Whether you’re doing push-ups, planks, or pretty much any other full-body exercise, engaging your core is critical for getting the most out of the moves. It’s why trainers are constantly cueing you to activate your abdominals, and reminding you that the work should come from the center of your body. But when you’re halfway through a workout and starting to tire out, firing up those mid-section muscles is a lot easier said and done. Because of this, says Torch’d trainer Isaac Calpito says it’s important to regularly reset your core. And the best way to do it? With a glute bridge.
“A strong core allows you to work out safely and intelligently, so I like to do a core ‘reset’ mid workout to remind you that every move we make should begin from the activation of our core,” says Calpito.
When you’re doing ab work, the whole point is to exhaust those muscles so they can get stronger. And after a few dozen crunches, it will become more and more difficult to actively engage them. Which means that you’ll want to use your back body to give them a break between circuits so that they’ll be ready to fire up at full force when it comes time for the next set.
“The core is not just your lower belly—your entire abdominal wall, obliques, lower back and glutes are involved,” says Calpito. “A glute bridge helps stabilize your trunk, with the attention of securing your lower belly in.” Plus, it’s a great glutes workout, so it’s really a win-win.
In addition to resetting the front of your core, Calpito is also a fan of using a glute bridge as a way to combat ab exercise-induced lower back pain. The move helps to recalibrate anything going on in your lower back, hips, and hamstrings (aka your posterior chain), and is overall an important move for balancing your body.
Your best bet is to build your glutes bridges into your active recovery breaks between abs sets. Your entire body will thank you for it.
How to do a glute bridge
1. Lie down on your back on a mat with your knees bent, legs hip-width apart and feet flat on the floor.
2. Contract your abs while pressing your heels into the floor, and squeeze your glutes as you slowly raise your hips. Avoid pressing your hips too high to avoid overarching your back. Continue pressing your hands, arms, and shoulders into the mat.
3. Hold at the top, with the option of slowly pulsing your hips up and down or your knees in and out.
4. Slowly lower back down to the starting position.
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