Now that the sports training world is having people do hip thrusts like a male review show from Vegas, my question is what do people expect to get from doing glute bridges? A fine low level exercise used when needed but the reason people have such lame glutes is the fact they have program design issues. Most of the problems I see are related to foot mechanics as a lot of research on back pain is stemming from foot biomechanics. I do think some corrective exercises are needed but only when one has covered the general needs of a complete program. Often corrective exercises leave people out of shape, weak, and bored. Corrective exercises should be part of the warm down and warm up. Review your lifting techniques. Often the exercises are done wrong for developing the glutes and we start looking for specific fixes when the real culprit is poor execution. Here are some elements that can give you some better booty.
- Olympic Lifts or Clean style deads from the floor- Make sure your push directs the knee backwards on the first pull of the olympic lifts and you keep your back and hips moving up at the same rate. Early extension of the spine results in erector recruitment for propulsion instead of acting as a coupling agent.
- Lateral Heidens- Multidirectional plyos with full foot landings will get the glutes acting as great stabilizers, thus helping with the hip, knee, and foot. Start light with just bodyweight and move on to loading with DBs and weight vests.
- Oblique issues-Anterior pelvic tilt (APT) from lumbar structure will cause some problems but weak obliques tend to artificially exaggerate or cause situational APT this will cause landing strike issues that will reduce engagement of the glutes. Fixing posture from poor strength balance takes a long time but will help with getting the butt engaged.
- Skip and do drills with good foot mechanics-This will keep the joints healthy and teach optimal recruitment patterns. Toey (those that have poor pretension of the foot strike) seem to be injury prone and I like single leg rudimentary work like hops to a isometric landing. The pronators and supinators need strength and I find a dynamic eccentric to a isometric contraction a valuable way to increase strength of the stabilizers during the GPP.