If you are serious about having your lower body strong and active; consider spending time on the bridge exercise. This workout works the posterior muscles on the back of the body and is an effective lower body workout. It is called with various names like the glute bridge, hip bridge, and pelvic bridge. You can do the glute bridge exercise during the day, be it early morning, lunch break, or at the end of the day.
Tight hips are a sign of underactive glutes and will make it impossible to perform any lower body workout in the correct form. A regular activation exercise like the glute bridge exercise can reactivate these muscles and train them effectively. Please keep reading to know more about the types of bridge exercises, variations, and increased lower body strength. The bridge exercise benefits are also elaborated to understand the significance of performing it in your everyday activity.
What Is A Bridge Exercise?
A bridge workout isolates the glutes and strengthens them by strengthening the hamstrings, gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. These are the group of muscles that make up the posterior chain in the back. Start performing the bridging exercise by lying on the floor with your back. Have the knees bent and the feet flat on the ground. Make sure to have a comfortable distance between the butt and the feet.
A bridge exercise requires no special equipment and is, therefore, an ideal workout at home option. You will need essential items like a yoga mat or a towel. A glute bridge is an effortless move that can be performed by people of any age or fitness level. It can be used as a warm-up exercise or coupled with other lower body exercises to tone and sculpt the lower body perfectly.
How To Do A Bridge Exercise?
You have to start a hip bridge exercise by engaging the glutes instead of pushing the hips high up. A bridge exercise can reduce lower back pain by strengthening the spine and the muscles surrounding it. Squeeze the core and the glutes throughout the whole workout and raise the hip with each rep. You can use a resistance band around the knees to trigger better glute activation.
- Start by lying on the mat with the back flat. Bend the knees and place them firmly on the mat. Ensure that the hips are wide apart and have the spine in a neutral posture. Place your arms by the sides throughout the pelvic bridge workout.
- Then by pressing your heel on the mat, raise the pelvis off the floor and activate the glutes. Your body should form a straight line from the chin to the knee while resting on the shoulders.
- Inhale and lower the pelvis. Return to the starting position and then repeat the bridging exercise.
Bridge Exercise Benefits
All types of bridge exercises will require only minimal space with no special equipment. Therefore, it is an ideal home workout suitable for strengthening the lower back and gaining good hip mobility. Consequently, it is a low-intensity workout and can be performed by anyone with hip and knee problems.
Glutes are the largest muscle group in the body, and so they naturally need a lot of energy to tone and train. A glute bridge exercise is very effective in women who want to lose weight and gain lower back strength. Furthermore, glute muscles are essential for day-to-day activity. Therefore, increasing its strength and stability will have a good impact on postural health.
Bridge Exercise Variations
For those who are inquisitive about how to do a bridge exercise, there are various types of bridge exercises explained in detail below. However, they are categorized based on exercise goals and fitness levels.
Try performing this bridging exercise with some support under the feet. You can use an inflated exercise ball and start by placing the heels on top of it. Raise the pelvis as you will do with a primary bridge and keep the core engaged throughout the workout.
These bridge exercise variations are done with the legs straight. Perform the move with the knees bent to make it more challenging. You can also add an exercise ball to support the legs and make it a little easy. Ensure to have the abdomen engaged, and the arms to the sides throughout the entire hip bridge exercise to prevent strain.
Single Leg Bridge
You can do this glute and hip bridge either with or without an exercise ball. It actively activates the trunk muscles and begins with the starting position as in the other basic bridge exercises. Raise one leg as you raise the pelvis off the floor and hold for some time. Then lower the hips back to the ground with the leg in a raised position. Now switch to the other side and perform the same move.
A single leg bridge is performed in another way to add more intensity to it. Incorporate the leg movement as the pelvis is in the raised position. You can start doing this by raising one leg as you raise the pelvis and lower it almost close to the floor while the pelvis is still raised. Now lift the leg again and hold for some time. Then lower the hips back down to the ground. Please switch to the other side and perform it in the same way.
A bridge march is an interesting move quite different from the regular bridge workout. It is done by starting in the primary position by lifting the leg, raising the pelvis and bringing the knees close to the core. By lowering the leg back, raise the other leg.
A glute and hip bridge exercises are low-intensity workouts, but if you have any health conditions or injuries, do not perform them without consulting your physician. Pregnant women or those who have just delivered and patients with hernia conditions strictly must not perform the workout. So, take the necessary measures and practice them safely to tone your hip and glute effectively.
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