Build smart glutes with these simple but effective Glute Bridge Progression Exercises. The key to the glute bridge is taking the time to turn ON the glutes and turn OFF the hamstrings and quads so that they are not allowed to take over. Begin with a set of 'glute activations' where you practice contracting and relaxing your glutes- squeezing and releasing your cheeks, with your hips still on the floor. Imagine you are holding a coin between your cheeks. Then, once you have control and activation, you may move on to the first level of the Glute Bridge Progressions. Take the time to active your glutes before each and every repetition to ensure you are building smart muscles and a strong mind body connection. Start with 10 repetitions and build up to 20...then you are ready to move up to the next level! Back to 10 reps...build to 20...move up to the next level and so on. Complete Glute bridge exercises daily or every other day 1-3 sets per day, until you are able to reach the top levels.
Level 1: Activation- turn on and off by contracting and relaxing the glutes (see above).
Level 2: Lifts - complete repeats, re-activating with each rep. Tuck tailbone under at the top of the lift (posterior pelvic tilt) to ensure a full range of motion glute contraction. Alternate regular bridge lifts and 'frog pump' lifts to find greater activation and muscle fibre variety.
Level 3: Hold (not shown). Once you can perform 20 lifts with a good strong contraction, work on your stamina, by holding the bridge at the top for up to 30-60 seconds.
Level 4: Shift (not shown). Once you have the stamina, work on shifting your weight to one leg, bit by bit, while still maintaining a strong gluteal contraction. Shift weight to one side, holding for 2-3 seconds, reset in the centre, then switch sides. Do not let your hips drop or shift to the side. And do not let your hamstrings, back or quads take over. Over time, you will be able to shift more of your weight, until you can hold all of your weight on one leg, with a strong glute connection. Then...
Level 5: Single Leg Repeats. Take those glute smarts and stamina and build it into strength with these single leg bridges.
Level 6: Band Resisted Glute Bridges. You are ready to build those glutes with resistance! Use a band or a barbell (with padding for your hips) and increase the intensity of your glute work to move to the top levels of hip extension strength.