Glute bridges are one of the greatest exercises to strengthen your glutes and hamstrings. If it's leg day, there's a pretty high chance this exercise is included in your workout. They're low-impact and don't require fancy equipment, but they're still incredibly effective!
But no matter how much you love this workout, if you do it too often you risk plateauing. Or maybe you're just bored of doing this exercise so often. Either way, it's important to change up your training to allow your muscles to guess. Luckily, there are a variety of alternatives to this amazing workout! There are dozens of Glute Bridge alternatives that target similar muscle groups and will change things up!
Glute bridge alternatives
squatsare among the most popular exercises. You may well be more popular thanglute bridges, but many don't realize that they're a great glute bridge alternative that doesn't require any equipment!
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
- Engage your core and find a focal point right in front of you.
- Keep your gaze forward as you lower your hips and bend your legs until they are almost parallel to the floor.
- Exhale as you come back to the standing position and tighten your glutes as you stand.
When you squat, you areWorkYour glutes, quads, hamstrings, adductors, and core.
Only with the gluteal bridges,Squats come with a variety of benefits. you are working onstrengthen your corewhile focusing mainly on your legs. While form is essential, when done correctly, this glute bridge alternative can actually help prevent injury, which is another wonderful benefit. Finally, the biggest benefit of incorporating squats into your training routine is their versatility. Not only can we make them anywhere, but there are so many variations that you'll probably never get bored. you could hold oneSquat Challengewith friends, you can do them while brushing your teeth, or you can do them traditionally in a workout, and that's why they're such a great alternative for glute bridge.
When it comes to squats, form is everything. Some may have heard that people who do squats are prone to injury, but thisopposite is actually true. Most of the time, people who get injured from squats are not in the right form. So the biggest tip for squats is to make sure you're doing them right. Read the steps above or leave acertified personal trainerteach you
Lunges are another great no-equipment glute bridge alternative. As with squats, you might not think of lunges as glute bridges do, but if you look closely they target many of the same muscles and you can do them from anywhere.
- Start with your legs hip-width apart and your hands on your hips
- Step forward with your dominant leg
- Bend both knees at a 90-degree angle, making sure the knee on your front leg doesn't go past the ankle
- Raise yourself up, into a standing position, and then bring your dominant leg back to the starting position, hip-width apart
- Repeat these steps for your non-dominant leg
Because you're switching legs, lunges require you to work on stability. This exercise inadvertently targets your core muscleslower body muscles,including glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves.
As mentioned above, thisExercise engages your coreBecause you're balancing, a big (positive) side effect of lunges is that you'll most likely see an improvement in your balance.
You may also feel or see an improvement in your body due to the bilateral nature of this exercisesymmetry and alignmentalongside the expected benefit of building strength in your lower body.
Finally, the biggest benefit of incorporating lunges into your training regimen as a glute bridge alternative, similar to squats, is that they don't require any equipment and you can do them anywhere.
When done incorrectly, lunges can trigger some people with a history of knee discomfort or pain. To prevent this, be sure to monitor your comfort and make sure your front knee doesn't go past your ankle. Another tip I have for those with knee pain or previous injuries, apart from checking with your doctor, is to lay a towel down so the knee is touching or touching the floor. Or at least use an exercise or yoga mat if your knee touches the floor during this exercise.
3. Donkey's feet
Another great oneGlute Bridge Alternativeis the donkey kick. It's relatively easy to perform and doesn't require any equipment like the alternatives above, and it still focuses on the key muscle groups that benefit from glute bridges.
- Start on all fours with your arms and knees shoulder-width apart
- With your core tight, bend your dominant foot and raise your leg (kick it in the air) keeping your knee bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Be sure to exhale as your leg goes up and inhale as you bring it back to the all fours position.
- Repeat these steps for a set amount of time before switching to the other leg.
The focus of this bilateral movement is on the glutes and hamstrings. You will work your core as welllower backMuscles to provide balance and support when raising and lowering the legs.
