Besides squatting and deadlifting, hip bridges are one of the best ways to directly strengthen your glutes and can reinforce your ability to actively squeeze those muscles. Since, many times, low-back pain is associated with weak glutes, this is a surefire way to strengthen them.
- Lay down on your back and bring your heels to your butt with bent knees.
- Keep your thighs hip-width apart and start to drive through the heels to raise your hips in the air.
- Once your hips are fully extended, squeeze the glutes hard and lower under control.
- After you have a feel for the movement, add a barbell across your hips and gradually add weight (here's Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson doing a heavy version with a resistance band).
When to Use: Almost everyone can benefit from hip-bridging, but it's a great tool to help build your glutes if you deal with back pain while squatting.
When to Avoid: There aren't a lot of instances when you wouldn't be able to do a hip bridge, but just don't let your knees cave in together or hyperextend your hips at the top.