Exercise of the Month: Glute Bridge

This post sees the start of a new feature for my blog detailing some of the reasoning behind the use of certain exercises. There is a lot more that goes in to certain training programmes beyond run, squat, bench press etc. These posts detail why we use certain exercises.

The glute bridge is sometimes called a hip lift and predominantly works the muscles that extend the hip (the glutes and hamstrings). There obviously is more muscular recruitment needed in the torso but this exercises is an entry level movement that trains what we call the “hip hinge” which can be categorized by a stable lower back during extension of the hips.

This exercise is a good warm up drill. Can be loaded as an accessory exercise or indeed may also be a primary exercise for strength if loaded sufficiently.

There are a number of good reasons to develop strong glutes. Not only to strengthen the hip hinge movement and the ability of the hips to extend but also during hip extension we want the glutes to be pulling their weight from a strength perspective. If they don’t we end up with tight overworked hamstrings which quite frankly helps no one.

The glutes play a role in stability of the femur (upper leg). Whilst blaming weak glutes has become a bit trendy due to the advance of rehab based training in to exercise in a lot of cases the diagnosis should be generally poor lower body strength. That said their role in frontal plain stability is important. Weakness of the glute medius and minimus and excessive strength of the  adductors and tfl mean that the knee may fall in leading to excessive pressure being put on the inside of the knee and possibly unnecessary movement at the lower back.

This goes to show that well developed gluteals are fundamental to joint health of the lower back and of the knee. The hip bridge while still floor work is a good introduction to lower body loading and lifting for those who have tender backs or problem knees. In advanced individuals it may be an exercise utilized under load but at Results FAST we predominantly use it in our warm ups. The picture below pretty much sums it up…..

Published by ianmellis

Ian Mellis MSc. CSCS is the co-founder of Results FAST (www.resultsfast.com)based in Ware, Hertfordshire. Specialising in athletic development, physique improvement and injury rehabilitation he provides personal training, strength and conditioning and nutrition coaching for motivated exercisers and those looking to make a long term change to their health, fitness and performance.

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