Glute bridges are trending - I tried them every other day and wow, my muscles are very thankful

Despite its name, this exercise isn’t just for your glutes

Glute bridges every day: Becks trying glute bridges at home
(Image credit: Becks Shepherd)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you can always count on a fresh workout challenge to fire up some motivation to move. The latest bodyweight exercise challenge to capture my attention? Completing glute bridges every day for seven days.

I get it. Glute bridges might sound niche, but did you know, according to Google, there are between 10, 000 to 100,000 searches for the term each month? Plus, this low-impact move has been named as one of the top glute exercises to help strengthen and tone this area and topped the list of the best Pilates exercises for beginners to master. A 2023 report published in the European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education even went so far to claim that the humble single-banded glute bridge exercise in particular, may be ‘more effective’ in strengthening the gluteus maximus and medius muscles than other exercises, like a turn-out bent knee pulse. So what gives?

“A glute bridge is an exercise that strengthens your glutes, hamstrings, and core,” women’s health & fitness expert and founder of the FIT MAMA app, Mari-Carmen Sanchez-Morris explains. To perfect the move: “You lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, and then lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees, creating a bridge-like pose."

Keen to find out more about this glute-building move? You’re in good hands. To delve deeper into what is a glute bridge, how to do one and how I got on, keep scrolling. FYI, I’ve tried out a few workout moves and written about them in my time. Read how I got on trying bodyweight squats, Bulgarian split squats and.planking every day for a week, here. Don't miss our explainers on the benefits of good morning exercises and what happens when you complete push ups every day, while you're at it.

I tried glute bridges every day and have some thoughts

What is a glute bridge?

As you might have already sussed, glute bridges are a bodyweight bridge-like exercise that targets — you guessed it — your glutes, along with your core and hamstrings.

Your glutes are the muscle group consisting of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. To strengthen this area and master the move, there are a few things you should know. “A perfect glute bridge consists of elevating your hips until your torso makes a straight line from your shoulder up to your knee,” Sarah Campus, personal trainer, nutrition coach, wellness expert and founder of LDN MUMS FITNESS explains. “Once you reach the top of the glute bridge, squeeze your glutes as tightly as possible and hold for a few seconds.”

Any tips for mastering your form? “When trying to perfect a glute bridge you want to make sure you’re keeping your feet hip-width apart, with your toes pointed forward, and that you’re also engaging your core by bracing your abdominal muscles,” Sanchez-Morris adds. “Make sure to lift your hips up until your glutes are squeezed and your body is in a straight line but don’t arch your back - keep your spine neutral! Then when coming to the end of the move, lower your hips back down with control.”


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What are the benefits of doing glute bridges?

Having strong glutes goes way beyond aesthetics. As researchers in this 2017 study found, gluteal strength plays a role in injury prevention, normal gait patterns, eliminating pain, and enhancing athletic performance. And while glute bridges can help you build a stronger muscles in this area, they can also unlock many other health benefits.

According to Campus, performing glute bridges can also help stabilise your core, build strength in your glutes, and help you with form and function as you perform other exercises. “Benefits of glute bridges mainly fall under stabilization and strength,” the PT notes. “Stabilizing your glutes can benefit exercises such as walking, running, deadlifts, and squats. Strengthening your glutes can also improve your form as you expand your workout routine and reduce general back pain.”

And, as Sanchez-Morris shares, this type of exercise could help those who are pregnant or postpartum alleviate pain and weakened muscles — which a 2023 review article, also confirms.

“Bridges are excellent exercises during pregnancy because stronger glutes help to alleviate lower back and pelvic pain, which can be experienced during pregnancy,” Sanchez-Morris says. “Postpartum, the glutes can be weakened due to postural changes, making glute bridges a great way to fire up and strengthen the glutes.”

That said, if you are pregnant or postpartum, do check with a qualified health professional about the right exercises for you and your health goals.

Glute bridges every day: my review

Before I jump into what I found after completing these over a course of a week, I just want to flag, I spoke to both personal trainers Campus and Sanchez-Morris before trying this challenge to get their expert take on how many glute bridges were too many and they both echoed the same thing.

“You don’t need to do them every day as there will be risk of injury for overloading and repeating the same thing,” Campus highlights. While Sanchez-Morris notes: “While you can technically do glute bridges every day, it’s more important to focus on proper form and progressive overload (gradually increasing difficulty) to see results.”

