March 06

Smith Machine Glute Bridge

Time for some booty werk! Whether you do it with just body weight, with dumbbells on your hips or on a stability ball, the glute bridge is a popular exercise for firing up the muscles in your backside to sculpt that coveted round and lifted shape. The bridge move is a staple of my glute workout and I typically do it on the floor with a barbell as shown below:

662_2(Photo credit: Bodybuilding.com)

This morning I tried something a little different: Smith Machine Glute Bridge.  For me, trying something new or switching up the variations of a favorite move on a regular basis is critical to not only improving my strength and performance but also my motivation as it keeps both my mind and body from getting bored with the “same old, same old” routine. And given that its only been 2 hours since my workout and I can already feel that glorious after-burn in my glute muscles, I’m thinking this one’s a winner! So here’s what I did:

photo

SETUP:

1. Snag yourself a Smith Machine

2. Grab a box or bench

3. Add padding to the bar to protect your hips/organs

4. Add padding to the box if you need it (I do!)

5. Start with no weight on the bar to get your form set.

THE MOVE:

1. Sit at the base of the box/bench and check your alignment. In the move, the bar should sit comfortably on your hips while the tops of your shoulders rest on the box/bench.

2. Begin the movement by driving through with your heels, extending your hips vertically through the bar. Your weight should be supported by your upper back and the heels of your feet. Don’t forget the power of mind muscle connection. Use your mind to really feel the contraction and SQUEEZE!

3. Extend as far as possible, then reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

WHAT I DID:

  • 1 warm-up set with no weight
  • 3 sets of 10 reps at a weight where the last few reps are really challenging without sacrificing form. I did two 25lb plates (1 on each side). Slow and controlled form is more important than loading on the lbs.
  • Reduce weight and do 1 set to failure for a good burn before you’re done.

*I like to superset most of my lifts to save time and keep my heart rate up. Today I did plyo skaters for 1min as my active rest in between sets.

WHY I LOVED THIS VARIATION:

  • The Smith Machine allows for quick and easy changing of weight. I don’t have to spend time hauling over another BB to my bench or changing out plates while I’m on the ground.
  • My range of motion on a bench as opposed to being on the floor is much greater

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