Single Leg Bridge Exercise for Butt and Core

Strengthen the Glutes, Hamstrings, and Core

woman doing single legged bridge
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The single leg bridge exercise is a great way to isolate and strengthen the gluteus (butt) muscles and hamstrings (back of the upper leg). If you do this exercise correctly, you will also find that it is a very powerful core strengthening technique.​

Benefits of the Single Leg Bridge

In order to hold the pelvis level throughout the exercise, you need to contract both the abdominal and lower back muscles. This will help stabilize your spine. Use this exercise for a unique twist on the traditional core and abdominal strengthening exercises. It's considered to be a good toning exercise to sculpt your buttocks.

How to Do the Single Leg Bridge

  • Lay on your back with your hands by your sides, your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Make sure your feet are under your knees.
  • Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles.
  • Raise your hips up to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders.
  • Squeeze your core and try to pull your belly button back toward your spine.
  • Slowly raise and extend one leg while keeping your pelvis raised and level. If your hips sag or drop, place the leg back on the floor and do a double leg bridge until you become stronger.

The goal is to maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your extended leg and hold for 20 to 30 seconds. You may need to begin by holding this bridge position for a few seconds and switching sides. It's better to hold the correct position for a shorter time than to go longer in the incorrect position.

If you can't hold this position, begin with the basic bridge exercise to build strength and then progress to the one-leg bridge. In the basic bridge, you keep both feet on the ground while performing the same move. It is considered to be a basic rehabilitation exercise for spinal and core stabilization.

Using the Single Leg Bridge in a Core Workout

Challenge your abs in different ways by putting this exercise into a workout.

  • Quick Core Workout Routine: These eight exercises will challenge all of your core muscles. They include the plank, the side plank, the V-Sit abdominal exercise, the bicycle crunch, the push-up lat row, the hip bridge, the single leg bridge (as above) and the skip with twist.
  • Advanced Ab Workout for Super Core Strength: If you have been working your core and abs and want to take it to the next level, use this workout. The routine includes the plank, side plank, V-Sit, seated twists with a medicine ball, plank on an exercise ball, ab hold, dragon flag, and the single leg bridge.

Best Butt Exercises

Athletes need strong butt muscles for running and jumping. The single leg bridge makes the list of the best butt exercises for athletes, along with walking lunges, weighted step-ups, hip extensions on the exercise ball, full squats, and single leg squats. Even if you're not competing, everyone could use more glute activation to counter time spent sitting. Add these exercises to your regular workout routines to wake up and tone your buttocks.

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