The best butt exercise for this week is the glute bridge. It is a classic exercise that you’ve probably come across before, but the reason this one has staying power is simply because it is so effective.
In fact, I’m ashamed that I did not feature this exercise earlier, as it is quite literally one of the best butt exercises due to the high level of glute activation it offers.
Exercise: Glute Bridges
Muscles worked: Predominantly Glutes. Some Hamstrings, back and core (but should be minimized).
Jolie Recommends: Beginners: sets of 10 reps. Advanced: sets of 50 reps
Difficulty rating: 3
Effectiveness rating: 8
Best Butt Exercise #6: Glute Bridge
The glute bridge is an excellent butt exercise that is easy to perform and can be done with no equipment.
The trick with this exercise is proper form. It is possible to do 100 reps of the exercise and barely feel it in the glutes if you are letting other muscles (likely the back and hamstrings) take over to perform the movement.
I know this because for years I have been glute bridging incorrectly, and as a result of not ‘feeling the burn’ in my butt during this exercise, dismissed it as being not very effective.
How wrong I was!
Once I learned how to glute bridge properly – using the glutes to drive the movement – I can now say with confidence that this is definitely a great butt exercise. I even recommend it as a way to gain control of your glutes and develop a strong mind-muscle connection.
The key to this exercise is to go slowly and really concentrate on using the glutes to power all of the movement. I found that I (incorrectly) was previously using a lot of hamstrings for this move, so have to really mentally focus on relaxing the other muscles that are most likely to take over instead of the glutes while I am doing this exercise. The main culprits for taking over from the glutes during this exercise are the hamstring muscles and the back muscles.
Where to Place Your Feet
Lay on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor approximately shoulder width apart, and heels close (but not touching) to your butt.
The positioning of your feet can affect the muscles activated in this exercise. The further away from your butt your feet are, the more your hamstrings will be activated. I find that if my feet are too close to my butt, my knees experience some pain.
There are no hard and fast rules and everyone will differ due to different anatomical differences like limb length, so use a little experimentation to find a comfortable distance to place your feet away from your butt so that you feel that you get the most glute activation from the exercise.
Remember, the main goal is to actually feel this exercise in your butt muscles, so play around a little and do whatever you need to do to get that feeling!
Where to Place Your Arms
You also don’t want to be using the arms to push yourself up. There should be no weight supported by your arms at all, meaning that you should be able to take them and cross them in front of your chest without this changing the exercise at all. Once you’re comfortable that you’re not using your arms incorrectly during the exercise, then feel free to place them on the ground by your sides as shown in the video above.
How To Do The Move
- Start lying on your back on the floor, with your knees bent and your feet flat at shoulder with apart about a foot or so away from your butt.
- With your knees apart and without actually moving them, imagine squeezing an imaginary ball between your knees. Hold this for the entire exercise, as this can help activate your glutes.
- Clench your butt cheeks tightly together, and squeeze hard for the whole exercise.
- Keeping your core tight, drive strongly through the heels of your feet to drive your hips up in the air.
- When your hips are as high as they will go, push them just that little bit higher by giving a strong squeeze of your glutes.
- Lower back down to the starting position, and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.