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"The bridge isolates the gluteus maximus because the leg is bent at the knee and therefore the hamstring is less active," says Robert Forster, certified trainer and founder of Phase IV and Forster Physical Therapy. "Extending the opposite knee serves to put that much more work onto the glute of the stationary leg, and balancing on the one foot recruits the other glute muscles on the outside of the pelvis for stability. This gives great shape to the buttock in general."
How to do it: Lie faceup with your knees bent, feet flat on floor, and hands at your sides. Perform a pelvic tilt and then raise your hips off the mat to create a straight line with your body, aligning your knees, hips, and shoulders. Hold this position while breathing. Straighten out one leg, keeping the thighbone and knees exactly aligned, and hold. Repeat with other leg. Clench your butt so that your hips stay lifted the entire time. Forster recommends doing this exercise three times per week, starting with 5 reps per side, holding each for 5 counts for first week, then progressing to 8 reps/8 count on week two and then 10 reps/10 counts thereafter.
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