LEG DAY, ANYONE?
If leg day is your favorite workout of the week, you are probably very familiar with glute bridges. If you’re not about strengthening your posterior chain or just haven’t learned enough about it, glute bridges probably seem like very unfamiliar territory. Guess what? That’s OKAY. The best time to learn is: ANY TIME.
First things first about the glute bridge is that there are two types. One type is meant for strength and the other is meant for mobility. Both are effective, both are good to implement into your routine, but BOTH serve a different purpose. If we’re all about the gains and utilizing our time effectively, it is key to understand the proper form and purpose of both types of glute bridge.
We have three gluteal muscles – maximus, medius, and minius. They’re crucial to flexibility, movement, and also make us feel and look good. Especially for those of us who sit behind a desk all day, weak glutes and back problems become part of everyday life. We usually sit too far forward, leaving us with tight hip flexors and glutes getting shut off.
It is incredibly common for people to raise their hips extremely high and to the sky. If you’re looking for a hip mobility exercise, then you’re good to go. For a strength exercise and looking to grow the posterior chain (essentially your entire backside), it is essential to lift the legs to your knee height with all of the power coming from the hips. Avoid power coming from your heels. If you’re doing it properly, you will feel the burn in your glutes and hamstrings.
Keep your feet hip width, engaged core, and squeeze your glutes when at the top for 2 seconds.
Keep an elongated back, feet flat on the ground, knees bent and push through the heel. You will feel this open up the hips and that stretch you’ve been longing for. When lifting hips to that high level, the body forms a straight line that extends the range of motion and allows for that mobility piece to be the main focus.
If you’re looking to pull a Beyonce move and upgrade your glute bridge, you can add a resistance band just above the knee and make sure to press out as you come up.
You can also add a pause or longer contracting of the glutes at the top. Adding weight directly over the hips is a personal favorite to many. You can also try using one leg or placing your foot onto a stability ball to create a more intense burn. Maybe you’ll even combine some of the variations and create your own torture that you can’t get enough of.
Fitness doesn’t have to be intimidating. It’s all about learning how your body works and what works for you.