ArticlePDF Available

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

The single-leg glute bridge is a variation of the barbell hip thrust that involves unilateral hip extension. Glute bridge exercises are used as a means of strengthening the hip extensors: The gluteal and hamstring muscle groups. In addition to activating the posterior musculature of the hip, single-leg glute bridges require stabilization of both the hip abductors and core muscles through isometric contraction. because strong gluteal and hamstring muscle groups are imperative in lateral stabilization and explosive linear movement, the single-leg glute bridge is beneficial to the general population and athletes in a variety of sports, such as soccer, football, and rugby.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Exercise Technique
The Exercise Technique Column provides detailed
explanations of proper exercise technique to optimize
performance and safety.
COLUMN EDITOR: Jay Dawes, PhD, CSCS*D,
NSCA-CPT*D, FNSCA
Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Kelcy Tobey, BS
1
and Jonathan Mike, PhD, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D, USAW
2
1
Human Performance, Lindenwood University, St. Charles, Missouri; and
2
School of Kinesiology, University of
Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
ABSTRACT
THE SINGLE-LEG GLUTE BRIDGE IS
A VARIATION OF THE BARBELL HIP
THRUST THAT INVOLVES UNILAT-
ERAL HIP EXTENSION. GLUTE
BRIDGE EXERCISES ARE USED AS
A MEANS OF STRENGTHENING
THE HIP EXTENSORS: THE
GLUTEAL AND HAMSTRING MUS-
CLE GROUPS. IN ADDITION TO
ACTIVATING THE POSTERIOR
MUSCULATURE OF THE HIP,
SINGLE-LEG GLUTE BRIDGES
REQUIRE STABILIZATION OF BOTH
THE HIP ABDUCTORS AND CORE
MUSCLES THROUGH ISOMETRIC
CONTRACTION. BECAUSE
STRONG GLUTEAL AND
HAMSTRING MUSCLE GROUPS
ARE IMPERATIVE IN LATERAL
STABILIZATION AND EXPLOSIVE
LINEAR MOVEMENT, THE
SINGLE-LEG GLUTE BRIDGE IS
BENEFICIAL TO THE GENERAL
POPULATION AND ATHLETES IN A
VARIETY OF SPORTS, SUCH AS
SOCCER, FOOTBALL, AND RUGBY.
INTRODUCTION
Both the core and posterior mus-
culature of the hip are important
aspects in power development
for athletes. Although many exercises
exist for developing glute power, uni-
lateral exercises are often left out. Ex-
ercises such as the single-leg glute
bridge incorporate activation of stabi-
lizing muscles in addition to the many
agonistic muscles at work. There are as
many benefits to including the single-
leg glute bridge to one’s workout, as
there are variations to the movement.
MUSCLES USED
For the single-leg glute bridge, all 3 glu-
teal muscles are activated. The gluteus
maximus acts as a hip extensor and
lateral rotator of the thigh. Regarding
the gluteus medius and minimus, both
muscles abduct the thigh, whereas
various fibers of each muscle laterally
and medially rotate the thigh, de-
pending on the degree of hip flexion
(3,5). Additionally, the tensor fasciae
latae acts as a stabilizer by counter-
balancing the hip’s lateral rotators.
With respect to the hamstrings, the
biceps femoris extends the hip and
laterally rotates the thigh, whereas
the semimembranosus and semite-
ndinosus contribute to hip extension,
as well as counteract the lateral
rotation of the biceps femoris (13).
Thehamstringsalsofunctiontoflex
theknee.Despitetheflexioninthe
knee that occurs during this exercise,
slight knee extension is involved
through the rectus femoris and vastus
muscles. The core stabilizers, lumbar
erector spinae and lumbar multifidus,
are also involved (2,3,9).
BENEFITS
Strength and stability in the core of the
body, defined as the spine, hips and
pelvis, proximal lower limbs, and
abdominal structures, provides an opti-
mal platform through which distal
limbs can function (7). As such, muscle
strength and power of the hips and pel-
vis are critical components of the overall
impact of both resistance training and
athletic performance in a multitude of
sports. For example, weightlifting, the
squat, and the deadlift all require exten-
sive strength and power through hip
extension. This incorporates the gluteal
and hamstring musculature. It has been
postulated that the hip thrust has been
a successful exercise for its emphasis on
gluteal development and hip extensor
strength in sports actions (1); however,
many variations also exist.
The single-leg glute bridge is a unilat-
eral variation of the barbell hip
Address correspondence to Jonathan Mike,
jonathannoahmike@hotmail.com.
Copyright National Strength and Conditioning Association Strength and Conditioning Journal | www.nsca-scj.com 1
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
thrust. This movement isolates the
concentric motion of hip extension
while recruiting the stabilizing glute
medius and minimus, as well as the
core muscles (2,3,9). A study con-
ducted by McCurdy et al. reported
that short-term, unilateral, lower-
body exercises are as beneficial
as the bilateral counterparts in
untrained individuals (12). Another
study by Jones et al. observed muscle
activation and testosterone response
during the bilateral back squat versus
the unilateral pitcher squat. Results
indicated that, although the absolute
workload was lower in the pitcher
squat, muscle activation and testos-
terone responses were not signifi-
cantly different between the 2
lower-body exercises (6). Although
the training protocols in the studies
did not include the single-leg glute
bridge, we contend that the unilateral
aspect of the single-leg glute bridge
will be just as beneficial as its bilateral
counterpart. Therefore, numerous
benefits exist for adding the single-
leg glute bridge in a strength and con-
ditioning program for able-bodied
athletic and clinical populations.
Because of the positioning of the single-
leg glute bridge, certain hip muscles are
emphasized. Previous research has re-
ported that the gluteus maximus produ-
ces its greatest force when the hips are
in a flexed position (i.e., bottom of the
movement) (3). Although the ham-
strings are an important part of hip
extension, their involvement in the
movement can be reduced by flexing
the knee. Because the semitendinosus
and semimembranosus are biarticulate
muscles (crossing 2 joints), their force
contribution can be reduced when the
joints are closer together, resulting in
shortened length of the muscle. This
is known as active insufficiency (15).
