The single-leg bridge is one of the best exercises to develop a proper hip extension for exercise and performance. Here is all you need to know to perform this exercise correctly.
- The single-leg bridge is one of the best exercises to develop a proper hip extension for training and performance.
- Loaded squats, lifts and jumps require adequate control of the hip extension. That is why the single-leg bridge can be an essential preparation/corrective exercise to maintain healthy and stable hip extensors.
- Start by lying on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Keep the arms by your side for support.
- Begin by pushing one leg into the ground and driving the hips up to a bridge position (knees, hips, shoulders in a straight line). Simultaneously raise the other leg off the floor as you drive the hips up. Slowly return under control.
- Alternate legs or repeat on the same leg for reps or time.
- The single-leg bridge is often forgotten as a useful drill for hip extension. Lying down helps to isolate the movement and allows you to focus on the hip extensor muscles, without compensation.
- It is best used as part of a warm-up for loaded extension exercises, such as squats, lifts and jumps. But should also be considered as part of a corrective/preventative exercise program to keep the hips strong and stable
- There are several progressions once you have mastered the basic bridge. You can raise one leg to a bent position. Which means you are starting on one leg. As you get stronger, you can straighten this leg more and more to increase the load on your hips.
- To place more focus on the glutes, hold the knee to chest as you extend the hip. This will reduce the contribution by the low back and force the glutes to work harder.
- Upright hip extension is almost always coupled with shoulder (girdle) stability. E.g. deadlift, squat. To facilitate this on the floor, push your upper arms and think about setting the shoulders as you drive the hips up.