The explosive floor bridge is a must-do exercise for anyone looking to improve power and control of hip extension. Here’s how you should perform it correctly if you’re aiming to improve your hip power.
The explosive floor bridge is a challenging exercise progression for those looking to develop power and control in hip extension.
The exercise is a progression of the classic floor bridge — meaning that you should master the traditional movement first. Once you have reasonable control and range of hip extension, you can move onto the explosive hip extension.
Lie on your back with knees bent to approximately 90 degrees, hands comfortably by your sides. Keep the shoulders slightly set.
Engage the core as you quickly push the feet into the floor and drive the hips upward. As the hips approach the top of the movement ‘jump’ onto the balls of your feet. Try to visualise the movement. As if you were jumping into the air and landing on the balls of your feet.
Slowly return the hips to the floor and walk your feet forward to the start position. Repeat for reps or time.
Hip extension is widely considered to be a fundamental movement pattern. Predictably, several recreational and sporting activities demand a lot from your hips. Some factors can cause reduced hip extension capability. Those include weakness of the hip extensors (gluteus maximus, hamstrings); overactivity of the low back muscles and/or hamstrings; or tightness/shortness in the hip flexors (which will inhibit hip extension). Where the hip extension is lacking, it can lead to predictable patterns of compensation, pain and injury.
Before adding speed to any movement pattern, it’s essential to establish strength, control and range of motion at slower speeds. This is where the traditional floor bridge comes in. Once you build a proper hip extension, you can add momentum to the movement.
Explosive hip extension is an essential foundation for many gym exercises and sporting movement patterns. Think about staple exercises like Olympic lifting and jumping. Any type of clean movement will require a rapid (and controlled) hip extension to raise the weight to the shoulders efficiently. These types of exercises are now commonplace in workouts and exercise programs. Another typical example is jumping, which requires a rapid hip extension to produce height. Failure to execute proper hip extension under-speed can lead to compensatory movement, and potentially pain and injury.
While the explosive floor bridge is a bodyweight movement performed on the floor, it can help develop the necessary power and control, before adding additional loads.