By removing the influence of the semi-
membranosus and semitendinosus in
hip extension, there exists a greater reli-
ance on gluteal activation during the
concentric action of the single-leg glute
bridge.
Unlike the barbell hip thrust, the
single-leg glute bridge’s unilateral
component elicits additional stimuli
from stabilizing muscles within the
hip. In addition to extending the hips,
the gluteus maximus laterally rotates
the hip. It has been theorized that,
with excessive lateral rotation of the
thigh, the musculature responsible for
this (i.e., the gluteus maximus and
other lateral rotators) will shorten.
As a result, the muscles will no longer
be at an advantageous length to pro-
vide force through hip extension
(3). To counteract this excessive lat-
eral rotation, the gluteus medius,
gluteus minimus, and the tensor
fascia latae are activated. During the
stance phase of walking (a unilateral
movement), the gluteus medius
and minimus abduct the stance leg,
thereby preventing a contralateral
drop in the hip of the swing leg (3).
Although the force of the single-leg
glute bridge is vertical compared with
a horizontal force (as seen in walk-
ing), there may be an increased need
in stability of the gluteus medius
and minimus to maintain optimal
hip placement throughout the move-
ment. Other stabilizers include the
lumbar erector spinae and the lumbar
multifidus, which have shown higher
activation than the rectus abdominis
and external obliques in the single-leg
glutebridge(9).Bytrainingthemus-
culature about the hip and within the
core, proper biomechanical move-
ment is ensured, which, in turn, re-
duces the chance of injury.
The single-leg glute bridge may
improve other essential qualities of a cli-
ent’s or athlete’s program. For example,
a part of most strength and conditioning
programs is some variation of the squat.
Without proper glute activation, squat
form is compromised, therefore com-
promising an athlete’s performance, as
well as joint integrity. It is our conten-
tion that core strength, hip stabilization,
and glute activation gained from the
single-leg glute bridge is likely to trans-
fer over to stability and power in the
squat and other movements requiring
posterior strength.
An important aspect when looking at
hip involvement throughout move-
ment in sports performance is the
hip-to-knee extensor ratio. Hip
extensor strength has been noted to
improve vertical jump and reduce
knee injury during running perfor-
mance (8,16). Lees et al. found that
maximal vertical jump is attained
through higher force production by
the hip extensor muscles (8). In
regard to running, an upright runn-
ing posture relies on a reduced hip-
to-knee extensor ratio, which may
lead to overuse injuries of the knee
(16,17). This posture is associated
with hip extensor weakness, whereas
those with greater hip extensor
strength demonstrated a more for-
ward leaning posture (16). Therefore,
Figure 1. (A) Starting position on bench before elevation of the left leg. (B) Elevation on the left leg; descent phase of single-leg
glute bridge. (C) Full lockout position of single-leg glute bridge.
Exercise Technique
VOLUME 0 | NUMBER 0 | MONTH 2017
2
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
increasing the strength of the poste-
rior musculature can both improve
and protect athletes throughout
sports performance.
TECHNIQUE
STARTING POSITION
Begin position seated on the ground
with the upper back against a padded
bench for support just below the
scapula. This point of contact should
not change throughout the duration
of the movement. The arms may
either span the width of the bench
for added stability or folded across
the chest, depending on personal
preference.
Next, shift the feet toward the glutes
and drive the heels into the ground.
While pushing through the heels of
the feet, extend the hips so that the
torso and thighs form a straight line
from the shoulders to the knees, paral-
lel to the ground (Figure 1A). Knees
should be flexed so that the shins are
perpendicular to the ground, and the
shin and thigh form a 908angle at the
knee. Adjust feet as necessary to attain
this positioning.
The spine and the hips should remain
in relatively neutral alignment at the
start position of the single-leg glute
bridge.
Once a stable position has been
achieved, lightly shift the weight into
the right heel without adducting the
right thigh. Keep the hips fully
extended and slowly raise the left heel
off the floor by flexing the left thigh at
the hip. Throughout the duration of
the movement, the left hip should
remain flexed as if pulling the knee
toward the chest.
THE DESCENT PHASE
While maintaining a neutral lumbopel-
vic region, sink hips directly toward
the ground by flexing at the right
thigh. Hips should be flexed at an
angle slightly greater than 908with glu-
tes remaining off the ground. Care
should be taken that this movement
originates at the hips, rather than the
lumbar spine. A slight arch is normal,
Figure 3. Starting position of single-leg glute bridge with kettlebell placed directly
over the right hip.
Figure 2. Shoulders and foot placed on ground with the right knee abducted
and the right foot externally rotated, while the left foot is elevated off
the floor.
Strength and Conditioning Journal | www.nsca-scj.com 3
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
but flexion at the hips should not orig-
inate from overarching (greater than
approximately 308) of the lumbar spine.
The shoulders will remain in contact
with the bench at their original posi-
tioning without excessive movement
or sliding (Figure 1B).
To avoid the right knee falling in
excessive valgus positioning, weight
should be displaced over the entirety
of the right foot, with slight empha-
sis in the heel. The foot can either
be pointed directly forward or
slightly externally rotated. During
the eccentric phase, an emphasis
should be placed on engaging the
right hip abductors and right glute
to avoid excessive adduction (thigh
moving in toward midline) of the
right hip.
Clients and athletes are encouraged to
breathe normally during reduced load-
ing patterns (i.e., bodyweight and
lighters loads), while bracing when ap-
proaching maximal loading sets and
repetitions.
THE ASCENT PHASE
As soon as desired hip flexion is at-
tained in the right hip, drive weight
through the heel of the right foot and
engage the hip extensors. The right
heel should push down and away from
the glutes. While simultaneously con-
tracting the right glute, hips will drive
upward and toward the head in a cur-
vilinear motion.
