For September’s Move of the Month, Orangetheory Fitness’ National Fitness Director, Michele Nesbitt, has identified the single leg hip bridge as the move to master.
For all the runners reading, this is a great move to help strengthen your stride. For strength trainers, this move will target your glutes, works for all fitness levels and can be done without equipment.
According to Michele, cardio exercise, such as running, can be a great way to exercise your legs and lower body. However, while it can be an effective way to work out, it is important to incorporate lower body strengthening exercises too.
Home to the largest muscles in your body, a strong lower half has shown to increase bone strength, improve balance and stamina, and decrease injuries to your knees and hips. In fact, according to a running blog, its strong glutes that provide the main push to your stride as your run. Whether a runner or gym regular, try incorporating this exercise into your fitness routine:
- Start by lying flat on your back on a comfortable surface. With a bend in your left leg, place your heel on the floor while extending your right leg toward the ceiling, as shown in Image A.
- Focus your eyes on the ceiling to help you balance. Squeeze your abs and drive your heel into the floor. Lift your hips upwards and squeeze your glutes. Your right leg should be straight, with your foot flexed and reaching forward.
- Once fully extended, pause and hold that position for a brief moment, like Michele in Image B. Be sure not to lower your back to avoid strain.
- Following the pause, lower your hips to starting position. Try three sets of 10 on each leg.
Expert Insight: For an added challenge, use a bosu ball and place it on the ground with the flat side down and blue side up. Place one heel on top of the bosu ball while extending your other leg to the ceiling. Follow the steps above and feel the burn as you squeeze tight to maintain balance and the correct position.
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