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Pilates - Shoulder Bridge

The shoulder bridge is one of those staple Pilates moves that we love at Gemma Pearce Fitness. In fact it's my very favourite! It’s great for improving mobility in the back, toning the hamstrings and strengthening the core and buttock muscles.

Our glute muscles (gluteus maximus, medius and minimus) are our bottom muscles that suffer when we spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or on the sofa. Weak glute muscles cause our hip flexors to tighten and puts extra strain on our lower back. The shoulder bridge counteracts all those problems, and you only need a mat or carpeted floor to do it.

How do you do a glute bridge?

1. Lie on your back with your arms by your side, knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip width apart.

2. Slowly tilt your hips upwards with your back in contact with the floor.

3. Lift each vertebra off the ground until your body is in a straight line from your knees to your chest, with your shoulders, arms and feet on the floor.

4. Slowly lower your back, bone by bone down until your hips touch the floor.

A glute bridge is great for lower back problems and tightness around the pelvis and hamstrings. It’s easy to do, great for beginners and has different formats to work slightly different muscles.

Why is the glute bridge so good?

It reduces back pain – having strong core and glute muscles helps to reduce back injuries. Stronger glute muscles also create a shapely bum.

It improves posture – our sedentary lifestyle makes for poor posture and tight muscles. The glute bridge helps us to stand taller.

It is low-impact – perfect for those with knee or hip pain, the glute bridge puts no pressure on these joints whilst strengthening the muscles around them.

It’s great for relaxation – when your heart is lifted above your head, it increases the blood flow to your brain and helps to release endorphins which make you feel good.

It improves balance – the muscles of the posterior chain (back, hips, glutes and hamstrings) are essential for good balance. Keeping them strong keeps us upright.

So if you want to fight back pain, balance issues and improve your posture, include a glute bridge in your fitness routine every day. It’s an all-round excellent exercise for relaxation, strength and mobility.

Want to create a regular habit of exercise that includes a glute bridge? Find out more about our online and face-to-face classes at

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