Would you like to “kill 2 birds with 1 stone” when it comes to glute and abs activation? A proper glute/core act. is something we need to do if we are talking about the proper warm up (of course, this is not the only one we should do for glute/core act. at the same training). This exercise is a pretty good complementary one in order to achieve it. Of course, overweight general population could utilize this one not for warming up only. The good thing about this exercise is unloading the spine (lying position), and the potential bad thing is that people need to reach lying position and get up after completed set(s).
First and foremost, watch the video below and let’s start discussing about interesting details…
I personally prefer “frog” leg position when it comes to “glute bridge” because of the “fuller” glute contraction. As we already know, except hips stabilization role, glutes perform hip extension, hip abd. and hip external rotation (and those moves, more or less, you can find here). You want more ROM, no problem – raise your feet up on the box/bench).
Why I prefer doing crunches while legs are in this position? By moving knees out we can lift torso up a bit more while doing crunches because m. iliopsoas (mainly) is unable to take the movement over now (which makes sense if we spread knees out, it’s not a suitable angle for this muscle). So, lift the torso a little more up and feel better abdominal activation. Don’t be afraid of flexing lower back a bit because this is not that dangerous position for your spine (your spine needs much more load in order to “explode”, I am not sure about the long-term health though – so don’t do this one too much).
When it comes to arms, the distance between the base of support and the head/arms is changing in the video (the last variation of 4). A moment arm is simply the length between a joint axis and the line of force acting on that joint. This is important because longer the moment arm is, harder the execution will be (abs will be involved more in this case). If you didn’t get it, think on this way (in this case especially) – further you move your arms away of your butt/lower spine (axis of rotation), harder the execution will be – which makes sense (abs need to lift more weight).
I demonstrated 4 variations here, chose one (depends on your fitness level) and try it out. You can use this one as a part of warm up or as a regular exercise (closer to the end of workout in the 2nd case). 4-6 sets of 10-12 reps is plenty. Enjoy!
For the love of movement,