This may shock you but building your backside involves more than just squats on squats.
In fact, some of the best burners are glute bridges, which target all three gluteal muscles—the maximus, medius, and minimus—in addition to your hamstrings, core, and abductors.
But there are a lot of bridge variations out there—so we asked an expert which plumps your peach the best: a marching glute bridge (when you alternate lifting your legs) or a bridge with bench (when your back is elevated on a bench)?
Rest your upper back against the edge of a bench, knees bent to 90 degrees, and butt close to the floor.
Rest your arms along the edge of the bench. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause for up to five seconds then lower your body back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Marching Glute Bridge
Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
Lift one knee to your chest, lower back to the start, and lift your other knee to your chest. Continue alternating back and forth.
SO, WHICH IS MORE EFFECTIVE?
According to Kenny Santucci, certified personal trainer (CPT), CrossFit Level 2-certified, and program director at Solace gym in New York, it’s definitely the glute bridge on a bench.
“Glute bridges on a bench can be, and most often are, loaded, and any time we add weight to a movement, results go up tremendously,” Santucci says.
But even without weights, this move adds an extra challenge to your run-of-the-mill glute bridge. Because of the elevation and the instability of a bench compared to the ground, you have to engage your glutes, abs, and quads even more to lift your body up.
That said, this move can be challenging and even injury-causing (especially if you add weights) if you don’t have a stable foundation.
You need to build up your bedrock before you add resistance—which is where the marching move comes in.
“The marching glute bridge targets single-leg strength and is focused on finding weaknesses and building balance and stability in each glute,” Santucci says.
He advises starting with the marching bridge and, once you’ve mastered that move, score the real glute growth by trading up for the bench bridge.