Resistance Band Glute Bridge: Benefits, Muscles Worked, and More

published by: Debbie Luna
Last Updated:
January 10, 2023

The glutes are an important muscle group that keeps the body upright and pushes it forward. Together with the hamstring muscles, they are vital in daily activities as these muscles are used for walking, running, propulsion, and a variety of other movements. The glutes are also key muscles that support the lower back in lifting objects as well as help in the prevention of knee injuries. 

The resistance band glute bridge is a lower-body strengthening exercise that helps in both injury prevention and recovery. This exercise involves a basic glute bridge execution with the use of a resistance band to add an external load. The addition of a resistance band to the exercise aids in making the workout more challenging in a safer way as compared to the use of free weights.

What is a Glute Bridge?

The glute bridge is an excellent lower-body exercise that can be performed with or without the use of equipment. It is a simple yet effective way to increase core stability, build glute strength, and help with form and function in the execution of other exercises. 

glute bridge

This lower-body workout is one of the most effective exercises that may be performed in order to tone the glutes and hamstring muscles. Additionally, when done consistently, it becomes an effective way to prevent future injuries by strengthening the muscles of the ankles and knees.

This workout is also best for individuals that find it difficult to execute a traditional squat due to back, hip, or knee pain. Another great aspect of this workout is that it also places little to no pressure on the lower back.

How to Perform Resistance Band Glute Bridge

To perform the glute bridge with a resistance band, lie belly up on the floor or a mat with the knees bent and a resistance band wrapped around the thighs. Place the band just above the knees and position the feet hip-width apart. The hands should be situated at the sides of the body, fully extended, and pointing toward the heels.

resistance band glute bridge

Before going into the bridge, engage the core first so that the lower back presses against the floor. This will be the starting position. Push through the floor with the feet and lift the hips until it almost aligns with the knees. It is important to squeeze the gluteal muscles at the peak of the movement.

Return to the starting position by slowly lowering the hips back to the floor to complete a single repetition. Perform the above steps until the desired number of reps is achieved in order to finish one set.

Muscles Used in a Resistance Band Glute Bridge

Performing a glute bridge with the use of a resistance band is an effective exercise in strengthening the lower extremity muscles and improving core stability. This exercise works the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core muscles. 

resistance band glute bridge muscles

One way to target the lower extremity muscles is by lifting the hips and squeezing the glutes. The use of a resistance band placed around the thighs creates a force that will pull the thighs inward. To counter such pull, the gluteus medius contracts to maintain the hip in neutral position while the hamstrings function to extend the hip. this helps in increasing the strength of the muscles and developing better pelvic stability.

Additionally, abdominal muscles, specifically the transversus abdominis, contract to support the spine in order to avoid hyperextension. Hence, this exercise activates the core muscles and helps enhance core stability.   

Benefits of a Resistance Band Glute Bridge

Alleviates Lower Back and Knee Pain

Feeling pain in the lower back and knee is a common occurrence in strength and power training. This is most often seen in competitive lifters having sensations such as nagging pain in the lower back area and the knees due to constant pressure placed on these areas. 

Doing glute bridges strengthens the gluteal muscles and having stronger glutes can lead to relief of spinal extension stress, act as support to fully extend the hips, and also stabilize and balance out the forces placed on the knees caused by different exercises. 

Improve Posture

A slouched posture is most often observed in individuals who spend most of their days sitting down. This is because long hours of sitting may cause the gluteal muscles to get weaker and the thigh muscles to become shorter, making them feel tight and affecting posture.

Fortunately, practising glute bridges regularly can improve an individual’s posture, as it targets and strengthens the glutes and lower back muscles. These are the muscles that are responsible for keeping the body upright. So, whether the individual is standing or sitting, an upright posture can be achieved by regularly performing this exercise.

Increase Glute Strength

Aside from the aesthetic benefits that the glute bridge can offer, it also strengthens the glute muscles which can help enhance overall performance across various lifts, sports, and other activities. Having strong glutes is also important for proper pelvic alignment, propulsion during walking and running, and even standing on one leg.

Mistakes to Avoid in a Resistance Band Glute Bridge

Pushing Through the Toes

While pushing through the floor with the toes is possible when doing glute bridges, this will not yield the full benefits intended for the targeted muscles. This is because pushing with the toes shifts the load which will force the use of the quads and glutes more.

It is better to push through with the heels rather than the toes as this makes it easier to activate the glutes and hamstrings. Furthermore, this places less pressure on the knees as well. To fix this, try to release tension from the toes and transfer all the force into the heels. 

Going Too Fast

Like most exercises, going too fast is an often forgotten mistake but is a detrimental factor in the workout’s effectiveness. It is very important in every workout to establish control of all movements and master all the techniques slowly. Although performing a workout in a fast motion may burn more, this actually leads to risking proper position and control.

Lumbar Spine Hyperextension

There may be a misconception that raising the back as high as possible will give a better yield. On the contrary, doing so will lead to hyperextending the lumbar spine and will take the load off the glutes and shift it to the lower back muscles instead. 

To fix this, do not raise the hips too high, and maintain the peak of the movement at a point where the hips are just slightly lower than the knees. 

Not Engaging the Core

Most individuals think of the core only as the abdominal muscles, when in fact, the core consists of all the muscles extending from the sternum down to the pubic bone from the front and back. This means that even the glutes and lower back are a part of the core muscles. 

When failing to engage the core muscles before the execution of the bridge, it forces the pelvis to rotate anteriorly thus putting more load onto the calves and quad muscles instead of the glutes.

To fix this, before executing the bridge, brace the core and pull in the abdomen to rotate the pelvis posteriorly. Maintain having the core engaged and the pelvis tucked throughout the full range of motion of the exercise. 

Mispositioned Feet

Feet positioning is a vital factor in executing a glute bridge as the distance of the feet from the glutes can make a huge difference in the optimization of the glute bridge. When the feet are placed too close to the glutes this makes it nearly impossible to lift the hips off the ground. On the other hand, having the feet too far will engage the hamstrings more than the glutes.

To fix this, set the heels approximately one foot away from the glutes. This distance reduces hamstring involvement while also isolating the glutes muscle more. It is also important to make sure that the feet should be kept at hip-width distance from one another.

Final Thoughts

The banded glute is an excellent and effective workout in sculpting and strengthening the glutes while also producing the other benefits mentioned above. It is a perfect exercise for anyone that is looking to gain such benefits with more ease compared to a traditional squat.

It is recommended to incorporate the glute bridge into one’s workout routine, but as with any exercise, always keep in mind to execute the proper technique to gain the intended benefits and avoid any risk of injury. 

References

1. Verbrugghe J, Agten A, Stevens S, Hansen D, Demoulin C, Eijnde BO, Vandenabeele F, Timmermans A. Exercise intensity matters in chronic nonspecific low back pain rehabilitation. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2019 Dec 1;51(12):2434-42.

2. Noffal GJ, Capilouto AP, Frazier BS, Lynn SK. Electromyographic (EMG) Analysis of the Hip Musculature During Variations Of The Glute Bridge Exercise. InMEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE 2013 May 1 (Vol. 45, No. 5, pp. 586-586). 530 WALNUT ST, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19106-3621 USA: LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS.

Debbie (Deb) started powerlifting and Olympic lifting in High School as part of her track team's programming; She continues to train in order to remain athletic. Inspire US allows Deb to share information related to training, lifting, biomechanics, and more.
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