Muscles Targeted: The leg up supine bridge exercise is similar to the face up supine bridge as it tests the stability of your pelvis and core as well as the strength of your gluteal muscles. This exercise activates all your core muscles at once and also helps stabilizes your core, spine and gluteal muscles. The main muscle groups targeted with this movement include:
- Erector Spinae – Also known as the “spinal erectors”, these muscles are responsible for spinal extension (straightening the back) and they are the primary movers in this exercise.
- Gluteus Maximus – The gluteus maximus is the main muscle of the hip and is the largest muscle in the buttocks.
- Hamstrings – The hamstrings run from the hips down the back of your thighs and consist of three muscles.
- Rectus Abdominis – also known as the “abs”, this is the large flat muscle in front of the abdomen.
- Obliques – The obliques are the largest of the three abdominal muscles extending from the lower half of the ribs around and down to the pelvis.
Exercise Advice: This is just like the Face Up Supine Bridge but it’s a little more difficult. Place a padded mat on the ground and lie on our back. Lift your hips off the ground while securing your upper body with your arms on the ground and extend one leg out while maintaining the bridge position with your hips elevated. Hold this position for the duration of the set (usually 10-60 seconds) and then slowly lower your hips back down to the ground.
Things To Avoid:
- Avoid this exercise if you have any spinal problems or are suffering with lower back pain. Focus on developing strength in your glutes and lower back first with hip exercises and then move onto this exercise.
- Avoid performing this exercise if you haven’t mastered the Face Up Supine Bridge movement. If you don’t have proper stability, your bridge will collapse and you could injure your spine.
- Avoid holding yourself in an unnatural position. If your back is hurting during this exercise then your form is incorrect. Your back should be arched at a natural angle off the floor.
- Avoid dropping your hips because this could injure your spine. If you feel your hips dropping during this exercise it means that your aren’t ready for this exercise yet. Go back and try doing the Face Up Supine Bridge.
- Avoid dropping or bending your leg while in the top position. Your leg should be at a natural angle and your other foot should be flat on the ground. If you have pain or discomfort in your leg while doing this exercise, lower it down to the ground and assume the regular bridge position with both legs on the ground.
Reps and Sets: The number of reps and sets you perform depends on your level of fitness:
- Level 1 – Hold for 10-30 seconds for 1-2 total sets with a 30 second rest period in between sets.
- Level 2 – Hold for 30-60 seconds for 2-3 total sets with a 30 second rest period in between sets.
- Level 3 – Hold for 60-90 seconds for 3-4 total sets with a 30 second rest period in between sets.
- Level 4 – Hold for 90-120 seconds for 4-5 total sets with a 30 second rest period in between sets.
You can also move up in 5 second increments if you feel comfortable in the position. If your body (legs, torso) start to shake, this means that you are holding the position for too long and that your muscles are being strained. If this starts to happen, decrease the duration of the exercise.
Other Exercises To Use: There are several other effective exercises to include in your overall core workout routine. Try using the Side Bridge Crunch, Russian Twists and the Scissor Cross as these are all great core strengthening exercises.