How to Master the Glute Bridge Exercise for a Stronger, Sexy Butt

How to Master the Glute Bridge Exercise for a Stronger, Sexy Butt

There’s nothing more powerful than a well-toned, butt. Sure, a fit and firm rear end looks amazing, but it’s more than just an aesthetic asset; it can help you during your workouts (and in life), as well. If you want to get bootylicious like Beyonce, the glute bridge exercise (called a hip lift or a hip bridge) is a simple move can help get you there. Bridges are a floor-based exercise that can help firm and sculpt all of the buttocks muscles without using any weights. 

After all, who doesn’t want a good looking booty? Both women and men alike work tirelessly to get the perfect butt. It’s one of the main focuses of Autumn Calabrese’s program, 80 Day Obsession (which will also help you get a soon-worthy set of abs). Starting with a few simple butt exercises (like the glute bridge exercise) can help you work your way up to sculpting the perfect, sexy butt and prep you for a full workout program.

Benefits of the Glute Bridge Exercise

Besides the fact that you can do glute bridges anywhere you have enough space to lie on the floor, this exercise is a great way to tone your lower body muscles. “The glutes are not only one of the strongest muscles groups in the body, but also quite literally your seat of athletic power, generating explosive force during everything from sprinting and jumping to squatting, lifting, and climbing,” says Trevor Thieme, C.S.C.S., and Beachbody’s senior manager of fitness and nutrition content.

Your butt muscles are also among the most neglected, thanks to hours a day spent sitting on them rather than putting them to work. “The result is weak glutes and tight hip flexors, a combination that torpedoes performance and sets the stage for low back pain,” Thieme says.

Here’s how to master the glute bridge exercise, as well as a few challenging hip lift variations to add to your bridge workout. They’ll help you create a buff, sexy butt that will make Queen Bey proud.

How to do the Glute Bridge Exercise

  • Lie on your back, arms down by your sides. Bend your knees and plant your feet flat on the floor.
  • Pull in through your navel to brace your core muscles and then squeeze your glutes to press your hips up so your body forms a straight line — no arching — from knees to shoulders.
  • Keep your head on the floor and eyes focused on the ceiling.
  • Hold the position for a beat, and then lift and lower and repeat.

Glute Bridge Exercise

Make it harder: Try a single leg glute bridge for an extra challenge. “The added instability will instantly make the move more challenging,” says Thieme. Or, to activate the lower legs and hamstrings more, place your feet up on a bench (or the edge of a chair) instead of the floor with your knees bent. Alternatively, you can place just the balls of your feet on the edge of the bench to increase activation in your calves. 

Glute Bridge Exercise Variations

The glute bridge reach is a total body exercise that boosts mobility and coordination while building strength. “The reach boosts the challenge to your core, builds mobility through your chest, shoulders, and upper back, opens your hips, and increases your time under tension, which is the key to maximizing muscle growth,” says Thieme.

There are also other weighted glute bridge variations, like barbell glute bridges. But if you’re exercising at home (or while you’re traveling), you can still do a great butt workout by only using your bodyweight.

How to Do Bridge Exercise Variations

For this bridge workout, do a traditional glute bridge and imagine a huge clock looking down at you. Each time you raise your hips, you’ll reach for a different point on the clock in front of you, alternating hands and then feet.

During your first rep, reach up with your right hand to touch 2 o’clock. (Lower your hips in between reps.) During your second repetition, touch 11 o’clock with your left hand. Then: During your next four reps, touch 1 o’clock with your right hand; 10 o’clock with your left hand;  7 o’clock with your right heel and 5 o’clock with your left heel.  Repeat that sequence one more time (for 12 reps total) to complete a set. 

Hip Bridge Exercise Variation

Hip Bridge Exercise Variation

Many different exercise philosophies have produced their own versions of the glute bridge exercise, including yoga and Pilates. Be sure to catch some of our most effective bridge poses on Beachbody on Demand.

And if you’re looking for more exercise to work behind and sculpt a sexy butt, we’ve got a few options…

Never heard of a bridge exercise? Already a master? Read on to learn the basics, plus discover more challenging bridge exercise variations and their benefits.