The banded glute bridge is a popular exercise used to strengthen and tone gluteal muscles.
It is often integrated into warm-up segments and strength-training segments to increase glute activation and muscle hypertrophy.
There are different variations of this exercise that are designed to increase its effectiveness. Among them is the banded glute bridge where you loop a band around your thighs for increased resistance.
HOW TO DO A BANDED GLUTE BRIDGE PROPERLY
Required equipment: Hip resistance band
- Loop the band around your lower thighs, just above your knees.
- Lie flat on the floor, with your knees at right angles and your back straight against the ground.
- Keeping your arms at your side, push your knees out against the band and raise your hips
upwards. The goal is to get your body in a straight line from your shoulder to your hip to your knee.
- Squeeze your glutes and core muscles then stay in that position for 2-3 seconds.
- Slowly lower your hips down, keeping the tension in your abs and glutes the whole time.
- Do 15-20 reps
WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE BANDED GLUTE BRIDGE WORK?
This exercise primarily targets your glutes. When you squeeze your glutes at the top position, you recruit your glutes which help with hip extension and rotation.
The resistance band increases glute activation, making the glute bridge even more effective.
This exercise fires up your hamstrings as you generate power for the exercise by driving your heel into the ground.
When you tighten your core while performing this move, you work the transverse abdominis which provides support to your torso by stabilizing your pelvis and spine.
Other muscles this exercise works are the calf muscles and thigh muscles.
BANDED GLUTE BRIDGE BENEFITS
GREAT WARM-UP EXERCISE
The banded glute bridge makes for a fantastic warm-up exercise especially if your workout routine consists of glute-focused exercises.
It increases neurological activation and prepares your glutes for more intense workouts.
STRENGTHENS YOUR GLUTES
The glutes are the primary muscles targeted by the banded glute bridge. It strengthens, tones and sculpts the glutes, giving them an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Aside from the aesthetic effect bigger glutes have, they also help enhance your overall fitness performance and your ability to perform your everyday tasks that require strength.
IDEAL FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN’T DO SQUATS
People with knee or hip problems often find it hard to do squats because of the pressure they put on the hips and knees. If you are one of these people you may want to consider the glute bridge as an alternative.
It will get the job done but without putting too much pressure on your hips and knees.
HELPS WITH KNEE PAIN
One of the main causes of knee pain is a lack of control of the upper leg bone, also known as the
femur. Not having enough control of this bone can cause it to slide forward and collapse towards
the midline of the body.
The internal collapse of this bone is often associated with pain in the knee.
The stronger glutes you develop from doing the banded glute bridge can help control the femur and reduce the possibility of developing such knee pain.
IMPROVES YOUR SQUAT AND DEADLIFT FORM
Squats and deadlifts are very dependent on having strong glutes. Weak glutes do not create enough pressure for your hips to extend and rotate internally, which ultimately affects your ability to perform squats and deadlifts.
By strengthening your gluteal muscles, the banded glute bridge will help you develop a better form for squats and deadlifts.
STRENGTHENS YOUR POSTERIOR CHAIN
The banded glute bridge will not only work your hip extension but also strengthen your posterior muscles.
These muscles are very important for good posture, healthy movement and a healthy spine.
Although this exercise primarily targets the glutes, it also activates your core stabilizers hence strengthening your abdominal muscles.
When you spend most of your time sitting, your glutes get weaker and your hip flexors tighter.
Eventually, you might end up slouching as your tight hip flexors pull you forward and your glutes are too weak to pull you into an upright position.
However, when you regularly do banded glute bridges, you will strengthen your glutes and lower back muscles which will, in turn, hold your body upright and give you better posture.
ALLEVIATES BACK PAIN
Professional sports persons often find themselves overusing their back muscles, which causes the lower back pain.
Stronger glutes can alleviate such pain by stabilizing and balancing out the forces on the lower back.
ALTERNATIVES TO BANDED GLUTE BRIDGE
BANDED SWAY SQUAT
The banded sway squat is a glute-centric exercise that also works your inner and outer quads.
Unlike the banded glute bridge, you should do it standing with your feet wide apart and a resistance band looped around your upper thighs.
Then, you lunge to the left while keeping your right leg straight and rested on its heel.
Stretch through your right hamstring then return to the original position and repeat the steps on the other side.
You should maintain a fluid side-to-side movement throughout this exercise.
BANDED FIRE HYDRANT
Banded fire hydrant great alternative move that you can do instead of the banded glute bridge. It primarily targets the glutes and the abductor muscles on the upper leg.
To perform this exercise, you need to lie down with a resistance band positioned around your lower thighs.
You will then bend your knees, put your feet together and plant your arms on the floor by your side.
Straighten your left leg and lift your hips up as high as you can, squeezing your glutes in the process.
Hold this position for a second or two before lowering your body back down to the starting position.
BANDED GLUTE BRIDGE MISTAKES TO AVOID
HYPEREXTENDING YOUR BACK
You might think that pushing your hips up as high as possible makes this exercise more effective, but in a real sense it hyperextends your lower back.
When your lower back muscles are hyperextended, the load shifts from your glutes to your lower back. This makes the exercise less effective for your glutes and causes strain on your back.
NOT SQUEEZING YOUR GLUTES AT THE TOP
When you don’t squeeze your glutes at the top of the position, you reduce the time under tension which results in less contractibility of these muscles.
The more time your glutes spend under tension, the greater the intensity of the exercise.
NOT ENGAGING YOUR CORE
If you don’t engage your core, your pelvis will rotate anteriorly, putting more pressure on your calves and quads instead of your glutes. This ultimately reduces the effectiveness of this exercise.
TO SUM UP …
If you are looking to strengthen your glutes and work your hamstrings, the banded glute bridge is a fantastic option.
It is relatively easy to do as well and it promises good results as long as you maintain the correct form.
Add it to your workout routine today and get to enjoy the many benefits it comes with!