The weighted glute bridge (or hip thruster, as it is sometimes referred to) is one of the best exercises for targeting your glute muscles and building strength. The glute bridge, without weights, already targets the muscles in your glutes and hamstrings very well. By adding a load to the movement, you’re adding more bang for your workout buck. However, with any weighted exercise, you want to make sure that you’re performing the exercise properly in order to target the right muscle groups and reduce your risk of injury.
Here’s how to properly execute the weighted glute bridge so that you can add it to your workout routine!
What you’ll need:
- One barbell with appropriate plates for your skill level
- A barbell pad, towel, or yoga mat to protect your hips
Begin by sitting on the ground and rolling the barbell onto the crease in your hips. Make sure you have a barbell pad, towel, or yoga mat wrapped around the barbell where it touches your hips to prevent discomfort. Lie onto your back and bring your feet in close to your butt with your legs bent.
Your feet should be about hip width apart, similar to a deadlift stance. Make sure the barbell is resting evenly on your hips.
Grab ahold of the barbell in a comfortable grip slightly wider than your hips. Engage your glutes and hamstring muscles and drive up with your hips, lifting the bar up off the ground and allowing the weight of the barbell to add resistance to those working muscles. Pause for 1 second at the top position with your hips fully extended and your glutes and hamstrings fully activated. Lower your hips down back to the starting position and repeat.
When working with the barbell glute bridge, start with 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps at a lighter weight (beginners can even start with just the barbell, no additional plates). Your glutes and hamstring muscles will feel the burn working higher rep sets at a lighter weight, and it will give you a good indicator of where you can go from there. Once you feel comfortable with the movement, try increasing the weight, but still keeping 3-4 sets of 10 reps at a time. The barbell glute bridge is great to put at the beginning of a leg circuit or in combination with other barbell lower body exercises (such as the squat and deadlift).
The glute bridge is a great alternative exercise for anyone looking to work on posterior chain strength that may have issues with their knees or don’t feel comfortable squatting or lunging. Try adding this into your workouts to really target those glute muscles!
Lauren Weiss is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor based out of Long Beach, CA. She specializes in kettlebell training and unconventional workouts and has been working with both types of fitness for over a year. Lauren has her BOLT Kettlebell Sport Certification through the USA Kettlebell League and has expertise working with kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells and several unconventional fitness tools. Lauren received her BA in Journalism and uses her writing expertise to craft thought-provoking articles about trending fitness, health & wellness topics. Follow Lauren on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.