Hips will extend to a full lockout posi-
tion, maximizing hip extension. The
objective is to achieve full hip exten-
sion with little to no lumbar spine
involvement (Figure 1C).
Once this phase has been completed,
the hips return slowly to the loaded
phase of the movement (i.e., starting
position). To complete 1 set, repeat
the exercise on the opposite leg.
VARIATIONS
It is important to note that many var-
iationsofthisexerciseexistwith
numerous progressions and regres-
sions. Clients and athletes should fol-
low a logical approach to challenge
themselves when deciding which
variations to include in their exercise
routine. For example, with beginners,
it is best to start with both the
shoulders and the feet on the ground.
To maximize gluteal function, we
Figure 5. (A) Bottom position of foot elevated single-leg glute bridge with the right
foot placed along the edge of the bench. (B) Lockout position of foot
elevated single-leg glute bridge with the right foot placed along the edge
of the bench. For added instability, place the foot in TRX band.
Figure 6. (A) Slide board single-leg glute bridge with hamstring curl. Straighten the
right leg out across the slide board, toe pointed upward, with weight
staying on the heel. Left foot elevated, flexion at the hip. (B) Slide the right
heel toward the hips while simultaneously squeezing gluteals, pushing the
hips upward.
Figure 4. Starting position of single-leg glute bridge with barbell placed across both hips.
Exercise Technique
VOLUME 0 | NUMBER 0 | MONTH 2017
4
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
suggestthattheloadedlegbe
slightly abducted at the knee with
the foot slightly externally rotated
(Figure 2). Externally rotating the
foot also emphasizes lateral ham-
string activation over medial ham-
string activation (11). Thigh
abduction should occur before pro-
gressing to external rotation of the
foot. Once this position has been
mastered, clients and athletes should
progressively abduct the entire leg
andfootoutward.Whentheclient
or athlete can complete the previous
movements with little weight shift,
additional load can be added to the
exercise,usingkettlebell,plate,bar-
bell, or sandbag. For smaller weights
(i.e., kettlebell and weight plate), the
load should be placed directly over
the hip of the working leg (Figure 3).
To further add instability, larger
loads, such as the barbell or sandbag,
can be placed across both hips (Fig-
ure 4). Other variations of the hip
thrust have been provided in this arti-
cle in Figures 5 and 6, with their
respective descriptions.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION
As previously mentioned, the single-
leg glute bridge is an assistance exer-
cise that aids in building strength and
explosive power through the lower-
body, posterior musculature. In athletic
events where running is a necessity
(e.g., soccer, football, and rugby), as
well as vertical jumping (e.g., basket-
ball and volleyball), the single-leg glute
bridge can be an excellent accessory
movement to integrate into a strength
and conditioning program. For both
athletes and nonathletes, the single-
leg glute bridge is also a useful exercise
for adjusting posture. Weak glutes are
related to pronated stance and anterior
hip force which may lead to anterior
hip pain and instability (3,4,10).
Requiring stabilization in the working
hip of the single-leg glute bridge
strengthens the 3 gluteal muscles
which are important in posture and
the phases of walking (3). Another risk
associated with weak hip muscles is
patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)
(4). A study by S
ahin and colleagues
examined the effects of knee-only ex-
ercises and hip-and-knee exercises on
55 female patients with PFPS. The au-
thors determined that of the 2 groups
assessed, those who performed both
hip-and-knee exercises had greater im-
provements in pain reduction and
functional gain compared with the
knee-only exercise group (14). There-
fore, it is suggested that strengthening
the posterior and core musculature
contribute greatly to improved sport
performance and injury prevention.
We encourage strength and condition-
ing practitioners to use the single-leg
glute bridge and its variations high-
lighted in this article as an important
component in a resistance training pro-
gram and its role in improving overall
performance.
Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding:
The authors report no conflicts of interest
and no source of funding.
Kelcy Tobey is a Graduate Student in
the Human Performance Department at
Lindenwood University, St. Charles,
Missouri.
Jonathan Mike is a Visiting Professor at
University of Southern Mississippi,
Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
REFERENCES
1. Beardsley C and Contreras B. The
increasing role of the hip extensor
musculature with heavier compound lower-
body movements and more explosive sport
actions. Strength Cond J 36: 49–55,
2014.
2. Behm DG, Leonard AM, Young WB,
Bonsey WAC, and MacKinnon SN. Trunk
muscle electromyographic activity with
unstable and unilateral exercise. J Strength
Cond Res 19: 193–201, 2005.
3. Blazevich AJ. Optimizing hip musculature
for greater spring running speed. Strength
Cond J 22: 22–27, 2000.
4. Bolgla LA, Malone TR, Umberger BR, and
Uhl TL. Comparison of hip and knee
strength and neuromuscular activity with
and without patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Int J Sports Phys Ther 6: 285–296, 2011.
5. Delp SL, Hess WE, Hungerford DS, and
Jones LC. Variation of rotation moment arms
with hip flexion. JBiomec35: 493–501, 1999.
6. Jones MT, Ambegaonkar JP, Nindl BC,
Smith JA, and Headley SA. Effects of
unilateral and bilateral lower-body
heavy resistance exercise on muscle
activity and testosterone responses.
J Strength Cond Res 26: 1094–1100,
2012.
7. Kibler WB, Press J, and Sciascia A. The
role of core stability in athletic function.
Sports Med 36: 189–198, 2006.
8. Lees A, Vanrenterghem J, and De Clercq
D. The maximal and submaximal vertical
Jump: Implications for strength and
conditioning. J Strength Cond Res 18:
787–791, 2004.
9. Leporace G, Praxedes J, Matsavaht L, Pinto
S, Chagas D, Pereira G, and Batista LA.
