Single Leg Bridge Exercise

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.

In order to hold the pelvis level throughout the exercise, you need to contract both the abdominal and lower back muscles.

Use this exercise for a unique twist on the traditional core and abdominal strengthening exercises.

How to Do the Exercise

  • 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.

More Ab Workouts and Core Exercises

Quick Core Workout Routine: These eight exercises will challenge all of your core muscles. The include the plank, the side plant, 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.

Best Ab Exercises for Athletes: Mix and match three to five of these 17 exercises and do them three to five times per week to build your abs and core.

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 medicine ball, plank on an exercise ball, ab hold, dragon flag, and the single leg bridge (as described above).

More Butt Exercises

Best Butt Exercises - According to Research: Many workouts say they work the glutes, but which ones have been actually proven to be the most effective? The American Council on Exercise put them to the test and measured muscle activation. Find out the best exercise for each of the butt muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and hamstrings.

Six Best Butt Exercises for Athletes: The single leg bridge makes this list, along with walking lunges, weighted step ups, hip extension on the exercise ball, full squats, and single leg squats.