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MOVE

Bridge for a better butt

Want a firmer fanny? Want to fill out your jeans better? Want to reduce knee and back pain? Maybe reduce stress? Then the bridge is your exercise.

The bridge is a simple stretch that uses body weight to strengthen your core, glutes (fanny muscles) and upper leg muscles. The bridge can:

  • tighten your glutes
  • improve mobility
  • strengthen your lower back
  • boost flexibility
  • improve balance and posture
  • stretch your spine and hips

In addition, research shows that regularly doing the bridge can help

  • reduce back pain
  • relieve stress
  • boost your mood by reducing anxiety and fatigue
  • help relieve symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort
  • stimulate your abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid

How to bridge

Bridge for a better butte - Bridge basic

Lie on your back with your knees raised and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your rear end up, keeping your thighs and feet parallel. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Leave your arms at your side on the ground. Hold for 10 seconds to start and then lengthen the time you hold the position over time. Lower your bottom to the floor and repeat two or three times to complete a set. Aim for two to three sets.

As you improve with this position, you will be able to hold the bridge for longer periods of time. Once you can hold this position for about two minutes, you may want to challenge yourself.

Bridge for a better butt - one leg bridge

One leg bridge: Perform the bridge, but raise one leg so that it is in line with your shoulders and hips. Hold this position for 10 seconds and build up the length of time you hold. After resting, try again with the other leg.

Bridge for a better butt - Elevated bridge

Elevated bridge: Perform the bridge with your feet on an elevated surface, like a chair. To further improve your balance, try it while resting your feet on an exercise ball.

Tips

  • Don't arch your back. Tighten your abdominal muscles as you raise and hold the bridge. This will help you keep your back in proper alignment and engage your abdominal muscles.
  • If your knees hurt or you have difficulty bending them, place your feet farther away to reduce the angle in your knees.
  • If you struggle with raising your hips in a straight line with your shoulders, raise them as far as you can. This will still activate the muscles and over time, as you continue to do the bridge, you will be able to raise your hips higher.

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