Welcome to Modify This Move, a series that will provide you with all the information you need to modify a common exercise to suit your needs, your body, and your mood. Each tale explains a fundamental fitness action in detail before offering a variety of variations based on your current level of fitness or energy, any current or past ailments, or the muscles you wish to focus on the most. So leave your ego at the door and make sure every workout is appropriate for where you are right now.
Your hips are likely flexed for the most of the day as a result of sitting at a computer, lounging on the couch, and driving. Your hip flexors probably feel like a rubber band that is about to break as a result.
According to Joanna Castro , a New York-based NASM-certified personal trainer and certified functional strength coach, performing glute bridges, in which you lie on your back, press your feet into the ground, and extend your hips upward toward the ceiling, can help counteract all the flexion you subject your hips to on a regular basis. In turn, she continues, “it helps make daily life more comfortable.”
Glute bridges assist develop your glutes, hamstrings, pelvic floor, as well as your core, which serves to keep you stable during the action, in addition to stretching your hip flexors, according to Castro. another benefit? There are several modifications to the standard workout, so you can choose the lower-body action that best suits your unique capabilities, requirements, and fitness objectives.
Try a toned-down glute bridge variety, for instance, with less bells and whistles if you want to concentrate on improving your form or get it back on track if you’ve established any questionable habits. You can also use specific glute bridge variations to focus on the muscles you typically ignore or want to work particularly hard that day, such the hamstrings or glutes. A glute bridge variant might help you restore muscular balance if you discover that one side of your body is noticeably stronger than the other. Whatever your circumstance, you should feel free to adjust, improve, or advance the OG exercise to fit where you are right now.
Are you prepared to put the exercise to the test? Once you’ve mastered the standard glute bridge, refer to the directions below to see Castro change it up with seven alternative versions that are suitable for people of all fitness levels and talents.
HOW TO DO A GLUTE BRIDGE A. Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent, your feet flat on the ground, and your arms at your sides with your palms facing down.
B. Lifting the hips off the floor requires slowly pushing with both heels while exhaling while maintaining a tight core and tucked tailbone. As high as you can without letting the lower back arch, raise the hips.
C. After taking a breath, slowly drop each vertebrae of the hips back to the floor.
Don’t worry if the conventional glute bridge doesn’t seem to work for you after giving it a shot. Try using a different glute bridge variant that’s as hard (or relaxing) as you want it to be and moves you one step closer to accomplishing your goals rather than forcing yourself to remain with the traditional motion.
Here are some glute bridge variations that you may use to adjust the difficulty of the exercise, including two that can be done with or without equipment. Castro also offers alternate ways to work your hamstrings and glutes as well as versions of the glute bridge that can help rectify muscular imbalances. Whatever you decide, keep listening to your body as you push through your reps. If something doesn’t feel right, try a different activity.
ELEVATED GLUTE BRIDGE IS A GLUTE BRIDGE, A VARIATION TO LEVEL UP This glute bridge version is effectively a hip thrust because you won’t be resting your shoulders on the floor, but rather against a sturdy, 14-inch-tall item (such a plyo box or bench). Due to the elevation, it takes your hips a longer time to completely stretch, which increases the strength challenge and makes the exercise “extra exciting and spicy,” according to Castro.
A. Kneel down on the floor with your feet placed hip-width apart, your arms crossed in front of your chest, and your shoulder blades resting in the middle against a bench or box.
B. To return to the beginning posture, contract your glutes, push through your heels, and extend your hips to the ceiling while maintaining a flat lower back, chin tucked, and forward look. The body should create a straight line from the shoulders to the knees, with the knees aligned with the heels and bent at 90-degree angles.
C. Slowly lower your hips two to three inches off the ground while maintaining a level lower back and strong knees. Once the body creates a straight line from the shoulders to the knees, push through the heels and elevate the hips to return to the beginning position.
PELVIC TILT: GLUTE BRIDGE VARIATION TO SCALE DOWN Before moving on to more difficult exercise alternatives, Castro advises beginners to get their form and core engagement down pat with this glute bridge variation. She says that to execute the motion correctly, visualize pouring soup out of your hips with each inhalation. Then, on each exhalation, bring your hips back to neutral to stop the flow. It’s a slight action, but when you do it while breathing properly and pour the soup out, she claims that people experience a pelvic tilt.
A. Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent, your feet flat on the ground, your hands resting on your hips.
B. To tilt the pelvis, bring the navel toward the spine while inhaling.
C. As you exhale, tighten your abs and press your low back into the ground.
GLUTE BRIDGE WITH WEIGHTS AS A VARIATION TO BUILD STRENGTH One of the simplest methods to advance a glute bridge and add muscle is to add weight, such as a dumbbell or a kettlebell, adds Castro. Additionally, she adds, doing this glute bridge variation regularly will provide you the strength you need to complete daily tasks (like picking up a heavy object off the floor) successfully and effectively. ICYDK, if your glutes are weak, you may compensate with other muscles (such your hamstrings or quads) during activities, which can ultimately result in damage. Your glutes also help support your pelvis and maintain the appropriate operation of your lower body.
A. Lie face-up on the floor with your feet flat on the floor, your knees bent, and a dumbbell resting across your hips. With hands, grasp the dumbbell’s ends.
GLUTE BRIDGE WITH ISOMETRIC HOLD: GLUTE BRIDGE VARIATION TO INCREASE TIME UNDER TENSION The length of time your muscles spend contracting against an outside resistance can be increased by holding the top of each bridge for three to five seconds. In result, this glute bridge exercise can promote tendon health, muscular growth, and strength without the use of additional resistance. According to Castro, holding your muscles for a long time might activate them if your weight alternatives are limited. It’s frequently much tougher than it appears to be.
A. Position yourself face-up on the floor with your knees bent, your feet flat on the ground, your arms at your sides, and your palms facing down.
C. Keep the position for three to five seconds. Then, gradually drop each vertebra back to the floor as you inhale.
BRUSH BRIDGE WALK-OUT GLUTE BRIDGE: A VARIATION TO THE TARGET HAMSTRINGS You may activate the hamstrings on the back of your thighs, which are in charge of flexing your knee and extending your hip, by stepping your heels out while holding a glute bridge. As you do this, keep an eye on your form and core. You will feel it in your lower back if you walk your heels too far and lose core stability and are unable to maintain good form, according to Castro. When you walk your feet out at the top of the exercise, you should lessen your steps or take fewer steps if you have any back pain.
C. Step out with your left foot first, then your right, putting all of your weight on your heels. Without allowing your lower back to arch, take as many steps as you can while switching your feet.
D. Slowly walk your feet back until your knees and ankles are in alignment, then bring your toes to the ground. After taking a breath, slowly descend each vertebra of the hips back to the floor.
FROG PUMP AS A GLUTE BRIDGE MODIFICATION TO ISOLATE THE GLUTES Try this glute bridge variation when you want your buttocks to really hurt. Frog pumps stimulate the glutes more than traditional exercises since the bottoms of your feet are compressed together as opposed to lying flat on the ground, according to Castro.
A. Lie faceup on the ground with your knees bent and your arms at your sides with your hands facing down. Bring the bottoms of the feet together after bending knees out to the side and to the floor.
SINGLE-LEG GLUTE BRIDGE: A VARIATION OF GLUTE BRIDGE TO IMPROVE MUSCLE IMBALANCES Although minor muscle imbalances are completely natural and anticipated (you do, after all, have a dominant side to your body), Castro advises that more pronounced imbalances should be corrected because they can raise the risk of injury. And she claims that’s why training just one side of the body at a time with the single-leg glute bridge might be helpful. Furthermore, she continues, “because you’re on one foot, your core needs to work a little harder to stable it’s simple to transfer your weight to one side or the other.”
A. Position yourself face-up on the floor with your knees bent, your feet flat on the ground, your arms at your sides, and your palms facing down. Raise the right foot off the ground, bringing the right knee up toward the hips.
B. Exhale and steadily push through both heels to elevate the hips off the floor while maintaining a tight core, tucked tailbone, and lifted right foot. As high as you can without letting the lower back arch, raise the hips.
Anthony Cunanan took the pictures. Jenna Brillhart is the director of art. Joanna Castro is a fitness coach and model. Makeup and hair: Tee Chavez Girlfriend Collective’s activewear Exercise machine: Ignite by SPRI