Spending all day sitting behind a desk is a sure way to weak glutes and lower back problems. The glute bridge is a simple bodyweight exercise, perfect for beginners who want to strengthen their glutes and hamstrings for a tight and toned rear end.
To do a glute bridge:
- Lie down on a mat. Keep your hands close to your body, palms facing down, legs flexed, and feet flat on the floor.
- Keeping your core engaged and gazing at your knees, push your buttocks up towards the ceiling. Support your body with your feet and upper back.
- Hold this pose for a second. Exhale and lower your buttocks.
If you want a bigger challenge you can do one of the following variations.
Single Leg Glute Bridges
With the single-leg variation, you’ll only have one foot on the floor, while the other is extended straight up towards the ceiling. Extend your leg before you lift your hips into the glute bridge. As with any single leg exercise, do both sides to maintain muscular balance. If you’re doing two sets of 10 repetitions, do one set with your right leg raised and one set with your left leg raised.
Elevated Glute Bridges
Elevate your feet to increase the range of motion. If you have access to a bench, box, or another elevated surface, lay back on the floor with your feet propped up on top of it. When you get into your bridge you’ll have to go higher, which makes the exercise more challenging.
Make sure the surface is stable and at the right distance that you can get full extension. You want to be able to rest your feet securely on the surface, so you’ll typically start sitting so your knees are roughly at right angles.
With an elevated bridge, keep tabs on your spine. You might have more of a tendency to arch your lower back than you did without your feet elevated.
If you want to make the exercise even more challenging, prop your feet up on a stability ball. This adds a balancing element that will further work your glutes, hips, and core.