So far we’ve covered a plethora (that’s right, I know a couple of big words) of anterior chain exercises for the lower body: back squat, front squat, single leg squat variations. But to fully develop your lower body you need more than just squats.
Here is our first look at a posterior chain, lower body exercise. The hip bridge, shown here using one leg, is used primarily to develop the glutes.
Although it may come across that I’m tying glutes in with the leg muscles the glute muscles (gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, gluteus medius) are actually grouped in with the core muscles because of there tie in in the lower back and hips. Making sure the you do glute-specific work is important for a couple of reasons. First, having proper glute strength and function can help reduce the chances of having lower back problems as you get older. When your glutes are weak and do not function properly your lumbar spine has to compensate which leads to overuse. This also goes back to the squatting article when we talked about keeping your hips mobile. The second reason glute work is important is……well, who doesn’t like a great looking butt?!? Use this supine bridging variation and watch that butt firm up and grow!
When trying these for the first time make sure to just use body weight. Get your down foot tucked in near your butt and drive your heal through the ground. Concentrate on keeping your hips parallel in the air, so don’t let the free leg sag down. Finally, make sure your back is staying straight and you keep your core nice and tight. This ensures that you’re moving through your hips and not your spine.
Feel free to contact me for any questions. All contact info can be found on my website (www.scarlatostrength.com). Hope everyone has a great end of the week!