The main benefits of incorporating donkey kicks into your training program are the ability to build strength in your lower body, work bilaterally, and increase your strengthbalance and mobility. Another unexpected benefit of this exercise is that it can help youattitude! Yourlower backMuscles are an essential part of maintaining good posture. So if you strengthen these muscles, you may see an improvement in your posture!
To prevent injury, make sure you never raise your thigh higher than your torso when pedaling. This could put extra strain on your lower back. Ideally, lift your thigh parallel to the floor and in line with the rest of your body.
The best tip to ensure you get the most out of this exercise is to make sure your core is engaged throughout. By tightening your core, you are more stable and can perform the movement more effectively.
Similar to the donkey kicks thatfire hydrantis an exercise performed on all fours that targets many of the muscles used for glute bridges. The big difference, however, is how you move and activatelower bodyand leg muscles. If you like glute bridges but want to try something different, be sure to add fire hydrants to your list!
- Start on all fours with your knees directly under your hips and your hands directly under your shoulders
- Bend your dominant foot and tighten your leg muscles as you lift your leg away from your body at a 45-degree angle while keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle
- Lower your leg back to the starting position in a controlled manner
- Repeat this movement for the set number of times before switching to the other side
While fire hydrants may not target your hamstrings as much as they do glute bridges, they make up for it with their extra attention to all the different and hard-to-reach areas of your glutes. TheA practicealso works your hip abductors and core.
These glute bridge alternativesbiggest advantageis in rotation. Because of this, you're not just strengthening your lower body, you're working on hip rotation, extension, and improving your mobility while strengthening your lower back and core.
When making a fire hydrant you want to make sure you prevent over stretching. The best way to do this is to bring your knees in slightly on all fours and make sure they are slightly narrower than hip-width apart.
Continuing the trend of fun exercise names, we have theShellfish. They're an excellent glute bridge alternative that probably has the least impact on this list.
- Lie on your side with hips stacked, knees bent at a 45-degree angle, and shoulders stacked
- Keeping your hips steady, rotate your top knee open (mimicking an open clam) facing the ceiling.
- Bring your leg back to the starting position.
- Repeat this as many times as you like before flipping it to the other side.
IfresearchThe muscles worked with this exercise, I found it incredibly similar to fire hydrants. The rotational work targets your glutes (the smaller glutes) and hips in a way not found in many other exercises, while also working your core and lower back.
Like many others on this list, you don't need any equipment, which is a huge benefit. Another benefit is that it's incredibly low impact since you're lying on the ground while doing it. But the best thing about clamshells is that they strengthen your lower body while also being one of the best hip-strengthening exercises.
While it may look cool to keep your hand on your hip, it actually serves an important purpose. Keeping your hand on your hip provides more stability and helps you not wiggle too much, allowing you to get more results from this exercise.
6. Banded squats
If you want to improve your exercises, you can always try variations or add equipment for even more benefits. For example, instead of just doing traditional squats as a glute bridge alternative, you could givebanded squatsone try!
- Take a loop band and place it just below your knees.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and make sure the band is snug.
- Put your hands in front of your body
- Squat down while engaging your core and keeping your knees strong to prevent them from bending inward
- Come back to the standing position
Since banded squats are still squats, they also work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, adductors, and core, as mentioned above.
Using banded squats as an alternative to glute bridge has a long list of benefits. One of the biggest advantages that sets it apart from a traditional squat is that you can customize this exercise. Loop bands come in all sizes and resistances, so you can challenge yourself as much as you need to. Instead of just having to add more reps, you can add resistance (weight) and see amazing results. Another incredible benefit of band squats is that you can work on your weaknesses. Many people's knees can buckle inward when squatting. With the bands, you work specifically to keep your knees apart, adding more tension and strengthening that area even more.
