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I love the glute bridge. It is a great exercise to activate the glutes so that you can prevent pain and injury, lift more and run faster.
But doing the same exercise over and over again gets boring. Also, your muscles adjust and need a new challenge to keep getting stronger.
That is why it is important to mix up your workouts and vary the exercises.
You don’t have to constantly use NEW exercises – you just need to use new variations.
For instance, you can do the same exercise but vary it by using different types of equipment (like a glute bridge off the ground or off a box). You can also use different types of weights (kettlebell vs. barbell vs. sandbag bridges).
Or you can tweak the exercise just a bit to target the same muscles from slightly different angles – take for instance the Glute Bridge and Curl.
The Glute Bridge and Curl is a great bridge variation that is more hamstring intensive than many other Glute Bridges. It is more hamstring intensive not only because of the straight-legged bridge that is included in the movement, but also because of the curl. Check out these Glute Bridge and Curl Variations for everyone for the beginner to the advanced exerciser.
And not only can you vary your workouts up by doing a glute bridge and curl instead of a glute bridge, but you can also vary up the glute bridge and curl by doing with different types of equipment.
Below is a beginner and advanced variation of the Basic Glute Bridge and Curl on sliders or towels.
Beginners may need to start with a single leg bridge and curl while more advanced exercisers may do the two-leg bridge and curl.
Beginners will want to start with one towel or slider under only one foot and slide out one leg at a time. You will set up in a glute bridge and then, keeping your hips up, extend one leg out at a time. Driving through your heel, you will drag the foot back in so you are back up in a bridge. As you curl each leg back in, feel your hamstring work to pull the towel back in. If the single towel or slider move is easy, put a towel or slider under each foot and alternate legs, sliding one leg out at a time.
To perform the two leg curl, place both feet on top of one towel about hip width apart (or a towel/slider under each foot). Start in the bridge position and slide your feet out. Keep your hips up off the ground and your glutes engaged as you slide out. Make sure your abs are engaged as you slide out. Then curl the heels back in, bringing the hips up again into a glute bridge. Do not let the hips sag toward the ground as you slide out or come back in. Make sure your abs stay tight to protect your low back.
You can also use a Suspension Trainer, Power Wheel or a Yoga Ball to change up the move.
Using a Suspension Trainer, Power Wheel or Yoga Ball makes the move even more core intensive because the equipment is less stable then being on the ground. Do not use these other devices if you haven’t mastered the bridge and curl from the ground.
The Power Wheel Bridge and Curl is only an advanced variation. There is no modification for beginners.
To do the Power Wheel variation, place your feet in the straps. Lie on your back and bring the power wheel in toward your butt. Bend your arms to 90 degrees with your upper back and arms on the ground. Then drive through your upper back and your feet in the wheel. Squeeze your glutes and keep your core tight. Then slowly straighten your legs out without letting your butt lower toward the ground. Once your legs are out straight, pull your heels back in toward your butt, lifting your hips up higher. Do not hyperextend your back. Once you bring the wheel back in toward your butt, again straighten your legs back out.
Using the Suspension Trainer, you can make the Glute Bridge and Curl easier for beginners or more advanced for advanced lifters.
To modify the Suspension Trainer Bridge and Curl, beginners will do a single leg slide out like on the towels. They may also hold a long, straight-legged bridge and slide one foot in at a time. By moving only one foot at a time the move will be easier. However, holding the long bridge and curling in while keeping the hips up is a bit tougher on the hamstrings (shown below).
Advanced exercisers will do a Suspension Trainer Two Leg Bridge and Curl, either starting in a close glute bridge (heels near their butt) or from a bridge with legs extended. Either way, they will keep their hips up high and their core engaged as they move their heels in and out pulling their feet in toward their butt with their hamstrings.
And super advanced lifters may do a Suspension Trainer Single Leg Bridge and Curl shown below.
For this variation, start with one heel in a suspension trainer strap and your leg out straight. Lift your other leg up toward the ceiling. Then bridge up and curl your heel in the strap in toward your butt. Do not let your hips drop. Then extend your leg back out in the strap. This move is extra hard because you are using only one leg to lift and curl. Do not attempt this move if you haven’t mastered the two leg bridge and curl in the suspension trainer.
Remember, while it is important to change up the exercises you use, it is also important to maintain quality movements. Do not choose a variation that you can’t do just to try to mix it up. There are plenty of variations that each level can do.
Only progress when you are ready!
How do you like to do the Glute Bridge and Curl?