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Bridge Exercise Variations

Bridge Your Way to Toned Glutes With 8 Variations

Want to strengthen your butt, back, and core, all while working on your stability? Of course you do! And you can do it all in one fell swoop, thanks to the glute-toning wonder known as the bridge. We've got a set of variations so you can turn this traditional exercise up a notch, but before we get started, check in and make sure you know how to do the classic bridge before progressing to more challenging variations.

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1. Traditional Bridge Exercise

  • On your mat, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Be sure and keep your feet underneath your knees, not in front. Plant your palms by each side, face down.
  • Raise your hips up to the ceiling, tensing your abs and squeezing your butt as you do. You should be making a long diagonal line with your body, from shoulders to knees.
  • Hold for a few seconds, making sure your spine doesn't round and your hips don't sag. Keep your abs and butt muscles engaged.
  • Lower down to the ground; this is considered one rep.
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2. Bridge Pose (aka Half-Wheel Pose)

  • Begin by lying flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body, with your palms facing down.
  • Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Walk your heels as close as you can to your bum, keeping them hip width apart. Make sure both feet are parallel.
  • With your palms and feet pressed firmly into the ground, lift your hips off the floor.
  • Clasp your hands together below your pelvis, extending through your arms. Rock your weight from side to side to bring the shoulder blades closer together.
  • To release this stretch, gently lower your booty back to the ground. Then stretch through your lower back by hugging your knees into your chest.

Related: 5 Tips to Build a Better Bridge Pose

3. Beginner Single-Leg Bridge

  • Lie on your back, and bring your left knee into your chest with your hands clasped just below your knee. Lift your right toes up, and press your right heel into the floor to lift your pelvis and torso off the floor.
  • Gently lower your torso back to the ground to complete one rep. After completing 10 to 15, repeat on the other side.
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4. Marching Bridge

  • Lie on your back with your hands by your side, with your heels about 12 inches from your pelvis. Press your heels into the floor to come into a bridge position with a neutral spine.
  • Press your right heel into the floor, and keeping your knee bent, raise your left leg until your hip is a 90 degrees. Lower your left leg down, pressing through your glutes so your pelvis doesn't drift to the floor along with the leg. This counts as one rep.
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5. Bridge With Squeeze

  • Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart. Place a pillow, a ball, yoga block, or a toning ring between your knees.
  • Push up into a bridge. Keep your ribs aligned with your pelvis.
  • Without raising or lower your pelvis, slowly squeeze the block 20 times. Lower the pelvis and bring your knees to your chest to round and relax your back.
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6. Single-Leg Bridge

  • Lie on your back, and place your hands on the floor for stability as you bend one leg and lift the other leg off the ground.
  • Pressing your heel into the floor, lift your pelvis up, keeping your body in a stiff bridge position.
  • Slowly lower your body to the floor. This is considered on rep.
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7. Bridge With Kick

  • Starting in a bridge position with your hands by your sides.
  • Lift your left foot off the floor, straightening your knee but keeping your thighs parallel.
  • Kick your left leg up, so the sole of your flexed foot is toward the ceiling.
  • Without letting the pelvis drop, slowly lower your left leg so your thighs are even. This completes one rep.
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8. Bridge on BOSU

  • Lie flat on your back on a mat with heels on the BOSU and knees bent, with your arms at your sides. Feet should be hip distance apart.
  • Slowly raise your pelvis up toward the ceiling to a point where your knees, hips, and shoulders are in one line.
  • At the top of the movement, be sure to really squeeze your glutes while you hold the position for five seconds.
  • Now slowly return to the start position to complete one rep.
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9. Straight-Leg Bridge With Stability Ball

  • Lie flat on your back and place the ball under your heels, with your knees slightly bent.
  • Press heels firmly into the ball to raise your hips off the ground, coming into a bridge and actively squeezing your glutes as you lift.
  • With control, slowly release your bum back down to the floor. This counts as one rep.

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