Exercise of the Week: Glute Bridge

 In Mobility & Movement Blog

Luke Lewitzke

Certified A.C.E. (American Counsel on Exercise) Personal Trainer

Weight and Lifestyle Management Specialist

The glute bridge exercise works your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, erector spinae, and transverse abdominus. The gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus muscles are primarily responsible for hip extension. The hamstrings, or back of your thighs, aid in hip extension along with knee flexion. The quadriceps, or front of the thigh, along with the hip flexors are working antagonistically against gravity. And the erector spinae and transverse abdominus is working to maintain a neutral spine while holding the torso up in space against gravity.

Performing the Glute Bridge

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and arms at your side.
  • Perform a pelvic tilt by bracing your core and contracting your glutes.
  • Push your big toes, pinky toes, and heels down onto the floor and away from you as you lift your hips up off the floor, squeezing your glutes.
  • Hold your hips up, maintaining neutral spine for 5 seconds.
  • Lower your hips back to the floor and relax.
  • Repeat the movement for 10-15 repetitions.


If the glute bridge is too challenging, simply start with a pelvic tilt. To perform the pelvic tilt, you want to first brace your core as if you want to protect against being hit in the stomach.

Once the core is braced, you want to contract your glutes, so that the tailbone gently tilts forward and lifts slightly off the floor. Hold this for 5 seconds and then relax. After you can perform 15-20 pelvic tilts, you should be able to progress into the glute bridge.

Do not perform this exercise if as you lift your hips, you feel a sharp pain in your lower back.

If your hamstrings cramp as you lift your hips, focus on pushing your feet away from you as if you are trying to stretch the ground from between your shoulders and heels.

Alternative Exercise if you have contraindications to Glute Bridge

Glute Sets

  • Lie down on your back with your legs straight and toes pointed up to the ceiling.
  • Squeeze and contract both glute muscles and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Relax the glutes and then repeat the contraction 10-15 times.