Muscular synergism during core stability
exercises. In: International Symposium on
Biomechanics in Sports: Conference
Proceedings Archive. Marquette, MI, 2010.
pp. 19–23.
10. Lewis CL, Sharpen SA, and Moran DW.
Anterior hip joint force increases with hip
extension, decreased gluteal force, and
decreased iliopsoas force. J Biomech 40:
3725–3731, 2007.
11. Lynn SK and Costigan PA. Changes in the
medial-lateral hamstring activation ratio
with foot rotation during lower limb
exercise. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 19:
197–205, 2009.
12. McCurdy KW, Langford GA, Doscher MW,
Wiley LP, and Mallard KG. The effects of
short-term unilateral and bilateral lower-
body resistance training on measures of
strength and power. J Strength Cond Res
19: 9–15, 2005.
13. Oatis CA. Kinesiology the Mechanics and
Pathomechanics of Human Movement.
Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams &
Wilkins, 2005. p. 747.
14. S
ahin M, Ayhan FF, Borman P, and Atasoy
H. Effect of hip and knee exercises on pain,
function and strength in patients with
patellofemoral pain syndrome: A
randomized controlled trial. Turk J Med Sci
46: 265–277, 2016.
15. Schoenfeld B. Accentuating muscular
development through active insufficiency
and passive tension. Strength Cond J 24:
20–22, 2002.
16. Teng HL and Powers CM. Hip-extensor
strength, trunk posture, and use of the
knee-extensor muscles during running.
J Athl Train 51: 519–524, 2016.
17. Teng HL and Powers CM. Influence of
trunk postures on lower extremity
energetics during running. Med Sci Sports
Exerc 47: 625–630, 2015.
Strength and Conditioning Journal | www.nsca-scj.com 5
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
... Likewise, there could be several reasons for the small differences between the biceps femoris and semitendinosus in the suspended supine bridge. One reason is that the suspended exercise produces lateral instability, provoking a lateral rotation of the thighs and, consequently, an increased semitendinosus activity because of its role in counteracting this movement (Tobey & Mike, 2018). Furthermore, the amplitude of the vibrating machine (8 mm, peak to peak) is suggested to provoke more horizontal oscillations and focus on the stabilizing structures that, in the present study, are stabilized 132 by the semitendinosus (D. ...
... On the one hand, the supine bridge is a bodyweight exercise demanding the posterior hip and thigh muscles as gluteus maximus and hamstrings (Jang et al., 2013;Kim and Park, 2016;Lehecka et al., 2017;Marín and Cochrane, 2021), and it is a recommended exercise for strengthening and prevent injuries in hamstrings and lower back muscles (Ekstrom et al., 2007). This exercise is considered a variation of the hip thrust, where back and feet are placed on the ground, thus increasing the difficulty by modifying the position of the feet on a bench or an unstable surface (i.e., suspension device) (Tobey and Mike, 2018). Conversely, the hamstring curl is considered an open kinetic chain knee dominant exercise (Malliaropoulos et al., 2015) that uses body weight as resistance and aims to develop the strength and endurance of the hamstring muscles (Dawes, 2017). ...
... Likewise, there could be several reasons for the small differences between the biceps femoris and semitendinosus in the suspended supine bridge. One reason is that the suspended exercise produces lateral instability, provoking a lateral rotation of the thighs and, consequently, an increased semitendinosus activity because of its role in counteracting this movement (Tobey and Mike, 2018). Furthermore, the amplitude of the vibrating machine (8mm, peak to peak) is suggested to provoke more horizontal oscillations and focus on the stabilizing structures that, in the present study, are stabilized by the semitendinosus (Cook et al., 2011). ...
Full-text available
Thesis
Nowadays, suspension devices are one of the most widely used pieces of equipment to produce perturbation and strengthen most muscle groups globally. However, there is a lack of evidence of their effects on the lower limb. Thus, the main objective of this doctoral thesis was to quantify force production, muscle activity and the magnitude of perturbation in the Bulgarian squat and other lower extremity exercises under unstable conditions. Eighteen studies were analysed for a systematic review (study 1) and 75 physically active participants were recruited to perform the different cross-sectional studies on the effects of suspension devices, unstable surfaces, and mechanical vibrations (vibration platform and superimposed vibration) on lower limb exercises (studies 2-6). It was confirmed that lower body activation had only been previously investigated in the suspended hamstring curl (study 1). Position and pace (70 bpm) were determinants for the force exerted on the suspension strap in the Bulgarian squat (study 2). The suspension device in the Bulgarian squat increased the vertical ground reaction forces (study 3). The force production was higher on the device when the level of instability was low (study 3 and 4), but for muscle activity the device was just as demanding as a traditional exercise (study 3). Increased perturbation enhanced muscle activation (studies 3, 4, 5) and the magnitude of instability in the Bulgarian squat and barbell half-squat (studies 4 and 5). Thus, superimposed vibration on a suspension device becomes a challenge to increase the level of perturbation and improve strength, muscular endurance, and stabilisation (study 6). In addition, load cells are a suitable and practical tool to assess the forces exerted on suspension devices, and the use of an accelerometer makes it possible to determine the magnitude of the perturbation offered by different equipment providing instability by measuring the acceleration of the body's centre of mass.
... On the one hand, the supine bridge is a bodyweight exercise demanding the posterior hip and thigh muscles as gluteus maximus and hamstrings (Jang et al., 2013;Kim and Park, 2016;Lehecka et al., 2017;Marín and Cochrane, 2021), and it is a recommended exercise for strengthening and prevent injuries in hamstrings and lower back muscles (Ekstrom et al., 2007). This exercise is considered a variation of the hip thrust, where back and feet are placed on the ground, thus increasing the difficulty by modifying the position of the feet on a bench or an unstable surface (i.e., suspension device) (Tobey and Mike, 2018). Conversely, the hamstring curl is considered an open kinetic chain knee dominant exercise (Malliaropoulos et al., 2015) that uses body weight as resistance and aims to develop the strength and endurance of the hamstring muscles (Dawes, 2017). ...
