How to Do a Bridge Exercise: A Hinge Health Guide

Learn how to do a bridge exercise to help with glute strength and lower body stability, plus modifications to make it easier or harder.

Published Date: Jul 24, 2023
Table of Contents

You use your butt muscles — also known as your glutes — all the time, probably without even knowing it. From walking and standing to running and playing sports, your glutes are helping you every step of the way. While your glutes normally do their job just as they should, weak glutes can contribute to difficulty functioning in these activities. Strengthening them, though, can make daily activities easier and even decrease pain in different areas of your body.

Enter: the glute bridge (also known as a hip raise). The bridge exercise is a strengthening move that works your glutes, along with other muscles important for day-to-day routines. Below, learn more about how the bridge exercise can benefit you, and how to do it at home.

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Dr. Peterson is a Hinge Health physical therapist who focuses on developing clinical exercise therapy programs and member education.

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What Is the Bridge Exercise?

The bridge exercise involves lying on the floor and raising up your hips, which activates your glutes and hamstrings while stabilizing your core. Strengthening and stabilizing these muscles can help you move more easily in daily activities and exercise, decreasing unnecessary strain on surrounding muscles and joints and, in turn, reducing pain. 

What Muscles Does the Bridge Exercise Work?

The bridge exercise primarily strengthens your glutes (your butt muscles) and your hamstrings (the muscles in the back of your thigh). Along with strengthening, doing bridges increases stability in your core and back muscles. This move can also stretch muscles in your chest, abdomen, and shoulders. 

Bridge Exercise Benefits

By strengthening and stabilizing important muscle groups, the bridge exercise can improve your daily functioning in several ways, such as: 

  • Making it easier to run, walk, and hike

  • Improving balance

  • Helping you find postures that feels best for you in everyday activities 

  • Decreasing lower back pain

  • Reducing risk of injuries, especially in the knees, hips, and back 

Plus, the glute bridge requires no equipment making it an easy ‘movement snack’ to incorporate into your day, no matter where you are. 

Bridge: Exercises and Modifications

The information contained in these videos is intended to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice or treatment for any specific condition. Hinge Health is not your healthcare provider and is not responsible for any injury sustained or exacerbated by your use of or participation in these exercises. Please consult with your healthcare provider with any questions you may have about your medical condition or treatment.





To do a bridge exercise: 

  • Lie comfortably on your back. You might want to do this on a yoga mat or another soft surface. 

  • With your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, push through your feet to raise your hips off the floor.

  • Squeeze your butt muscles at the top of the move. 

  • Relax your hips back to the floor.

Everyone is different, which is why you may need to modify the exercise to meet your needs.

Bridge Modifications

Bridge Modifications

Bridge Modifications

Bridge Modifications

To make a bridge exercise easier: 

  • Perform the bridge with your feet further away from your hips. This can help with cramping in the backs of your legs.

  • You can also reduce your range of motion by limiting how far you lift your hips in the air. 

To make a bridge exercise harder:

  • Place a looped band around your knees and widen your feet and knees at the starting position to increase resistance. 

  • You can also try a single-leg bridge, lifting one leg off the ground and performing the move with only one foot planted. This increases the load on the working leg and requires more stability and strength.

How Hinge Health Can Help You

If you have joint or muscle pain that makes it hard to move, you can get the relief you’ve been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program. 

The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you.  

Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition. Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you. 

See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.

This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.

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  1. Eom, M. Y., Chung, S. H., & Ko, T. S. (2013). Effects of Bridging Exercise on Different Support Surfaces on the Transverse Abdominis. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 25(10), 1343–1346. doi:10.1589/jpts.25.1343

  2. Gong, W. (2018). The effects of the continuous bridge exercise on the thickness of abdominal muscles in normal adults. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 30(7), 921–925. doi:10.1589/jpts.30.921

  3. Kim, C.-M., Kong, Y. - S., Hwang, Y.-T., & Park, J. (2018). The effect of the trunk and gluteus maximus muscle activities according to support surface and hip joint rotation during bridge exercise. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 30(7), 943–947. doi:10.1589/jpts.30.943

  4. Yoon, J.-O., Kang, M.-H., Kim, J.-S., & Oh, J.-S. (2018). Effect of modified bridge exercise on trunk muscle activity in healthy adults: a cross sectional study. Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy, 22(2), 161–167. doi:10.1016/j.bjpt.2017.09.005