1. SAY GOODBYE TO BACK PAIN
Experiencing lower back pain? It could be from your butt. If you're like us, and sit all day, your glutes probably don't get used very much. This results in other muscles (ex. hamstrings) taking over the job. The process of the glutes becoming less active has been termed 'Gluteal Amnesia'. The result of this is often too much movement and loading at the lower back instead of the hips. This has been shown to be one of the primary causes in the development of lower back pain.
Doing bridges everyday (especially after prolonged sitting) will help to“wake up” the glutes and reset the pelvis. This helps the body to remember to use the hips (glutes) to create movement instead of the more fragile lumbar spine.
2. KNEE PAIN WILL MAGICALLY DISAPPEAR
Knee pain usually starts from lack of control within your femur. This lack of control can cause a rotation in the bone, or collapsing towards the mid line of the body. If these movements are chronic, they can begin to cause knee pain. Your glutes play a major role in controlling your femur at the hip joint, and without this control they are free to run wild! (See: Conquering Your Knee Pain)
Single leg bridges, can help train the femur to stay in line with the knee and toes, avoiding potentially damaging knee movements.
3. IMPROVE YOUR 5 MILE RUN
One of the primary movement functions of the glutes is hip extension, and driving the leg behind you. Distance runners usually use their quads and hamstrings to run, but very little glutes. By doing bridges, you help to lengthen your stride and strengthen all aspects of your running. Ultimately this will make you faster and much more efficient. (See: 33 Ways to Increase Weight Loss While Running)
4. STAND TALLER
If posture is king, then your glutes are the ace up your sleeve. No matter how much you workout at the gym, if you spend the rest of your day slumped over your desk, you're posture will continue to be awful. Glutes are literally the the be all of movement. Without active glutes, the pelvis can not sit properly. This means muscles within your core can't perform optimally and the body will have to compensate. This compensation usually comes in the form of bad posture.
Doing bridges will help to teach you not only how to strengthen the glutes so the pelvis sits correctly but also neutralize your spine.
5. BE HAPPY WITH HOW YOUR PANTS FIT
What would you give to get jeans that fit 'just right'? Having a shapely bum will instantly upgrade any pair of pants guys or girls wear. Bridging every day will start to perk your bum up, giving you the solid round perky shape most people consider 'desirable'. But isn’t that a good problem to have?
6. SET SQUAT & DEADLIFT RECORDS
Squats and deadlifts are some of the best 'leg' exercises. However, any experienced lifter will be quick to point out that these are really hip and glute exercises that also happen to use other leg muscles. Doing bridges will help you to squat and deadlift more effectively and efficiently, and help to make sure that your glutes are strong and active throughout the entire exercise. Weak glutes can decrease the depth of your squat because the hips and core are not working together effectively. Allow the knees to collapse in because of a lack of external rotation at the femur, straining the knee joint. Doing bridges everyday will help your glutes catch up to your quads and hamstrings making your squats and deadlifts improve quickly. (See: 8 Laws of Lifting Better)
7. YOUR DRIVER WILL BECOME YOUR BEST CLUB
Golfers tend to focus a lot on the “core,” which is important. But if you’re after a more powerful and consistent swing you need strong glutes to help generate force and stabilize the pelvis so you can stay in the correct posture through the swing. Once you begin doing bridges everyday, not only will your golf buddies envy how your posterior looks, they’ll envy how much your long game has improved. (See: How Custom Orthotics Can Increase your Golf Drive)