Muscles Targeted: The one leg supine elevated bridge is a core and glute strengthening exercise as well as an overall muscle stabilizing movement. This exercise has multiple primary and secondary muscle groups that are targeted. It’s a great exercise for increasing strength in the core, legs and buttocks.
- Core Muscles – The core muscles include those in the abdomen, pelvic floor, sides of the trunk, back, buttocks, hip, and pelvis.
- Gluteus Maximus – The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the buttocks.
- Quadriceps – The quadriceps consists of four muscles and are located in the front of the thigh.
- Hamstrings – The hamstrings consists of three muscles that are located at the back of the thigh.
- Erector Spinae – These are a group of muscles that run along the length of the back. This area consists of three columns of muscles which includes the Iliocostalis, Longissimus, and Spinalis.
- Obliques – The oblique muscle is the largest abdominal muscle extending from the lower half of the ribs around and down to the pelvis.
Exercise Advice: From a seated position, position your feet under knees with your hands under the shoulders. Raise your hips up into a “plank” or bridge position. Gently extend one leg at the knee. Stabilize and hold this position for a set period of time and then return your raised leg down to ground and repeat with the other leg. The amount of time you will hold this static pose depends on your current level of fitness.
Things To Avoid: Do not attempt this exercise if you have spine or back problems due to the fact that when doing this exercise you are constantly using your erector spinae muscles and it could cause issues if you have a pre-existing condition.
- Avoid dropping your hips when lifting your foot. If your hips drop, this means that your core muscles aren’t strong enough to perform this exercise.
- Avoid bending or placing your arms at an unnatural angle. Your arms should be straight in order to stabilize your upper body.
- Avoid bending or dropping your legs as this could put strain on your spine. Your raised leg should be parallel to the ground with the other leg bent at a 90 degree angle to the ground to support your lower body.
This is an advanced exercise and it will take some time to master it, so it’s always a good choice to start off with the basic 2 Leg Supine Elevated Bridge and then advance to the Face Up Supine Bridge before moving to the 1 Leg Supine Elevated Bridge.
Reps and Sets: The number of reps and sets you perform depend on your level of experience:
- Beginner – Hold the position for 10-30 seconds (each leg) with a 60-90 second rest period.
- Intermediate – Hold the position for 30-60 seconds (each leg) with a 60-90 second rest period.
- Advanced – Hold the position for 1-2 minutes (each leg) with a 60-90 second rest period.
- Expert – Hold the position for 3-5 minutes (each leg) with a 60-90 second rest period.
Remember that technique is everything! You should be more concerned about your posture and the correct position of your body rather than the number of sets you perform and how long you hold the pose. If your technique and form is incorrect, you will not experience the full benefits of this exercise and you could possibly injure yourself.