Glute bridge challenge

The glute bridge focuses on the main gluteal muscle, the gluteus maximus, as well as working the hamstrings and core muscles. This glute bridge challenge includes the basic glute bridge plus two variations, which will increase the challenge for your glutes, as well as adding some work for the muscles at the front of your thighs and the oblique abs.

Glute bridge challenge – the exercises

Glute bridge challenge PDF

Info box

Basic glute bridge

Basic glute bridge

  • Lay on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor about hip distance apart.
  • Contract your glute muscles to lift your hips up off the floor into the bridge position. You should finish with your body making a straight line as shown
  • Release back down and repeat.

Single leg glute bridge

Glute bridge challenge single leg glute bridge

This variation challenges the core more, as well as challenging the glute muscle on the working side more.

  • Lay on your back with your right knee bent and your left leg extended as shown.
  • Lift your hips as before, keeping your thighs together.
  • Release back down and repeat.
  • Complete all your reps on this side, then swap to have your left knee bent and your right leg extended.

Marching glute bridge

Glute bridge challenge marching glute bridge

  • Come into the glute bridge position as for the basic glute bridge.
  • Now lift alternate feet 6-12 inches (15-30cm) off the floor – each lift counts as 1 rep.

Role of the core muscles in the glute bridge

The core muscles stabilise the spine and pelvis. Having a strong core has many benefits, including back health and good abdominal tone. In the basic glute bridge, the core muscles assist the glutes in keeping the spine and pelvis in alignment. In the one leg and marching bridges, the oblique abdominal muscles also work to keep the pelvis lifted on the unsupported side.

Safety notes

Before you do this workout, please read these general exercise guidelines. Also make sure you follow the instructions to make sure you have correct technique. As indicated in the exercise instructions, you should finish with your body in a straight line. Arching the back (as in a yoga bridge) carries a risk of lower back injury and is not necessary to work the glutes.

Glute bridge challenge schedule

These are the reps to do each day of the challenge:

Glute bridge challenge reps

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Challenge FAQs

The first day of the challenge should feel like it needs a bit of effort, but not too much. If you really struggle with day 1, then you probably won’t get through the challenge. The idea with the challenges on this site is that the first few days get you used to the exercises and the daily habit. Usually about halfway through the challenge the effort levels start to increase more quickly.

Avoid challenges that increase effort levels very quickly – they’re simply not realistic. It’s unlikely that, for example, you would be able to increase how many squats you are able to do by 10 a day for 30 days, or increase your plank hold time by 10 seconds a day for 30 days.

In general, allowing muscles 48 hours between workouts is good because it gives our bodies time to recover and adapt. Challenges are generally short workouts and for a limited period of time (usually 30 days), so not having many rest days won’t be a problem. With challenges that alternate exercises each day, it’s not an issue, because you’re using different muscles.

Fitness improvements don’t always happen in a predictable way. Sometimes we’re just not as strong or energetic for no apparent reason, or we hit a plateau. If you get to a point where you’re struggling to complete the day’s challenge, you can try one of the following:

  • Take a couple of days off and start again where you left off
  • Do the challenge on alternate days rather than every day
  • Instead of increasing the effort every day, stay at the same level for 2 or 3 days and then go onto the next day of the challenge

Obviously these solutions mean the challenge will last longer, but you’ll still benefit from doing it.