For this week’s best butt exercise we will be building on a classic butt exercise, the glute bridge. This week, we’ll be taking it to the next level and you’ll be learning how to do the more advanced version of the glute bridge: the one-legged glute bridge.

Exercise: One-Legged Glute Bridge
Muscles worked: Predominantly Glutes. Some Hamstrings, back and core (but should be minimized).
Jolie Recommends: Beginners: sets of 10 reps. Advanced: sets of 20 reps
Difficulty rating: 4
Effectiveness rating: 9

If you haven’t already been glute bridging, then you’ll want to start with the earlier post on how to perform the glute bridge exercise. Once you’ve mastered that (feel free to take a few days or weeks to build up the required muscles!), then revisit this post to step it up a notch or two.

Best Butt Exercise #16: One-Legged Glute Bridge

This is another great low-impact exercise that can be done with no equipment, and is still quite challenging.

If you’ve not yet mastered the standard glute bridge, then I would recommend building up your strength until you can perform those quite easily and with good form before you attempt the single leg version, as they are surprisingly tough.

In the single leg version of the glute bridge, you’ll be working one side of the glutes at a time by lifting the other leg off the ground, as shown in the video below. This variation also will work your back and hamstrings a lot more than the standard glute bridge.

How to Do the Move

Lay on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor roughly shoulder width apart – your initial positioning will be the same as that used in the standard glute bridge exercise.

  1. Keeping your thighs at the same angle, lift one foot off the ground and extend the leg out straight.
  2. Perform the bridge by lifting your hips and butt off the ground, using the glutes to drive the pelvis upwards.
  3. Lower back down to the ground, keeping your lifted leg extended out straight.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch legs and repeat on the other side.

This variation is tough, even with just bodyweight, so start small and build up from there. If you have difficulty performing the one-legged glute bridges described above, you can try the variation shown in the video below to help make the transition to the single-leg glute bridge.

To do this, you’ll be doing a normal glute bridge with both feet on the floor, then lifting one foot off the ground and extending the leg out straight while at the top of the bridge. Repeat on the other side (without lowering down out of the bridge). This will help strengthen the core and other auxiliary muscles which are used in addition to the glutes to perform this move.


Perfecting Your Form

  • Keep the core tight and push up using the glutes – don’t let the hips sag.
  • At the top of the motion, really squeeze the glutes to get that extra bit of upward extension. You should feel the exercise in the glutes strongest at this point.
  • As with the glute bridge, push through the heels of the supporting leg(s) – you should be able to lift your toes off the ground.
  • Keep the hips level horizontally – don’t let one side sag with the lifted leg.

Reppin’ It

These are tough, so don’t feel disheartened if you can only do a few to begin with. Keep at it and you will be able to build your way up to more repetitions.

If you’re a beginner, try working your way up to 1 set of 10, then increase this up to 3 sets of 10 with practice. Don’t forget to repeat this same thing on each side!

Those who are advanced and can handle a little more, try for 3 sets of 20 reps, or if it is still not challenging enough, add an ankle weight to your raised leg for a further challenge, or sit a dumbbell on your hips to add resistance as you lift up with the glutes.

Best Butt Exercises: One-Legged Glute Bridge
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