Cueing the Glute Bridge

If there is one movement that is disguised very well by compensation, it may very well be the glute bridge.  Often, after showing someone this they typically will present with good glute function but when you think back to the assessment you know there is no way it should look this awesome.  One of the easiest ways that we can bring people back to their “neutral” pelvic positioning (almost assuming they live in an anterior pelvic tilt) is to have them slightly posteriorly tilt the pelvis during the end of exercise or even to start (start in the case of the glute bridge).  Typically, during more complex movements like stiff-legged deadlifts, trap-bar deadlifts, or 1-leg stiff-legged deadlifts, the athletes will finish but it ends short of full hip extension, something we definitely want in order to eliminate the low back from finishing the lift.  They sort of end the lift with a “slight hips flexed” position.  Here is a picture of the compensation occurring for lack of hip extension…

The picture above is a basic example of what we will see with many of our athletes, mostly the younger ones (picture is a bit extreme, but hopefully you get the point).   I have read other cues such as drive through the heels, belly tight (I use these all the time), which definitely help but sometimes I will still see the compensatory pattern.  One simple way to teach or cue the athlete is to take their hands and put them on their pelvis, and show them that they can roll their hips forward (anterior pelvic tilt) and roll them backward (posteriorly).  The key is to find the “middle.”  Simply, laying on the ground tell the athlete to find the low back arch and to slightly flatten their low back to the floor, once they feel for that, raise their hips.  You usually notice a big difference, and I have heard they “feel” it much more.  Teaching this also gives them an awareness to finish the bigger lifts as well so that they prevent from finishing with the lumbar spine.  In the next video, around the 4sec mark you can notice, although minimal (I apologize for you having to watch my glute bridge with such concentration!), me posteriorly tilt and then lift off.

Hope this helps,

Matt



Categories: Core Training, Strength Training

Tags: , ,

1 reply

  1. Hey Man,
    Very timely post. I am working on this issue now with myself and clients.
    I think this is a huge thing for the strength and conditioning field.

    After looking at some unstable reverse lunges and subpar deadlifts, I think back to the bridging, how I feel the bridge and how I have to concentrate, and how much easier my clients seem to do it and you come to one of two conclusions.

    #1- My clients are stronger than me and have better glute function

    OR

    #2- Not only are my clients not stronger than me, but they are so bad at the glute bridge that I ran all the way to the other side of the spectrum and assumed they were good.

    I have a client who can trap bar dead 445 for 3 and has poor glute activation. Not strength, but activation.

    When you look at it, this is one of the biggest things in a strength and conditioning program because the glutes influence is everywhere.

    Don’t fix the glutes cant relax the hip flexors, can relax the hip flexors cant brace the abs, cant stabilize the lower torso the thoracic spine becomes stuck, so on and so on.

    This is huge man and IMO the main reason Cressey and Robertson and all those guys are so good with corrective exercise and everything else is this stuff right here they are so good at this.

    Great stuff…

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