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The barbell glute bridge is a weight-bearing version of the glute bridge exercise. It allows you to build strength and endurance in your gluteal muscles.

Your gluteal muscles are three muscles located in your buttocks. These are:

  • the gluteus maximus
  • the gluteus minimus
  • the gluteus medius

Weighted glute bridges and a similar exercise called the hip thrust have grown in popularity in recent years. These exercises target the gluteal muscles without straining other parts of your body.

A barbell glute bridge is much like a regular glute bridge that uses your body weight to build muscle. But instead of pointing your arms toward your feet, you hold a barbell positioned across your hips while completing the exercise.

Beginners should start lifting with only the barbell, then add weights over time as their muscles strengthen.

Here’s how to do a barbell glute bridge:

  1. Roll out a mat to cushion your body.
  2. Lay flat on your back.
  3. Roll a barbell over your legs and let it rest where your hips bend. Consider using a pad that wraps around the barbell to cushion the weight against your body.
  4. Bend your knees 90 degrees, so they point up to the ceiling.
  5. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
  6. Place your hands around the barbell.
  7. Use your heels to push your hips upward while you hold the barbell. Your shoulders and head will remain flat on the floor. Your knees should still point upward, with your body forming a straight line from your shoulders to your hips. You may feel your abdominal muscles tightening while moving into this position.
  8. Hold this upward position for a few seconds, then slowly release back to the floor.
  9. Move your body slowly in and out of this position for up to 10 reps, depending on your strength, stamina, and the barbell weight.
  10. Repeat the exercise for 2 to 3 sets during your workout, with the same number of reps. Rest at least 1 or 2 minutes between sets.
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Barbell glute bridge

As you progress, you may be able to lift an amount of weight close to your own body weight. Advanced weightlifters may be able to lift 500 or more pounds when doing barbell glute bridges.

You can also perform this exercise with other types of weights. You may try dumbbells or kettlebells instead if that’s what you have on hand. There are also special exercise machines designed for weight-bearing glute bridges and hip thrusts.

There are several important benefits to doing the barbell glute bridge, including:

  • It warms up your glute muscles for other exercises.
  • It tones your gluteal muscles.
  • It adds tension to the entire glute bridge motion, increasing the effectiveness of your workout.
  • It strengthens your core muscles, which help you in everyday activities as well as improve your performance in other exercises and sports.
  • It contributes to healthy posture, good balance, and decreased back pain.
  • It’s relatively easy to do.
  • It doesn’t require the same coordination as deadlifts and squats. Keep in mind, however, that these other exercises work additional muscles.
  • It’s simple enough to do at home, but it can also be performed in a traditional gym.

Talk with your doctor or a certified trainer about whether this exercise is right for your body. You may need to use caution with this exercise if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Make sure you start with an appropriate amount of weight for your current fitness level when you begin practicing barbell glute bridges. This will help avoid injury and strain.

The barbell glute bridge is also called the loaded glute bridge. It’s very similar to a hip thrust, with slight differences.

For the barbell glute bridge, you position yourself on the floor. For a hip thrust, you elevate yourself on a workout bench and bring yourself up and down from the elevated point.

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Barbell hip thrust

Barbell glute bridges are effective exercises to warm up, tone, and strengthen your gluteal muscles and core. All you need to perform the exercise is a mat and a barbell or other weight.

You should start with a low amount of weight, like just the barbell itself, before adding additional weight to the exercise. Beginners should focus on a few rounds of about 10 reps.

You may want to reduce the number of reps as you increase the weight on the barbell. Experts may be able to lift a significant amount of weight in a single rep or sets of a few reps.