So instead of ticking off glute bridges every day for seven days, I added in rest days, completing three sets of ten reps of glute bridges four times over the week. I resting 60-90 seconds between each set to help maintain a good form — and give my lower body a chance to pause before starting again.

Days one to three

Bodyweight exercises, like glute bridges, really are the gift that keep on giving. I've performed these functional moves before as they're a firm fave in the Pilates game thanks to their ability to help aid glute activation, spinal articulation and pelvic stability.

I was away during a small chunk of this challenge, but it didn’t matter. To complete this glute bridge conquest, all I needed was a spare bit of floor to lay my exercise mat, some comfortable workout clothes and a spare 10 minutes to focus on my form and unlock that mind-muscle connection.

When day one approaches, I roll out a towel, (alas, my already overweight suitcase didn’t have enough room for my trusty mat) lay down, position my feet hip-width apart, and engage my core before lifting my hips up until my glutes are squeezed. Personally speaking, I think the hardest part about glute bridges is remembering to stop once your glutes are "squeezed." According to experts, doing so stops you from arching your back — a no-no during this move. So during my trio of sets, I make keeping my spine neutral as my main focus.

On day three, I prepare to do the exercise again but this time on my exercise mat which gives me extra grip, with my feet now having a grippy surface to power from. It might sound menial, but having a good workout mat does make a difference to at-home workouts. These might be my second set of sets, but I can already notice a difference in the looseness of my back, which, as someone who sits down at a desk more often than not, is usually left feeling achy and tense come the end of the week. Not bad at all.

Glute bridges every day: Becks trying the challenge at home

Becks trying a single leg glute bridge at home

(Image credit: Becks Shepherd)

Days four to seven

On day five, I decide to modify the workout to alter the goalposts and fire up my glutes like never before. Enter: the single-leg glute bridge. To do this move, Sanchez-Morris says: "Lift one leg off the ground at the top of the bridge position and focus on driving through the other leg to lift your hips." I replicate this move for 10 reps and immediately notice a different come rep one. Halfway through completing my first set, it then dawns on me I'll have to do this glute-burning move 10 more times on the other leg to finish the task at hand. Wow, this single-leg move is not for the faint-hearted.

Day seven is here and I'm back to doing the traditional glute bridges I know and love. By the end of my challenge, it comes as no surprise to note that my achy glutes are a good indication that I've ticked off this glute-strengthening exercise to my max. Glute bridges are famed for their ability to fire up your bottom half — and that they do. But what's really shocked me is just how much looser (or perhaps stronger?) my back feels having completed this challenge.

Looking at the science, it now makes sense why. Researchers in one study found that exercises that strengthen your glutes and those that work to stabilize the spine were "effective for improving the low back pain." According to the research, that's because the erector spinae muscle, rectus abdominis muscle, and external oblique abdominal muscle — the muscles that make up part of your core — play a role in lumbar stability and support. Which is good to know, going forward. While I can't say I will be completing glute bridges for the rest of time, challenges like this give me a chance to spotlight an exercise and see what works and what doesn't. It's fair to say I can place glute bridges into the former.

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Can you grow your glutes with just glute bridges?

You absolutely can however, when it comes to growing muscles, there are a few provisos to know about. “If performed correctly and over time with progressive overload, glute bridges can help to build your glute muscles and make them stronger,” Sarah Campus, personal trainer, nutrition coach, wellness expert and founder of LDN MUMS FITNESS tells us. But along with implementing the progressive overload technique, diet and variation of exercises will also be key.

“If you want to grow your glutes, you'll benefit from doing multiple glute exercises each week, including glute bridges. But you need to be doing a variety of exercises such as hip thrusts, squats, deadlift, lunges for example all of which will contribute to growing glutes.”

And women’s health and fitness expert and founder of the FIT MAMA app, Mari-Carmen Sanchez-Morris agrees. She says: “As the glutes can be separated into three muscle groups, it’s best to consider a variety of glute-focused exercises into your workout routine and not just glute bridges by themselves.”

Rebecca Shepherd
Health Contributor

Rebecca, or Becks, is a freelance journalist with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She specialises in all things health and lifestyle and has written for a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist, the Evening Standard, Good Housekeeping, The Telegraph, Live Science, Tom's Guide and Fit&Well. Becks also writes copy for a number of brands and small businesses. 

When she's not weight training, tracking down the best gym leggings, reading a book or at her desk typing away, you'll find her in the kitchen perfecting a new recipe or bake.