... Likewise, there could be several reasons for the small differences between the biceps femoris and semitendinosus in the suspended supine bridge. One reason is that the suspended exercise produces lateral instability, provoking a lateral rotation of the thighs and, consequently, an increased semitendinosus activity because of its role in counteracting this movement (Tobey and Mike, 2018). Furthermore, the amplitude of the vibrating machine (8mm, peak to peak) is suggested to provoke more horizontal oscillations and focus on the stabilizing structures that, in the present study, are stabilized by the semitendinosus (Cook et al., 2011). ...
Article
Background: Postural balance represents a fundamental movement skill for the successful performance of everyday and sport-related activities. There is ample evidence on the effectiveness of balance training on balance performance in athletic and non-athletic population. However, less is known on potential transfer effects of other training types, such as plyometric jump training (PJT) on measures of balance. Given that PJT is a highly dynamic exercise mode with various forms of jump-landing tasks, high levels of postural control are needed to successfully perform PJT exercises. Accordingly, PJT has the potential to not only improve measures of muscle strength and power but also balance. Objective: To systematically review and synthetize evidence from randomized and non-randomized controlled trials regarding the effects of PJT on measures of balance in apparently healthy participants. Methods: Systematic literature searches were performed in the electronic databases PubMed, Web of Science, and SCOPUS. A PICOS approach was applied to define inclusion criteria, (i) apparently healthy participants, with no restrictions on their fitness level, sex, or age, (ii) a PJT program, (iii) active controls (any sport-related activity) or specific active controls (a specific exercise type such as balance training), (iv) assessment of dynamic, static balance pre- and post-PJT, (v) randomized controlled trials and controlled trials. The methodological quality of studies was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale. This meta-analysis was computed using the inverse variance random-effects model. The significance level was set at p < 0.05. Results: The initial search retrieved 8,251 plus 23 records identified through other sources. Forty-two articles met our inclusion criteria for qualitative and 38 for quantitative analysis (1,806 participants [990 males, 816 females], age range 9–63 years). PJT interventions lasted between 4 and 36 weeks. The median PEDro score was 6 and no study had low methodological quality (�3). The analysis revealed significant small effects of PJT on overall (dynamic and static) balance (ES = 0.46; 95% CI = 0.32–0.61; p < 0.001), dynamic (e.g., Y-balance test) balance (ES = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.30–0.71; p < 0.001), and static (e.g., flamingo balance test) balance (ES = 0.49; 95% CI = 0.31–0.67; p<0.001). The moderator analyses revealed that sex and/or age did not moderate balance performance outcomes. When PJT was compared to specific active controls (i.e., participants undergoing balance training, whole body vibration training, resistance training), both PJT and alternative training methods showed similar effects on overall (dynamic and static) balance (p = 0.534). Specifically, when PJT was compared to balance training, both training types showed similar effects on overall (dynamic and static) balance (p = 0.514). Conclusion: Compared to active controls, PJT showed small effects on overall balance, dynamic and static balance. Additionally, PJT produced similar balance improvements compared to other training types (i.e., balance training). Although PJT is widely used in athletic and recreational sport settings to improve athletes’ physical fitness (e.g., jumping; sprinting), our systematic review with meta-analysis is novel in as much as it indicates that PJT also improves balance performance. The observed PJT-related balance enhancements were irrespective of sex and participants’ age. Therefore, PJT appears to be an adequate training regime to improve balance in both, athletic and recreational settings.
... On the one hand, the supine bridge is a bodyweight exercise demanding the posterior hip and thigh muscles as gluteus maximus and hamstrings (Jang et al., 2013;Kim and Park, 2016;Lehecka et al., 2017;Marín and Cochrane, 2021), and it is a recommended exercise for strengthening and prevent injuries in hamstrings and lower back muscles (Ekstrom et al., 2007). This exercise is considered a variation of the hip thrust, where back and feet are placed on the ground, thus increasing the difficulty by modifying the position of the feet on a bench or an unstable surface (i.e., suspension device) (Tobey and Mike, 2018). Conversely, the hamstring curl is considered an open kinetic chain knee dominant exercise (Malliaropoulos et al., 2015) that uses body weight as resistance and aims to develop the strength and endurance of the hamstring muscles (Dawes, 2017). ...
... Likewise, there could be several reasons for the small differences between the biceps femoris and semitendinosus in the suspended supine bridge. One reason is that the suspended exercise produces lateral instability, provoking a lateral rotation of the thighs and, consequently, an increased semitendinosus activity because of its role in counteracting this movement (Tobey and Mike, 2018). Furthermore, the amplitude of the vibrating machine (8mm, peak to peak) is suggested to provoke more horizontal oscillations and focus on the stabilizing structures that, in the present study, are stabilized by the semitendinosus (Cook et al., 2011). ...
Article
Studies comparing children and adolescents from different periods have shown that physical activity and fitness decreased in the last decades, which might have important adverse health consequences such as body fat gain and poor metabolic health. The purpose of the current article is to present the benefits of high-intensity multimodal training (HIMT), such as CrossFit, to young people, with a critical discussion about its potential benefits and concerns. During HIMT, exercise professionals might have an opportunity to promote positive changes in physical function and body composition in children and adolescents, as well as to promote improvements in mental health and psychosocial aspects. Moreover, this might serve as an opportunity to educate them about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and overcome the perceived barriers for being physically active. In technical terms, the characteristics of HIMT, such as, the simultaneous development of many physical capacities and diversity of movement skills and exercise modalities might be particularly interesting for training young people. Many concerns like an increased risk of injury and insufficient recovery might be easily addressed and not become a relevant problem for this group.
