The Right Way

This Move Works Your Glutes, Core, and Hamstrings at the Same Time—As Long as You Don’t Make These Common Mistakes

Allie Flinn

Getting stronger glutes doesn't mean you have to do a zillion squats. If you're looking for a different movement that'll light up your booty, and then some, you've found it in the form of the single-leg glute bridge. "The single-leg glute bridge is a great movement to do to strengthen your glutes, your hamstrings, your posterior chain, and your core," says coach Kat Atienza, co-owner of Session.

A single-leg glute bridge is pretty much exactly what it sounds like—a glute bridge using one leg. To do it, you start by laying on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Your arms should be parallel to your body, with your palms on the ground. From there, you raise your hips and float one leg into the air. That's your starting position. Then, lower your hips back down so that your butt lightly touches the floor, hold for a beat, and raise them back up. Seems simple enough, right? "But I see a lot of people do it the wrong way," says Atienza. In this episode of The Right Way, she breaks down the three most common mistakes she sees people making in their single-leg glute bridges, and weighs in on how to fix them. Keep reading for what you need to know.

1. Placing heels too close to their butt

 "I see people set up with their heels too close to their glutes," says Atienza. This decreases the range of motion when you bridge, and causes pulling in your knee and the quad of your front leg. You want to feel it in the glute of the foot that you're driving into the ground. To do it the right way, "set yourself up with your heels just barely being able to be grazed by your fingertips," she says. That's around four to six inches away from your glutes.

2. Not keeping hips parallel

Atienza often sees people bridge without keeping their hips parallel to the floor, which causes strain in your knee and inner thighs. Press your heels into the ground as you send your hips up (but not so far up that your lower back arches), she says. Your core should be engaged.

3. Straightening the top leg

The last major mistake Atieza sees people make is that focusing too much on straightening out the leg that's lifted. When you do this, "you're straining in the hip of that top leg as opposed to focusing on that strength and stability from the leg that you are bridging from," she explains. Keep a bend in your knee when you float your leg up, and drive through the heel that's on the ground when you lift your hips.

Want to spice things up further? Watch the video to see how Atienza takes the single-leg glute bridge to the next level.

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