Move of the Week: Glute Bridge with Ball Squeeze

Glute Bridge with Ball Squeeze

The glute bridge is one of my favorite exercises and great to program in a pregnancy and postpartum strength program. The movement incorporates breath with a subtle, yet deep core exercise. Today, we’re layering on the ball squeeze.

Set Up for Glute Bridge with Ball Squeeze

  1. Measure out your stance, with your hand finding the back of your heels. Place the pilates or children’s ball between your knees (or slightly above).
  2. Inhale through your nose at the bottom and feel your pelvic floor relax and lengthen.
  3. Exhale, rise up and squeeze the ball and glutes at the top. I’m a big fan of an exhalation out of my mouth, and making a loud “sshhh” sound. That really helps me focus on breath and the movement.

Tips: Watch for arching through your low back and ribs flaring at the top. Keep your chin slightly tucked. It’s a pretty small range of motion and there’s no reason to rush it. Move slow and with control. You can also place your hands on your hip bones and feel them inch towards one another as your rise up on the exhale.

Why add the Pilates Ball?

The ball adds a bit of demand by asking your body to “squeeze.” Squeezing into the ball is going to help you connect to your deep core. The ball gives a bit of push back, firing up your deep core too. Be sure not to “bear down” when you push. Focus on lifting the pelvic floor as you push into the ball. The pilates ball also helps us strengthen our adductors (inner thighs). You can think of your adductors like the inside anchors to your pelvis. They play a big role in core strength and injury prevention. If mama has hip or low back pain, adductor strength is one thing to test.

**The pilates ball is one piece of equipment I recommend to clients. You can get my full list here on the blog. 

Pregnancy modification:  If you feel uncomfortable on your back, prop your head and shoulders up with support.

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