... On the one hand, the supine bridge is a bodyweight exercise demanding the posterior hip and thigh muscles as gluteus maximus and hamstrings (Jang et al., 2013;Kim and Park, 2016;Lehecka et al., 2017;Marín and Cochrane, 2021), and it is a recommended exercise for strengthening and prevent injuries in hamstrings and lower back muscles (Ekstrom et al., 2007). This exercise is considered a variation of the hip thrust, where back and feet are placed on the ground, thus increasing the difficulty by modifying the position of the feet on a bench or an unstable surface (i.e., suspension device) (Tobey and Mike, 2018). Conversely, the hamstring curl is considered an open kinetic chain knee dominant exercise (Malliaropoulos et al., 2015) that uses body weight as resistance and aims to develop the strength and endurance of the hamstring muscles (Dawes, 2017). ...
... Likewise, there could be several reasons for the small differences between the biceps femoris and semitendinosus in the suspended supine bridge. One reason is that the suspended exercise produces lateral instability, provoking a lateral rotation of the thighs and, consequently, an increased semitendinosus activity because of its role in counteracting this movement (Tobey and Mike, 2018). Furthermore, the amplitude of the vibrating machine (8mm, peak to peak) is suggested to provoke more horizontal oscillations and focus on the stabilizing structures that, in the present study, are stabilized by the semitendinosus (Cook et al., 2011). ...
Full-text available
Article
Traditionally in strength and conditioning environments, vibration has been transmitted using platforms, barbells, dumbbells, or cables but not suspension devices. This study aimed to examine the effects on the lower limb of applying superimposed vibration on a suspension device. Twenty-one physically active men and women performed supine bridge and hamstring curl exercises in three suspended conditions (non-vibration, vibration at 25 Hz, and vibration at 40 Hz). In each exercise condition, the perceived exertion scale for resistance exercise (OMNI-Res) was registered, and the electromyographic signal was assessed for gastrocnemius (medialis and lateralis), biceps femoris, semitendinosus, gluteus maximus, and rectus femoris. A linear mixed model indicated a significant fixed effect for vibration at 25 Hz and 40 Hz on muscle activity in suspended supine bridge (p < 0.05), but no effect for suspended hamstring curl (p > 0.05). Likewise, the Friedman test showed a significant main effect for vibration at 25 Hz and 40 Hz in suspended supine bridge (p < 0.05) but not for suspended hamstring curl (p > 0.05) on OMNI-Res. Post hoc analysis for suspended supine bridge with vibration at 25 Hz showed a significant activation increase in gastrocnemius lateralis (p = 0.008), gastrocnemius medialis (p = 0.000), semitendinosus (p = 0.003) activity, and for semitendinosus under 40 Hz condition (p = 0.001) compared to the non-vibration condition. Furthermore, OMNI-Res was significantly higher for the suspended supine bridge at 25 Hz (p = 0.003) and 40 Hz (p = 0.000) than for the non-vibration condition. Superimposed vibration at 25 Hz elicits a higher neuromuscular response during the suspended supine bridge, and the increase in vibration frequency also raises the OMNI-Res value.
... Bilateral SBEs with modified formats are commonly used in rehabilitation to improve activation or muscle strength of back extensors for patients with lower back pain (Guthrie et al., 2012), hamstring muscles for athletes with hamstring tear (Tsaklis et al., 2015) and gluteal muscles for individuals treating or preventing knee dysfunctions (Tobey & Mike, 2017). Nevertheless, to accomplish strength enhancement, it is recommended that achieving greater than 70% of MVIC in performing exercises was needed (Boren et al., 2011). ...
Article
This study investigated the activity of surface electromyography (sEMG) on trunk and pelvic muscles during supine bridge exercise (SBE) with different knee flexion angles. Twenty-five physically active males participated in this study. Subjects received maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) tests followed by four SBEs with different knee flexion angles (40°, 60°, 90° and 120°) in random. sEMG activities of rectus abdominis (RA), erector spinae (ER), gluteus medius (GMed), superior gluteus maximus (SGMax), inferior gluteus maximus (IGMax), biceps femoris (BF) long head, and the ratio of SGMax/BF and IGMax/BF on the dominant side were measured. Non-clinical magnitude-based inference was performed to compare the effect. The results indicated a substantial change of muscle activity, especially between SBE with 40° and 120° knee flexion. With respect to ER and BF, moderate effect (−0.70 ± 0.17) and extremely large effect (−4.78 ± 0.51) were recorded, whereas very large effect for SGMax/BF (2.68 ± 0.23) and IGMax/BF (2.95 ± 0.26) was observed, respectively. Both ER and BF worked better with smaller knee flexion angles (40° > 60° > 90° > 120°), while SGMax and IGMax were more favourable to SBE with large knee flexion angles (90° = 120° > 60° > 40°).
... It has been stated that the passive structures of the human body (bones and ligaments) will collapse under 9 kg of load if all muscle is removed (4) showing the importance of muscular strength and stability around the torso region (1,4). Tobey et al. outlined the importance of stability around the trunk area as it provides a stable base for distal limbs to function (16). It has been stated that the deep postural muscles must be trained in order to prevent compensation by the superficial and larger muscles during athletic movements (6). ...
Article
Abstract STRENGTH AND STABILITY OF THE TORSO THROUGH CORE TRAINING PROVIDES THE FOUNDATIONS ON WHICH DISTAL LIMBS CAN FUNCTION EFFICIENTLY. THE DEAD BUG IS ONE SUCH EXERCISE WHICH PROMOTES LUMBOPELVIC STABILITY AND WITHIN A STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING PROGRAM CAN AID IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF STRENGTH AND POWER WHILE ALSO REDUCING THE RISK OF INJURY. THIS ARTICLE WILL DISCUSS THE MUSCLES ACTIVATED, PROPER EXERCISE TECHNIQUE, REGRESSIONS AND PROGRESSIONS, AND PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THE DEAD BUG EXERCISE.
