The hip bridge with leg extension is one of my favorite posterior chain bridging variations. Once you have mastered the regular hip bridge and hip lift variations, this exercise is great to work on maintaining stability through the lumbar spine and pelvis as you change from one leg to the other. Muscles worked during this exercise are the erector spinae group, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius/minimus, and hamstring group. Remember, as always in these bridging exercises, try to make sure all the motion comes from hip extension and not lumbar extension. We want to maintain a nice neutral low back with no excessive arching to lift the hips up.
Steps to properly execute the exercise:
- While maintaining a neutral spine, lift the hips off the ground
- Keep all the weight through the heels of the shoes
- Once the hips are held in a straight line between the knees and shoulders, extend at the knee to kick the lower leg out
- Do not flex the hip, the thighs should stay level with each other the entire time
- Hold as long as desired and then switch legs
It is essential to monitor any shifting or dropping of the hips. We want to maintain stability around the pelvis and lower back, so once we hold the hips up, this is the position to maintain even as the legs change. To make the exercise more challenging you can either hold on a single leg longer, raise the arms straight up so they aren’t supporting the body, or both.
Hip Bridge with Leg Extension
Garrett McLaughlin is an Athletic Trainer and Personal Trainer in Nashville, TN. He creates personal training and injury rehabilitation programs for the general population and athletes. Garrett is passionate about not only working one-on-one with clients, but educating them on health & wellness so they can continue making positive choices throughout their lives. Check out Garrett’s Facebook wellness page for more frequent information.