-Hip Bridge Variations-
Boy, oh boy, do I have something good for y’all today! This tasty little tidbit of exercise goodness is yet another variation on the basic Hip Bridge. Many of you already know that bridges are great for the glutes! The bridging motion can serve to “turn on” the glutes, thereby calming down the typically-tight hip flexors. I do recommend that most people stretch the hamstrings prior to performing bridges of any sort. Once you have mastered the plain ol’ 2-legged version, you can progress to more advanced variations, such as the two below.
The first is the not-so-exciting Single Leg Bridge with the knee held in towards the chest and arms pressed into the floor. Keeping the knee held in towards the chest helps eliminate “false” hip extension from the lower back, thus keeping the emphasis on the glutes. Pressing the arms into the floor activates the thoracic extensors and creates stability throughout the posterior chain’s extensor system.
The second progression is where things begin to get interesting! This variation uses a band, which recruits the thoracic extensors more than simply pressing the arms into the floor does. The result? Better reactive neuromuscular stabilization and glute recruitment…and more burn! 😀
Note, I am keeping my leg relatively straight, as I am able to perform hip extension without recruiting the low back. If you find this hard to do, you may bend the knee and bring it closer to the chest, as in the first video!