Video: 3 Bridge Variations

Try these three bridge exercises at home to strengthen your lower back and glutes, and stretch your hip flexors. You can use them as a quick movement break or as part of your greater exercise program. 



Brock Armstrong
2-minute read
The Quick And Dirty
  • AKA: Glute Bridges or Hip Raises
  • Muscle groups used: Erector spinae, hip abductors, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, rectus abdominis, obliques, and quadriceps.
  • Equipment needed: An area of floor large enough lie down on (and maybe a mat for comfort)
  • Level: Beginner to advanced

To truly thrive in this life, you need to pay attention to the full, unrestricted movement of your human meat sack. One of the best ways to do that is to regain, and then maintain, hip strength and mobility. Check out my full hip-strengthening article for more info about that. 

The main target muscle in the Hip Bridge is the erector spinae, which runs from your neck to your tailbone. Doing this exercise stretches and engages your hip abductors, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings. On the other end of the movement, the rectus abdominis, obliques, and quadriceps get a workout due to the need to stay stable.

If you are feeling adventurous, you also try adding the Marching Bridge and the Single Leg variation. But don't get carried away—master the basic bridge before progressing.

If you have a workout program already solidly in place, try adding the bridge. Or you can simply pair it with other movements (from me or anywhere else) to create your own awesome workout. Bridges can also be a good warm-up exercise before a run, bike ride, or swim. 

A healthy balance of hip strength and mobility is very important to ensure everyday stability and also to prevent overuse and athletic injuries. Achieving this balance isn't a problem if you keep it in mind and don't sit too much for too long. Occasionally, you can even weird out your coworkers by lying down on the conference room floor and doing some hip bridges!

If you're experiencing significant pain in your lower back, please check with your doctor or physical therapist to make sure it's safe for you to practice these poses.

About the Author

Brock Armstrong

Brock Armstrong is a certified AFLCA Group Fitness Leader with a designation in Portable Equipment, NCCP and CAC Triathlon Coach, and a TnT certified run coach. He is also on the board of advisors for the Primal Health Coach Institute and a guest faculty member of the Human Potential Institute. Do you have a fitness question? Leave a message on the Get-Fit Guy listener line. Your question could be featured on the show.