The most common butt workout is also one of the easiest to mess up


Photo: Well+Good

It’s often the simplest, most common moves that are the easiest to mess up. Planks can be virtually destroyed with one common modification tweak, and there are so many ways to screw with your push-up form it’s hard to keep track of them all. One more that falls into the category of “deceptively harder than it looks”? The glute bridge.

The move–which works your butt, thighs, and core—might seem like a no brainer, but according to trainer and Le Sweat founder Charlee Atkins, people are constantly doing things like putting their feet in the wrong place or opening their chest up too much that render the bridge less effective. And since a version of the move is a mainstay in classes such as yoga, HIIT, and Pilates, it’s important that you know how to do a glute bridge the right way.

So first things first, you want to make sure your feet are in the right place. To find the sweet spot, lay on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground, and reach your hands so that they can grab the backs of your heels. Push your lower back down into the mat, which forces your core to engage, and make sure your knees are right above your ankles when you come up. Lay your arms down by your side with your palms facing up or down—whichever is more comfortable for you. Press your hips up toward the sky, engaging your core and glutes, keeping your chest open throughout the full move. Exhale when you reach the top and be sure not to overarch your back (squeezing your core and glutes will help with this. As you come down, you want to make sure your lower back kisses the ground (which indicates that your core is still engaged) and then push right back up. Make sure your chin isn’t tucked to your chest so that you have a nice, open airway.

To kick things up a notch (literally), extend one leg toward the ceiling. When you come up, make sure that your knee is right in line with your wrist (though it’s totally fine to have a slight bend in your knee—NBD if it isn’t stick straight), keeping your core and glutes engaged. Basically, the only thing that’s different between a standard glute bridge and this version is that you’re adding some instability, which makes it slightly more intense. Perfect, perky peach emoji here you come.

To light up your glutes even more, try this ballet-inspired lower body workout. Plus, these hamstring moves will make everything else you do at the gym easier than ever. 

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