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4 Tips For A Better Barbell Glute Bridge

2 min read

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The Hip Thrust may get the lion's share of attention but the Barbell Glute Bridge may actually be just as, if not more, effective than it's better known counter part. 

That's up for debate, but what is true is that it actually has less quad activation than the hip thrust. If your goal is to build as much booty as possible without adding leg mass- the glute bridge might be for you.

Here's 4 tips to get the most out of your Glute Bridges.

#1: Put A Bosu Ball Behind You! 

bosu ball
The Bosu Ball is the ideal brace, as it's comfortable, won't slide around and is at the perfect height to cradle your head. 

I know what you're thinking, but don't place your shoulders on the ball, otherwise you're doing a low, wobbly hip thrust.

Instead, keep your shoulders flat on the ground, and place the Bosu Ball under your head like a pillow. You'll end up with a perfect chin tuck (like when you do hip thrusts).

Comfort aside, the main goal is actually to stop you from sliding backwards while performing the lift.

When you slide rearward, your knee opens up and your hamstring lengthens, causing you to use more hammy and less glute.

#2: Use A Thick Bar Padding

Would you believe me if I told you people are still doing it raw? Totally unprotected hip thrusting.

I'm a little grossed out by it, but let's get real- it's 2020. 

We have the technology, let's use it.

All jokes aside, even if you have to use a rolled up yoga mat, use SOMETHING to protect your hip bones and pelvis. 

It's not just an ego thing, pain actually inhibits muscle activation.

Make more progress and feel more comfortable? 

Seems like a no brainer. 

Full disclosure, we designed the first thick bar pad designed for hip thrusts and glute bridges that also has a non-slip velcro enclosure. Check it out in our store.

/end plug

#3: Wear A Band

hip thrust with glute band

Placing a booty bandabove your knees is one of the most effective things you can do for your glutes. Especially for beginner-intermediate lifters who will have difficulty "activation" their muscles during the lifts. 

Using a band during your glute bridge requires the glutes to produce both hip extension and hip abduction simultaneously.

Another benefit is that your glutes are under constant tension. Time under tension (TUT) is an effective muscle building technique we'll be talking about in later posts.

For now, just know that it's gonna make that thang pop.

In a nutshell, adding a band to your bridge is going to have your cheeks firing on all cylinders. 

#4: Use Small Plates

Unlike the hip thrust, which would generally have you using the largest plates you can (Bret Contreras even sells extra high 45lbs plates), the glute bridge requires the opposite. 

The lower your barbell is to the ground, the great your range of motion, or ROM.

Greater ROM = greater stretch and muscle activation.

Find yourself a stack of 25lbs plates and get to thrusting!


  • Place a Bosu Ball behind your neck to reduce sliding
  • Use thick bar padding
  • Add a booty band
  • Use Smaller Plates


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