The Best Glute Bridge Progressions For Less Back Pain

woman glute bridge

Build strong hips without stressing your lower back with these ten glute bridge progressions. One of the things that people with back pain have in common is weak glutes and hamstrings. Which is why every plan to treat back pain needs to include the glute bridge. The Bridge is a SAFE and EFFECTIVE way to build strength in our glutes to protect out low back and is something we include in every plan we put together.

It’s important to be able to build strength without further aggravating our lower back. In this article, we’ve included ten glute bridge progressions to help you safely build strength to overcome back pain and keep doing the things you love…regardless of age.

Ten Glute Bridge Progressions For All Ability Levels

1. The Glute Bridge Hold

Isometric contractions (a muscle contraction with no movement) provide a way to activate the muscles without overloading them following an injury. The glute bridge hold is a great place to learn how to develop tension in our glute muscles to protect out low back

2. The Glute Bridge

The classic glute bridge exercise. Bend your knees so feet are flat on the floor and  then press through feet to lift hips up off the floor. Do a quick squeeze of the glutes at the top to get into full hip extension.

3. The Glute Bridge Squeeze

Create even more tension in our glutes and inner legs with the Glute Bridge Squeeze. Place a yoga block or medium size ball in between your knees and perform the bridge exercise. Maintain 25% squeeze inward during the entire movement.

4. The Butterfly Bridge

Another progression to strengthen the entire glute complex. Butterfly bridges incorporate your Glute med and TFL muscle groups for even more strength building.

Place miniband around knees. Perform bridge and hold at top. Perform 10 ‘butterflies’ without letting your hips sink down.

5. The Banded Glute Bridge

Start adding resistance to your glute bridge to continue to build strength in your hamstring and glutes. 

Folding a rubber resistance band in half, step on one end and wrap the other around your knees and perform the bridge.

6. The Hip Thrust

The Hip Thrust is the next progression up where you can really start to build strength in your glutes and hamstrings.

Leaning back on a bench, chair, couch, etc. press through your feet to lift the hips up. Keep body in plank position if possible.

7. The Glute Bridge March

The next way to progress the glute bridge is by moving to single leg variations. The Glute Bridge March Is great way to introduce single leg bridging while making sure the exercise doesn’t aggravate the low back.

Come up with two, lift one and hold for 3-5 seconds, switch sides and repeat, then come down and repeat. Be sure to keep your trunk level and hips all the way up during entirety of exercise.

8. Single Leg Bridge

Same as the Glute Bridge March only now you’re pressing off with  one foot and coming pain down. Keep trunk in alignment, not letting hip drop down.

9. Single Leg Hip Thrust

The single leg variation of the hip thrust exercise. Set up exactly the same way only press through one foot to lift hips off the ground. This one is hard!

10. Medicine Ball Bridges

One other way is to add an unstable surface to where you place your feet. This one has the potential to aggravate conditions so be sure you are strong and pain free in all other variations before trying.

Building strong glutes with these glute bridge progressions is just one of many ways to limit the impact that goes through our lower back and solve pain. For a more complete understanding and answers to low back pain be sure to download our free program ‘Solving Pain With Strength’.

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Solving Pain With Strength: An Approachable, Step-by-Step Strength Program For Adults Limited By Joint Pain
Are you new to strength training? Be sure to check out other articles in our Strength Training For Beginners Series to be sure you can build SAFELY build strength – without being in pain.

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