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How To Do A Single-Leg Glute Bridge To Isolate Hard-To-Reach Muscles

Merrell Readman
mbg Associate Food & Health Editor By Merrell Readman
mbg Associate Food & Health Editor
Merrell Readman is the Associate Food & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. Readman is a Fordham University graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in film and television. She has covered beauty, health, and well-being throughout her editorial career.
single leg glute bridge

There's nothing quite like a leg workout that specifically targets your glutes, leaving you feeling shaky yet accomplished at the end of your gym session. Your mind might wander to some variation of a squat, but glute bridges—and especially, single-leg glute bridges—can really burn out your butt most effectively from the floor. 

The traditional glute bridge is fairly easy to nail (see form tips here), but if you're ready to take your workout to the next level, you may benefit from trying a single-leg move to target those hard-to-reach glute muscles through isolation. Here, yoga teacher and fitness professional Suki Clements demonstrates exactly how to nail down proper form for this tricky movement, as well as some useful modifications to tailor your glute bridge to your strength level.

How to do a single-leg glute bridge.

single-leg glute bridge

Image by mbg creative

Demonstrated by Suki Clements.

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How to:

  1. Lie down on your mat, with your feet slightly in front of your glutes. Grab one weight, and place it on your left hip. Kick your right leg up.
  2. With control, lift your hips up, then come back down. Keep the weight on your hip and leg lifted the entire time.
  3. That's one rep. Continue for 30 seconds (pulsing for the last 10 seconds), then switch sides.

Form tips.

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The most important thing to remember when doing a single-leg glute bridge is to continuously press your bottom foot into the floor, making sure you're powering through the movement and engaging your glute. Keeping your hips tucked forward and your core braced will ensure that no area of your body is unengaged, and focusing on the positioning of your hips will allow for the bridge motion to actually target your glutes instead of becoming quad-focused.

As for the dumbbell, this is an easy way to vary the difficulty of your glute bridge, but it's important to keep the weight focused over the leg that is braced against the ground. This is the best way to maintain your balance and avoid tipping over.

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Modifications & variations.

Glute Bridge

glute bridge

Image by mbg creative

Demonstrated by BB Arrington.

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How to:

  1. Lie down on your mat, with your feet slightly in front of your glutes.
  2. Press your heels into the mat, push your hands into the mat at your sides, engage your core and glutes, and lift your glutes up.
  3. Slowly lower back down.
  4. That's one rep. Continue for 1 minute, then pulse for 10 seconds at the top.

Glute Bridge With Heel Lift

glute bridge with heel lift

Image by mbg creative

Demonstrated by Suki Clements.

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How to:

  1. Lie down on your mat, with your feet slightly in front of your glutes. Lift your heels up, coming onto your toes.
  2. Push your hands into the mat at your sides, engage your core and glutes, and lift your glutes up.
  3. Slowly lower back down.
  4. That's one rep, continue for 30 seconds (pulsing for the final 10 seconds).

Glute Bridge & Chest Fly

glute bridge with chest fly exercise

Image by mbg creative

Demonstrated by Suki Clements.

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How to:

  1. Lie down on your mat, with your feet slightly in front of your glutes. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and lift your weights overhead.
  2. Press your heels into the mat, engage your core and glutes, and lift your glutes up.
  3. With your palms facing each other, slowly bring your arms out to the sides, then bring them back into center.
  4. That's one rep. Continue for 1 minute.

Add it to your routine.

Although workout splits are great for targeting specific muscles, sometimes a full-body workout is all you need to quickly and effectively get sweating. This 10-minute full-body floor workout from Clements is the perfect addition to your routine on the busiest days—but don't be misled by the short duration, you'll feel the burn in no time.

To engage both your core and glutes, try this floor workout from certified Pilates instructor Helen Phelan. Trust us, you don't need an hour to get in an effective strength-building workout.

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