GYM: Single-Leg Hip Bridge
Single-Leg Hip Bridge
Start in a supine position with your feet together and your knees bent so your feet are flat on the floor. Place one foot across your other knee.
Press into the heel of your foot planted on the floor, bringing your hips toward the ceiling and trying to get your anchored hip fully extended.
Hold for a slow count of three and release until your hips. Almost touch the floor, then repeat.
Your hip on the side of the crossed foot will feel a stretch. It is recommended that you use a mirror or a workout partner to check for extension.
Complete 2 rounds of 12 of per side holding at the fully-contracted position for a count of 3.
Pressing into your heel helps to keep this exercise in your glute and out of your hamstring. Increasing the bend of your knee on the planted foot also will help to keep it in your glute.
This exercise is crucial for effective and powerful running and injury prevention.
Normally squats and deadlifts are the foundation for glute strengthening. The drawback of these is that they maximize force in the mid-range of hip extension and the force requirement for running is at the fully-extended range.
Not strengthening the glutes through full extension can put an additional load on the hamstrings to move the body quickly forward and thereby increase the likelihood of a hamstring injury. Adding the stretch by crossing the opposite foot is a bonus of this exercise.