I Did The Glute Bridge Walk Every Day For A Week – Here’s What Happened
When people do exercises that focus on the glutes, they will tell anyone within earshot that strong gluteal muscles help improve posture, alignment, balance, and overall stability (thus helping to prevent injuries) and promote athletic performance. “Did you know that the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body? they will inevitably ask themselves.
All of the above is true, but what they also think when working on their glutes is, “Man, my butt is going to look great; I can’t wait to get away from people. If that’s the result you’re looking for (it is, at least in part), the glute bridge walk is an ideal exercise. Of course, the gluteal bridge in all its variations also targets the hamstrings, but it doesn’t matter…
The basic glute bridge is an extremely popular bodyweight move for so many great reasons: it can be done anywhere, it targets multiple muscle groups, it requires no equipment, and you do it lying down. Here is how to do a buttock bridgemore what happened when this fitness writer did 50 gluteal bridges a day for a week. It’s a simple gesture, of course, but one that, done well, you will feel immediately. Adding the walking aspect makes it even harder. One last thing: it looks relatively easy, but there are few moves that are more likely to be executed incorrectly.
How to do the glute bridge walk
Ready to start? Here’s how to do this simple move:
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat, and arms at your sides. A common mistake at this stage is bringing your feet too close to your body; to complicate matters, another is to have them too far. You should not be able to touch your heels with your fingertips and your lower leg should be almost vertical.
- Next, press your feet to the floor and slowly raise your hips while engaging your core, so your knees, pelvis, and shoulders form a straight line. This is the basic gluteal bridge. From this position, I recommend stepping up onto your heels. (I found this helped to focus the movement more on the glutes and less on the hamstrings, but keep your feet flat on the floor if you’re more comfortable that way.)
- Push into the floor with your right knee and foot and gently lift your left knee towards your chest – try to form a right angle with your torso and thigh. You will focus on your lower body, but be aware of your upper body as well.
- Keep your weight evenly distributed by not pushing on one shoulder or the other to maintain balance. Return your foot to the floor, landing lightly and briefly on your heel, and repeat on the other side. And so the march begins. To start, aim for three sets of 10-12 reps on each leg and see how you feel.
The most common form mistake people make when doing this move is covering the lower back, in the mistaken belief that higher is better. This, of course, puts a strain on the back, so watch your form. It’s also tempting to let your midsection sag, and there’s a tendency to let the hamstrings do the heavy lifting, which isn’t the point of the move: the glutes should be the main driver here.
I did the glute bridge walk for a week and this is what happened
Full disclosure: Because I’m familiar with the glute bridge, I assumed the walking variation would be a breeze that gently stroked my hair and had a pleasant overall cooling effect. And, on the first day, I was right. I lay down, lifted my hips, slipped between reps and felt nothing at all. No sense of effort or tension – no indication whatsoever that I had done any exercise. Maybe I’ll feel it later today, I thought stupidly. I didn’t because I was doing almost everything wrong. In fact, the only part of the move I performed correctly was when I lay on the floor. It was obvious because I wasn’t using my brain.
On the second day, I slowed down, focused on maintaining a straight line from shoulder to knee, and tapped my heel on the floor each time I returned to the starting position. I felt better, but later in the day I felt the exertion of the exercise in my lower back, not in my glutes. I had overcompensated for the carelessness of the first day by arching my back.
Day 3 was slightly better again, but it wasn’t until day 4 that I was successful. You see, raising and lowering the leg is, to some extent, wrong direction. The tension is on the other side, which seems to do nothing more than hold you in position. But if you hit your glutes on this side, you’ll feel them doing their best to keep you straight and true. And it’s hard work. At the same time, the mobile leg offers a different type of training, improving mobility and flexibility.
Day 4 and following
As the week progressed, I discovered that I could add reps without too much difficulty. it was as much about form as it was about strength and growing confidence. On the last day, I did the move with my arms crossed high over my upper chest. This meant that I couldn’t rely on my arms and shoulders to stay steady, which made my heart work harder.
I was less than impressed with this move for the first two days, but once I got the form I looked forward to doing it every day because it’s a winner. Obviously it takes more than a week to discern a noticeable improvement in strength or form, but I must confess that at the end of the week I considered going for a run in running tights only – not shorts over it. Fortunately, the moment of madness has passed. Try this one: you won’t regret it.
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