When using bands and other equipment in your workout, start small. You can always level up as you gain confidence, but your form is paramount. If you find that you can't keep your knees stable with this exercise, either decrease the resistance by choosing a different band or slow down the squat.
7. Banded Shells
Just for banded squats, banded clamshells are essentially the same as above but with a little more oomph!
- Lie on your side with hips stacked, knees bent at a 45-degree angle, and shoulders stacked
- Wrap your loop band around your legs and place it on your thighs, slightly above your knees
- Keeping your hips steady, rotate your top knee open and face the ceiling
- Bring your leg back to the starting position
- Repeat this as many times as you like before flipping it to the other side
As with traditional clamshells, banded clamshells work the same muscles: glutes, hip abductors, lower back, and core.
With the band, you will see more strengthening benefits due to the added resistance. Adding a band is a huge benefit as you can customize your workout with all the different band sizes and resistances!
Listen to your body (and your doctor) when using any exercise equipment! Because you're using a resistance band, you could easily overuse your muscles, so be careful and start with a lighter weight to increase your resistance.
8. Hip raises on an exercise ball
For our final easy-to-implement glute bridge alternative, we haveforbearwhile using an exercise ball. If you have an exercise ball lying around the house or have access to one at your local gym, you won't regret giving this exercise a try!
- Grab your exercise ball
- Lie on the floor with the exercise ball between your legs
- Bring your heels onto the exercise ball
- Push through your heels to lift your lower body off the floor, keeping your shoulders and head firmly planted
- Slowly and under control, lower your body back to the floor and repeat the exercise
Because of the stability ball, your core will work more than any other workout on our list. However, it's important to remember that this exercise also targets your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
There are so many benefits in this workout! As mentioned above, the stability ball involves more instability than you would typically get from a traditional exercise, meaning your body has to work even harder to stabilize. This is how you increase your stability.
Take your time and focus on your muscles with this exercise! It's not all about speed to get the best results!
9. Reverse hyperextension
This exercise works your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. It's a great exercise that can help relieve lower back pain.
- Lie your torso on a bench or bed while letting your legs and hips hang.
- With your legs straight behind you, tighten your glutes and slowly raise your legs and hips until they are parallel to the floor. You should feel the contraction in your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.
- Slowly touch the floor with your feet and repeat.
- Repeat 10-15 times.
Glutes, hamstrings, lower back
This exercise has numerous benefits. People who have back pain and start this exercise will in many cases heal their back pain. This is because the glutes form the foundation of the lower back. If your glutes are weak, your lower back muscles will try to compensate for their relaxation. This exercise can be done anywhere - on a bench, on a bed or on a table.
As you gain strength, you can begin to increase the amount of time you hold the contraction at the beginning of the exercise. At the top of the exercise, rotate your legs outward for additional glute contraction.
10. Hip thrust
TheHip thrust is a great resistance exercisefor building strength in your glutes.
- You may want to try the unweighted exercise first to establish your balance and become familiar with the range of motion. From there you may want to just use the bar with no plates to practice getting in and out of the position. You can also wrap a pad or towel around the bar to protect your hip bones.
- Set the bench up behind you. Start in a seated position on the floor with your knees bent and your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Rest your upper back against the edge of the bench in the middle of the bench. Then place the barbell across your hips
- Tighten your glutes and push the bar up until your hips are in line with your knees and shoulders. Keep your chin slightly tucked and your core tight.
- When your hips are fully extended, aim to have a 90-degree bend at the knees.
- Slowly lower your body until your hips are a few inches off the floor.
- Repeat for 8-10 repetitions.
Glutes and hamstrings
A great alternative to squats to work your glutes, hip thrusts take some pressure off your knees. With stronger glutes, exercises like cleans and snatches become more explosive.
Focus on contracting your glutes and holding full extension for a few seconds on each rep to get a good burn. Also, a barbell isn't required to perform hip thrusts. You can do them with just your body weight or some other resistance - such as B. dumbbells or other weights that you have on hand.