Supine Hip Extensions (Bridging)
Pictured: Dr Rebecca Rowe – (Osteopath / Pilates Instrutor)
What is one of the simplest exercises to develop your gluteal or bottom muscles?
The supine hip extension or bridge has got to be one of the most effective and simple exercises for developing the gluteal muscles. Done well it can also provide improved tracking for the knees and lower limbs. It can be done almost anywhere, and you don’t need any equipment.
Step 1 – Position:- Laying on your back with a neutral curve in the lumbar spine, this is where you have a little bit of space between your low back and the ground. You should be able to slip you hand between your low back and the ground. Knees are bent with feet on the ground as in the above picture. Note if the distance from you heels to your buttocks is greater then you will use more of your hamstring muscles.
Step 2 – The motion:- Gradually peel your bottom off the ground, vertebrae by vertebrae feel you low back peel off the ground also. You want to aim for a point where your knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line. Watch for a tendency to allow the thighs to splay apart, this may happen if there is a muscular imbalance in the lower limbs. If this is the case you may wish to fold a pillow or place a ball between your knees and gently squeeze it as you perform the exercise. It may also help to feel a sense of lengthening though your knees as you rise to the top.
* Tempo: 2 seconds to rise | Pause 2 seconds at the top | 2 seconds to return your bottom to the ground.
* Aim for 3 Sets of between 10 to 30 repetitions.
* Please note that in the case of a disc and some other injuries to the low back you may be best to avoid the peeling or segmental movement of the lower back especially in the early stages of your rehabilitation.
** Please consult your Osteopath or Rehab Pilates instructor before conducting this exercise to review your suitability to perform it.