Glute Bridge Exercise Progressions for Rotary Stability

Functional Stability Training for the CoreIt is no secret that proper hip extension and glute activation is an important component to optimal movement patterns.  I’ve talked several times about some great glute exercises, including one of my favorite exercises to starting turning on the glutes, the kneeling hip thrust (which was just featured on

Glute Bridge Exercise Progressions

The bridge exercise is one of the most simple exercises you can perform to start training the glutes to extend the hip.  As my patients and athletes progress and learn to master activating the glutes, my next step in the glute exercise progression is to work on stabilizing the core while training the hips to extend.

This is a very important component of core control and a key in preventing low back injuries.  The lumbar spine should be able to stabilize while the lower extremity extends, minimizing the stress on the low back.

Below is a great video example of a glute bridge exercise progression that I discuss in my educational program with Eric Cressey, Functional Stability Training for the Core.  During the clip, I discuss some of my thoughts of how to train rotary stability during the glute bridge exercise.  I even throw in some manual exercise techniques as well.  I really love this exercise and use it daily!

FST DVD Cover CORECombining Glute Activity with Rotary Stability Training

The exercise begins by bracing and stabilizing your lumbar spine before performing the bridge.  Once the person is ready to progress, you can slowly extend the knee to really turn on the plant leg glute while requiring the lumbar spine and pelvis to stabilize and prevent rotation.  This is a great way to incorporate rotary stability training with an exercise designed to train the glutes.  What a great combo!

This is one of the many great exercise progression Cressey and I discuss in our online educational program , Functional Stability Training for the Core.

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20 replies
  1. Dorothy
    Dorothy says:

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  2. Nazar Taher
    Nazar Taher says:

    Hi mike, I realy like your posts.
    Do you think we can ad upper limb motion + resistant if the patient cannot do knee extension

    Thank you for the posts again.

  3. Nick Outlaw
    Nick Outlaw says:


    Thanks for the video! I really like your queing and how you applied manual resistance to him in multiple directions!! Will try this today on next client who was just going to do boring bridges with.

  4. Peter Rizzo
    Peter Rizzo says:

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  5. Craig
    Craig says:

    If there is any pelvic movement whatsoever when lifting a foot off the surface is it too advanced? I often ask myself this. Thanks

  6. Matthew Ratcliffe
    Matthew Ratcliffe says:

    That was a crazy fast response Mike. I totally get what you’re saying and it makes total sense. I’ve literally showed a ton of people this since you posted it, all credit to you sir, thank you.

  7. Matthew Ratcliffe
    Matthew Ratcliffe says:

    Mike, I love this exercise… I haven’t seen this version of the bridge before. Just one question. You mention in the video, that you didn’t want him to stabilize with his iliopsoas. Technically speaking though, even though he isn’t FIRST activating his hip flexors through concentric contraction. With his leg extended, he would have to be stabilizing with his hip flexors isometrically. I could be missing something (as I usually do, lol), just some clarification would be great.

    • Mike Reinold
      Mike Reinold says:

      The iliipsoas group is certainly going to be involved in the stabilization process. What I was referring to was to make sure the iliopsoas wasnt the dominant stabilizer. I personally just think we tend to use the posas to stabilize the spine so try to de-emphasize as much as possible. Technically you are absolutely correct.

  8. Andy
    Andy says:

    Great post! Simple but effective exercise. A regression variation of this exercise that I often use with patients is instead of lifting their contralateral leg in midair esp if they don’t have the stability to hold the leg out, they hold their knee to chest and then perform the single leg bridge.

    • Mike Reinold
      Mike Reinold says:

      Good regression Andy, I like it, especially for those with issues with rotary stability. This will make this less challenging for rotary stability (but more challenging on unilateral glute strength). Thanks!

  9. Ben Bruno
    Ben Bruno says:

    Hey Mike, great post. I’ve been doing that single leg bridge exercise, but watching your video, I realize I’ve been raising the opposite leg too much. Thanks for the tip and I’ll work on that.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] head athletic trainer for the Boston Red Sox and a renowned physical therapist, recently wrote a great piece on this exercise, and was kind enough to share a video excerpt  from his functional stability program. In the event […]

  2. […] Glute Bridge Exercise Progressions for Rotary Stability – This post from Mike Reinold shows how to progress what can quickly become a boring exercise, even though it’s super valuable. […]

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