) by propping your back and shoulders on a bench or box, or by lifting your feet on a step for more freedom of movement.
How to Do the Glute Bridge Exercise – plus a few common variations:
The following moves are demo Nikki Kiesel (GIF 1), a New York City-based fitness trainer and AFAA and NCCPT certified personal trainer and group fitness trainer for over nine years; Hejira Nitoto (GIF 2), mother of six and a certified personal trainer and owner of a fitness apparel line based in Los Angeles; Rachel Denis (GIF 3), a powerlifter who competes with USA powerlifting and holds multiple New York State powerlifting records; and Grace Pulliam (GIF 4), an Aerial Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga instructor in New York City.