Article
Background: Hamstring injury prevention programs include strengthening, especially eccentric exercises using both gravitational and inertial loading. Inertial exercises are characterized by eccentric contractions of high intensity and velocity. This study aimed to analyze the muscular activation of the biceps femoris (BF), semitendinosus (ST), gluteus maximus (GM), and gracilis (GC) muscles during hip extension (HE) exercises performed under both gravitational and inertial loading conditions. Hypothesis: Inertial training would generate a greater activation of HE muscles than gravitational training. Study design: Cross-sectional study. Level of evidence: Level 4. Methods: Fifteen resistance-trained men performed the unilateral straight knee bridge (SKB), 45° of HE, and stiff-leg deadlift (SDL) exercises under gravitational and inertial loading conditions. Concentric and eccentric phases were identified with a linear encoder. Differences between load types, exercises, and their interaction were examined to establish the electromyographic (EMG) activity of each muscle and BF/ST ratio. Results: In the concentric phase, inertial loading showed a higher normalized EMG than gravitational loading for BF, ST, and GM. SKB and HE activated BF and ST between 9.6% and 24.3% more than SDL. In the eccentric phase, the inertial modality achieved greater GM activation than the gravitational form (18.1%). BF activation was increased with HE and SKB as compared with SDL (24.4% and 16.4%, respectively), while ST activation was likewise enhanced with HE as compared with SDL (15.1%). Conclusion: Inertial training is more effective than gravitational training for the concentric activation of the hamstring muscles while SDL showed lower hamstring activation than HE and SKB. Therefore, HE and SKB with inertial loading should be taken into account in hamstring training programs. Clinical relevance: Inertial training is more effective than gravitational training for the concentric activation of the hamstring muscles. HE and SKB with inertial loading should be taken into account in hamstring training programs.
Full-text available
Article
Historically, patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) has been viewed exclusively as a knee problem. Recent findings have suggested an association between hip muscle weakness and PFPS. Altered neuromuscular activity about the hip also may contribute to PFPS; however, more limited data exist regarding this aspect. Most prior investigations also have not concurrently examined hip and knee strength and neuromuscular activity in this patient population. Additional knowledge regarding the interaction between hip and knee muscle function may enhance the current understanding of PFPS. The purpose of this study was to compare hip and knee strength and electromyographic (EMG) activity in subjects with and without PFPS. Eighteen females with PFPS and 18 matched controls participated in this study. First, surface EMG electrodes were donned on the gluteus medius, vastus medialis, and vastus lateralis. Strength measures then were taken for the hip abductors, hip external rotators, and knee extensors. Subjects completed a standardized stair-stepping task to quantify muscle activation amplitudes during the loading response, single leg stance, and preswing intervals of stair descent as well as to determine muscle onset timing differences between the gluteus medius and vastii muscles and between the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis at the beginning of stair descent. Females with PFPS demonstrated less strength of the hip muscles. They also generated greater EMG activity of the gluteus medius and vastus medialis during the loading response and single leg stance intervals of stair descent. No differences existed with respect to onset activation of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis. All subjects had a similar delay in gluteus medius onset activation relative to the vastii muscles. Rehabilitation should focus on quadriceps and hip strengthening. Although clinicians have incorporated gluteus medius exercise in rehabilitation programs, additional attention to the external rotators may be useful. 4.
Article
Context: Diminished hip-muscle performance has been proposed to contribute to various knee injuries. Objective: To determine the association between hip-extensor muscle strength and sagittal-plane trunk posture and the relationships among hip-extensor muscle strength and hip- and knee-extensor work during running. Design: Descriptive laboratory study. Setting: Musculoskeletal biomechanical laboratory. Patients or other participants: A total of 40 asymptomatic recreational runners, 20 men (age = 27.1 ± 7.0 years, height = 1.74 ± 0.69 m, mass = 71.1 ± 8.2 kg) and 20 women (age = 26.2 ± 5.8 years, height = 1.65 ± 0.74 m, mass = 60.6 ± 6.6 kg), participated. Main outcome measure(s): Maximum isometric strength of the hip extensors was assessed using a dynamometer. Sagittal-plane trunk posture (calculated relative to the global vertical axis) and hip- and knee-extensor work (sum of energy absorption and generation) during the stance phase of running were quantified while participants ran over ground at a controlled speed of 3.4 m/s. We used Pearson product moment correlations to examine the relationships among hip-extensor strength, mean sagittal-plane trunk-flexion angle, hip-extensor work, and knee-extensor work. Results: Hip-extensor strength was correlated positively with trunk-flexion angle (r = 0.55, P < .001) and hip-extensor work (r = 0.46, P = .003). It was correlated inversely with knee-extensor work (r = -0.39, P = .01). All the correlations remained after adjusting for sex. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that runners with hip-extensor weakness used a more upright trunk posture. This strategy led to an overreliance on the knee extensors and may contribute to overuse running injuries at the knee.
Book
The Second Edition of Kinesiology: The Mechanics and Pathomechanics of Human Movement relates the most current understanding of anatomy and mechanics with clinical practice concerns. Featuring seven chapters devoted to biomechanics, straightforward writing, and over 900 beautiful illustrations, the text provides detailed coverage of the structure, function and kinesiology of each body region. Readers will gain an in-depth understanding of the relationship between the quality of movement and overall human health. © 2009, 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a Wolters Kluwer business. All rights reserved.
