The glutes (also known as the gluteal muscles) are made up of three muscles known as the maximus, medius, and minimus. Many people working in front of a screen and mostly sitting down for the majority of the day will develop issues with the back (especially the lower region) and weaken their glutes. This is mainly due to sitting forward too far on your chair which has a knock-on effect of causing the hip flexors muscles to become tighter than usual. This tightening will lead to the gluteal muscles to become inactive. This will result in problems like making the hip less flexible and reduce the movement that can be performed with them.
If you have experienced issues like the ones aforementioned, then do not fear as this article will help you train the glutes to reverse these catastrophic effects of sitting too far forward for a prolonged period of time as well as developing and strengthening your glutes. This is important for your structural health and posture. These exercises will help increase your bum size which is always a nice bonus too.
How to do a glute bridge
Here are the 3 key steps required to perform a successful glute bridge
Lay on your back and bend your knees. Your feet should be parallel to the ground exactly the same as if you were standing. Your arms should be by your sides and your palms should be facing down.
Once in this position, raise your hips up to make a straight line between your shoulders, knees and hips. Firmly squeeze your glutes and abs to ensure to do this step correctly and do not overextend yourself (mainly your back) unnecessarily. This is known as the glute bridge.
Hold the glute bridge for a few seconds and slowly descend yourself back to your starting position
A set should consist of 10-15 glute bridges, and two sets should be included in your workout. Ideally, this should be done three a week and is easily implemented into a gym routine strengthening an array of muscles or a stage in a circuit drill.
The Advantages of the Glue Bridge
It targets all three muscles that build up your glutes(gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus medius) and the hamstrings. They are the strongest and largest muscle group in your body.
It’s a perfect exercise for beginners and gymaholics as well.
If this exercise is performed properly, then you will feel a burning sensation in both your hamstrings and glutes. This is not a pleasant feeling but the benefits will help improve the mobility of your hip in addition to developing the muscles in your lower back. So for all you desk-dwellers who have been struggling with your hip movement or anyone who wants to strengthen your glutes, this is the exercise for you.
There are many varieties of this glute bridge exercises that can be performed without any equipment required.
Different types of Glute Bridge exercises
Single Leg Glute Bridge
This is a great variation as supporting the glute bridge with only one leg increases the difficulty by a factor of two. The steps to do this exercise is:
Assume the same position as a normal glute bridge, and then straighten one of your legs so it’s outstretched in the air.
Push the heel of the foot on the floor into the ground to elevate the hips to get the straight line. The straight-line should contain the shoulders, hips, knees, and the outstretched leg.
Now descend your hips to the ground in a controlled manner. This is one rep for this exercise.
You should try to do ten reps per set. Once completed, then change legs so the outstretched leg is now grounded and vice versa.
Adding a Medicine Ball
It is advisable to use a mat for this exercise.
Place your feet on top of the medicine ball so they are elevated.
Ensure you keep your abs tight by squeezing them and push your heels into the medicine ball to drive your hips upwards.
Hold this position for three seconds and compress your glutes.
Descend back towards your starting position and do NOT allow your glutes to fully descend to the floor as this removes the stress from the muscles we are targeting.
Adding a Curl
Beware, this is a step up from the other glute exercises mentioned. You will need a towel for this one (both to perform the exercise as well as wiping your sweat off afterwards). To do this exercise (known as glute bridge and curl):
Place a towel on the floor.
Place your feet on to the towel and assume the glute bridge position (with your hips elevated).
Keep your hips up and whilst in the bridged position. slide the towel back and forth in a controlled manner.
Do the Glute Bridge March
This one is a toughy! To do this exercise:
Get into the bridged position with your hips elevated
Now raise a leg towards the chest (similar to the high-knee exercise) in a controlled manner.
Retract the leg back to its original position in the bridged position. This is one rep.
Do the same with the alternative leg
A set of 40 reps (20 for each leg) would be a good amount to start with
You’ve mastered the Glute Bridge, now bring on the Hip Thrust
The glute bridge aforementioned all involved using the body mass as the main source of resistance. The hip thrust is the same as the glute bridge but it incorporates a barbell instead of your body mass. You will need a flat bench and a barbell which weighs an amount that will enable you to do 6 to 8 reps whilst maintaining good form. The steps to do this is:
Sit next to the flat bench and ensure that your upper back can move back and rest on the bench.
Sit with your knees bent and place the middle of the barbell just under your abs (use a towel in between your midriff and barbell to reduce friction burn)
Push your heels into the ground which will cause you to elevate your hips with the bar and use the bench to support your upper back.
Descend in a controlled manner back to your original position.
I’m Chloe – a body confidence writer here at House of Peach! I help women to feel fabulous in the body they’re in and feel amazing in gym wear – regardless of their body shape and type. Unleash Your Peach.