Glute Bridge Exercise

Video Transcript:

Today we are focusing on the glute bridge. This exercise is great to help stabilize and strengthen your entire core, but specifically the glutes and your glute medius muscle, which are generally very weak in most people from too many hours sitting.

So to do this, we are going to go onto our back. We put our knees up to roughly 90 degrees. Generally when I do this I put my arms out straight because most people from just way too much sitting they are very tight through their pectoral region. So just putting your arms out nice and flat helps open up and mildly stretch your pectoral area. So I’ve got my legs bent roughly to 90 degrees and my arms out.

The first thing which I do is that I contract my core. So I tighten everything through here. When I say contract, I don’t mean hollow, I don’t mean suck it in. Basically, if somebody was going to punch you in the stomach, you would tighten that area. That’s what we are doing. I’m contracting my abdominals first.

Then you raise up like this. I try to make everything a relatively straight line. From my knees, through my legs, through my torso, into my head, everything should be relatively straight. I’m contracting my core, but I’m also really squeezing my glutes. I am squeezing my butt muscles. That is the key to actually strengthening the glutes, and specifically strengthening the glute medius.

Then I’m holding this, I am contracting. I’m going to hold this roughly about 10 seconds. Then I slowly, gently in a controlled fashion drop down. Ideally we are doing about 10 repetitions of this, holding it about 10 seconds per time. We are resting about three to four seconds in between. We want to aim for two to three sets of this glute bridge exercise.

None of this should be painful. If it’s painful, please stop. Let us know. We can work on a modified glute bridge for you. It is key to do this nice and slowly, to make sure we are contracting with both our core and our glutes at the same time.

Any questions about any of this, please ask.

What is Glute Bridge Exercise?

The glute bridge exercise is designed to safely and effectively exercise the gluteal muscles, allowing for better activation of this muscle group, particularly the glute medius muscle. This is helpful for proper glute activation and core activation, and to decrease lower back pain and hip pain.

Glute Bridge Exercise Instructions:

  • Step 1

    Begin on your back.

  • Step 2

    For a pectoral stretch, place your arms out to the side, otherwise just put them next to you on the ground.

  • Step 3

    Bring your knees up to roughly 90 degrees, with your feet resting flat on the ground.

  • Step 4

    Contract your core to make it tight, to help stabilize your low back area.

  • Step 5

    Slowly raise your entire pelvis and glutes off the ground, until you are relatively straight from your knees, through your hips and torso, into your neck. Refer to the video for a visual of this.

  • Step 6

    Hold this position, squeezing your butt muscles for approximately 10 seconds. You should feel the contraction in your glutes.

  • Step 7

    Maintain a slight contraction in your abdominals/core muscles while you are squeezing your glutes.

  • Step 8

    After 10 seconds, slowly and gently lower your hips and pelvis back to the ground.

  • Step 9

    Relax for 3-5 seconds.

  • Step 10

    Contract your core again, and raise yourself up for another repetition. Repeat the glute bridge exercise as described above.

  • Step 11

    Aim for 10 repetitions of the exercise, holding for 10 seconds per repetition.

  • Step 12

    Do 1-2x per day.

  • Step 13

    If any of this is painful, please stop, as some modification may be required.

Read More About Glute Bridge Exercise Below

In this video you will learn how to do a glute bridge – a great exercise for glute activation to help with both back pain and for overall core stability. Learning how to do this exercise is a critical step to learn how to fix weak glutes, which can be a major factor in low back pain.

Glute exercises, and particularly glute medius exercises, are essential for most people because of the long hours people now spend sitting daily. Prolonged sitting on a daily basis leads to gluteal amnesia, meaning your gluteal muscles forget how to activate, and particularly glute medius weakness, which is one of the common factors in many people with low back pain.

A couple key points. When you are laying on your back, make sure to tighten or contract your core slightly, as if you were protecting your abdominal area, before initiating the hip hinge motion upwards. Refer to the video for this.

Then, for the hip thrust portion of the glute bridge exercise or raise, slowly raise your bum and hips off the floor, so that you are relatively straight from your knees, into your hips, into your shoulders.

Once in this elevated position, you would then contract your butt, basically squeezing them almost as strongly as you can, for roughly 10 seconds. Once done the ten seconds, relax your glutes, and slowly lower your pelvis and low back and hips back to the ground, in a slow and controlled manner. Then rest for 5 seconds, and repeat. Watch the video multiple times until you are comfortable with the proper workout form.

Ideally, you would do the exercise roughly ten times, ideally once per day, twice per day even better.

This should not be painful. If it is painful, stop, as there may be a modified glute bridge that is more appropriate for you.

Any questions about the exercise, please ask.

For further low back exercises, low back stretches, and core exercises, refer to our back pain Toronto condition page here:

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