If you follow any #fitspo account on Instagram, you’ve probably seen thousands of different workout routines that’ll help you sculpt the butt of your dreams. But if there’s one thing anyone who has built a booty can agree on, it’s that glute bridges are key.
“This move won’t grow the booty alone,” says Jenna Epperly, ACE-certified trainer at Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios in Virginia Beach, VA. “But it is, without a doubt, an effective exercise to add to any leg and glute day.”
How to: Lie on your back with feet flat against the floor and knees bent. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off of the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Pause at the top, then lower back down to the starting position.
Form tip: Be sure not to hyperextend at the top of the movement. This shouldn’t hurt your lower back pain, says Epperly.
Reps/sets you should do to see results: If you’re sticking to basic glute bridge, aim for three to four sets of 15 to 25 reps. If you’re using weight or elevation, opt for the lower end of the set and rep range until you build up strength.
The glute bridge mainly targets its namesake muscles in your booty. But this butt exercise also improves your core stabilization. “The glute bridge is important because it strengthens the muscles in the posterior chain—your whole backside,” says Epperly. “And it’s an especially important move if you sit all day long.” (Guilty!)
Aim to hit glute bridges once or twice a week, on either a total-body or leg and butt day, says Epperly. She especially likes using the move for burnout circuits after a leg lift (like squats or deadlifts). “It’s a great move to challenge your glutes and hamstrings after those muscles are already fatigued.”
If you’re new to glute exercises, the basic bridge is enough to get your booty burning. But if you already have baseline strength and don’t feel the burn after three or four sets, upgrade to one of the endless variations:
Or combine a few of the above. “The variations are endless,” says Epperly.
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