Article
Background/aim: The role of hip muscles in the rehabilitation of patellofemoral pain syndrome has recently received interest. The aim of this study was to compare the efficiencies of hip exercises alongside knee exercises versus only knee exercises on pain, function, and isokinetic muscle strength in patients with this syndrome. Materials and methods: Fifty-five young female patients (mean age: 34.1 ± 6.2 years; mean BMI: 25.9 ± 3.9 kg/m2) with patellofemoral pain syndrome were included. The patients were randomized into groups of hip-and-knee exercises and knee-only exercise programs for 6 weeks with a total of 30 sessions at the clinic. Both groups were evaluated before therapy, after 6 weeks of a supervised exercise program, and after 6 weeks of an at-home exercise program. The outcome measures were muscle strength, pain, and both subjective and objective function. Results: The improvements of the patients in the hip-and-knee exercise group were better than in patients of the knee-only exercise group in terms of scores of pain relief (P < 0.001) and functional gain (P = 0.002) after 12 weeks. Conclusion: We suggest additional hip-strengthening exercises to patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome in order to decrease pain and increase functional status.
Article
HIP EXTENSION MOMENTS INCREASE TO A MUCH GREATER DEGREE THAN KNEE EXTENSION MOMENTS WITH INCREASING LOADS DURING THE SQUAT, LUNGE, AND DEADLIFT EXERCISES AND WITH INCREASING RUNNING SPEEDS, JUMP HEIGHTS, AND LATERAL AGILITY MANEUVERS. THEREFORE, HIP EXTENSION TRAINING SHOULD BE PRIORITIZED IN ATHLETIC CONDITIONING BY (A) USING HIP-DOMINANT EXERCISES IN THE ATHLETE'S PROGRAM, (B) EMPHASIZING HEAVIER LOADS DURING COMPOUND LOWER-BODY RESISTANCE EXERCISES AS THE ATHLETE MATURES, AND (C) INCORPORATING LOADS THAT MAXIMIZE THE HIP EXTENSION MOMENT DURING EXPLOSIVE LOWER-BODY TRAINING.
Article
Purpose: This study aimed to examine the influence of sagittal plane trunk posture on lower extremity energetics during running. Methods: Forty asymptomatic recreational runners (20 males and 20 females) ran overground at a speed of 3.4 m·s(-1). Sagittal plane trunk kinematics and lower extremity kinematics and energetics during the stance phase of running were computed. Subjects were dichotomized into high flexion (HF) and low flexion (LF) groups on the basis of the mean trunk flexion angle. Results: The mean (±SD) trunk flexion angles of the HF and LF groups were 10.8° ± 2.2° and 3.6° ± 2.8°, respectively. When compared with the LF group, the HF group demonstrated significantly higher hip extensor energy generation (0.12 ± 0.06 vs 0.05 ± 0.04 J·kg(-1), P < 0.001) and lower knee extensor energy absorption (0.60 ± 0.14 vs 0.74 ± 0.09 J·kg(-1), P = 0.001) and generation (0.30 ± 0.05 vs 0.34 ± 0.06 J·kg(-1), P = 0.02). There was no significant group difference for the ankle plantarflexor energy absorption or generation (P > 0.05). Conclusions: Sagittal plane trunk flexion has a significant influence on hip and knee energetics during running. Increasing forward trunk lean during running may be used as a strategy to reduce knee loading without increasing the biomechanical demand at the ankle plantarflexors.
Article
Excessive flexion and internal rotation of the hip is a common gait abnormality among individuals with cerebral palsy. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of hip flexion on the rotational moment arms of the hip muscles. We hypothesized that flexion of the hip would increase internal rotation moment arms and decrease external rotation moment arms of the primary hip rotators. To test this hypothesis we measured rotational moment arms of the gluteus maximus (six compartments), gluteus medius (four compartments), gluteus minimus (three compartments) iliopsoas, piriformis, quadratus femoris, obturator internus, and obturator externus. Moment arms were measured at hip flexion angles of 0, 20, 45, 60, and 90° in four cadavers. A three-dimensional computer model of the hip muscles was developed and compared to the experimental measurements. The experimental results and the computer model showed that the internal rotation moment arms of some muscles increase with flexion; the external rotation moment arms of other muscles decrease, and some muscles switch from external rotation to internal rotation as the hip is flexed. This trend toward internal rotation with hip flexion was apparent in 15 of the 18 muscle compartments we examined, suggesting that excessive hip flexion may exacerbate internal rotation of the hip. The gluteus maximus was found to have a large capacity for external rotation. Enhancing the activation of the gluteus maximus, a muscle that is frequently underactive in persons with cerebral palsy, may help correct excessive flexion and internal rotation of the hip.
Article
Unilateral and bilateral lower-body heavy resistance exercises (HREs) are used for strength training. Little research has examined whether muscle activation and testosterone (TES) responses differ between these exercises. Our purpose was to compare the effects of unilateral and bilateral lower-body HRE on muscle activity using surface electromyography (sEMG) and TES concentrations. Ten resistance-trained, college-aged male athletes (football, track and field) completed 5 testing sessions in which bilateral (back squat [BS]) and unilateral (pitcher squat [PS]) exercises were performed using a counterbalanced design. Sessions 1 and 2 determined estimated maximum strength (10 repetition maximum [10RM]) in the BS and PS. During testing session 3, muscle activation (sEMG) was measured in the right vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, and erector spinae (ES) during both BS and PS (stance leg) exercises. In sessions 4 and 5, total TES concentrations (nanomoles per liter) were measured via blood draws at baseline (preexercise), 0, 5, 10, 15, and 30 minutes postexercise after 4 sets of 10 repetitions at the 10RM. Separate repeated-measures analyses of variance examined differences in sEMG and TES between BS and PS (p < 0.05). The sEMG amplitudes were similar (p = 0.80) for BS (0.22 ± 0.06 mV) and PS (0.20 ± 0.07 mV). The TES responses were also similar (p = 0.15) between BS (21.8 ± 6.9 nmol·L(-1)) and PS (26.2 ± 10.1 nmol·L(-1)). The similar lower limb and back sEMG and TES responses may indicate that the neuromuscular and hormonal demands were comparable for both the BS and PS exercises despite the absolute work being less in the PS. The PS exercise may be an effective method for including unilateral exercise into lower-body resistance training when designing training programs for ground-based activities.