Round, strong, firm, juicy, yes, we’re talking about your glutes, and in this article, we’re going to talk about how to get a bigger butt with the glute bridge exercise. Why? Well, it’s a proven exercise, when done correctly, the glute bridge benefits include increasing strength, posture, roundness, and fullness in the booty for both men and women. On top of strength and aesthetics though, by regularly incorporating the glute bridge exercise into your training (both male and female), you can count on some serious performance and athletic ability improvements.
Whether you associate big strong glutes with attractive aesthetics in a pair of jeans or if you see the association between a big butt and athleticism, just about everyone can benefit from the glute bridge exercise. A glute bridge is just what it sounds like, a bridge (with your body) using the power from your glutes. While there are a lot of glute bridge variations, the most straightforward and easiest to perform is by laying on the floor. With the feet at a 90 degree angle, you simply drive your hips to the ceiling, and right back down.
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The booty is made up of three muscles which all have different functions and help to perform different movements, the Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus, and Gluteus Medius. For the purpose of this article, and many others, when you read the word ‘glutes’ this typically refers to all three muscles together. Unlike the way it sounds though, the glute muscles aren’t the only muscles being worked in the glute bridge. This movement is not an isolated movement and does involve other muscles such as the back muscles, the core and abdominals, hip flexors and the hamstrings.
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1. Low Impact Targeted Strength Exercise
Unlike other glute building movements like deadlifts, squats, or lunges, the glute bridge is a relatively simple to perform and low impact, targeted glute exercise, so that you can grow the booty without putting extra stress on other areas of the body like the back or knee joints. Sometimes too, these other movements can cause less of an emphasis on the targeted area, like the glutes, minimizing strength and muscle growth gains due to poor form, too much weight, or otherwise, that compromise the performance of the movement altogether. Glute bridges are also extremely beneficial as a targeted movement for individuals who underutilize their glutes or who have a lot of glute muscle atrophy. The movement not only calls on the glutes physically, but also helps develop the mind muscle connection to this area so that you can see glute activation and strength results translate into other things like walking, lifting, running, jumping, and more.
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2. Decrease Back and Knee Pain
When done correctly the glute bridge exercise shouldn’t actually cause you back pain, and instead, it should help improve back pain that you may experience. Since the movement itself works on strengthening the posterior chain, which includes the hamstrings, glutes, core, and back muscles, when you don’t arch your way through the movement you can improve the strength of these muscles, which will naturally improve the way your body moves and supports you. Thus, you can alleviate low back pain from prolonged activities like sitting, standing, and driving, which most of us are guilty of doing for too long at a time. Additionally, if you’re someone who can’t really perform squats or deadlifts because of knee issues, the glute bridge exercise can actually help you grow your glutes, reducing back pain, body fat, and improving overall aesthetic.
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3. Improved Athletic Performance
If you’re looking for a way to effectively improve your posterior chain performance in your activity through strength and power, then the glute bridge exercise is a must. Not only is the movement going to help you develop your aesthetic and function, but glute bridges are also going to help you by translating over into stronger Olympic life and overall athletic performance movements like running and jumping. Better hip extension means better, bigger, and stronger pulls through movements like deadlifts, snatches, clean and jerks, as well as bodyweight movements like burpees and ring muscle ups. Talk about a powerhouse movement!
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There’s a saying that goes a little something like ‘you don’t get the butt you want by sitting on it’ and it couldn’t be more true. If you want to build it, you’re going to have to move it. The benefit of working your glutes and doing glute bridge exercises? You guessed it, a bigger butt. However, an important thing to note here is that bigger isn’t always stronger. There are a lot of really strong but tiny butts out there, however, not to be discounted, as they’re often stronger than the bigger ones. While yes, there are some who are genetically gifted in the glute area, building quality, strong, and sizable muscle in the three glute muscles is going to be worth it, no matter where you fall on the booty size spectrum. Why? Because any size butt has potential to be a bubble butt.
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5. Improve Posture
We touched on this a little previously, but with improved strength in the posterior chain, you’re not just going to see performance and aesthetic benefits, but also overall health benefits in the way of your posture. When your body has strong muscles to hold the kinetic chain and your skeletal frame in line, you’re going to stand taller, walk straighter, and feel better. Don’t just take it from us though, see the posture improvements for yourself and reap the benefits of the glute bridge exercise once and for all.
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- Start by laying flat on your back on the ground
- Making sure that there is no gap between your back and the floor, press your core into the ground, feeling the hips get in line with the spine (no arching)
- From here, begin to walk the feet towards the booty, until you reach a 90 degree angle
- Pressing your feet firm into the ground, with your arms flat out to the side, and your chin tucked so that your spine is straight, all you have to do is extend your hips towards the ceiling
- You’ll want to still not arch your back, keeping good posture, and squeezing the booty to power the hip drive
- Once you pause for a second at the top, gently come down with the same form, not arching, pressing the feet and the arms into the ground
- Repeat for as many reps as desired and add a weight, or a band, or another piece of equipment to make the movement more challenging
A common question that comes up to trainers is what’s the difference when it comes to the glute bridge vs hip thrust. While we could probably write an entire article on it, we’ll keep it short and simple. The main difference is that the glute bridge exercise is performed on the ground while the hip thrust is performed with the shoulders stabilized on something like a bench or a box.
While both can be done with bodyweight or added weight, and both benefit the glutes and posterior chain development, the hip thrust is typically loaded with weight as a strength training exercise. The body is in a better, more supportive position to add weight, as compared to on the ground, because of the angle.
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There are plenty of glute bridge variations out there and each one serves a purpose in growing the size, strength, power and activation of the glutes. However, before you get too fancy with it, we definitely recommend mastering the form and function of the glute bridge on the ground without any weight before progressing into more technical and complicated movements. Remember, quality over quantity when it comes to growing the glutes. And trust us when we say, if you’re not activating the glutes and feeling the burn in the booty muscles, drop the weight, reassess, and start again. This way you know for sure that you’re going to get the glute pump you’re chasing after.
- Glute Bridge March
- Glute Bridge With Dumbbell
- Glute Bridge Machine
- Glute Bridge on Bench
- Glute Bridge WIth Barbell
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The glute bridge exercise is an easy to perform movement that is designed to build strength in the three muscles of the booty. Not only that, but in performing the movement correctly, you can reap the benefits of strength, power, size, and performance improvement, not to mention posture improvements from your newly strengthened muscles. This exercise is also extremely beneficial for individuals who find themselves sitting, standing, or driving for long periods of time throughout the day who may not activate their glute muscles properly, leading to poor glute development, use, and overall strength.
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