Recently on YouTube I had a subscriber, Tom, ask me to do a video about single leg wheel pose on tiptoes. As I’m all about preparatory poses, modifications and variations I decided to do a precursor video: Glue bridge variations that lead to single leg bridge on tiptoes.
While this version is not as challenging as tiptoe wheel, if you have shoulder or wrist issues a much better option. I shared all the variations, including modifications in the video below.
How to do the Glute Bridge
Whether you call it a hip bridge, glute bridge, yoga bridge or some other name it’s all the same. Many different names for the same action: supine hip extension.
Begin on your back, knees bent feet on the floor. Have the feet hip distant apart, and draw them close to your bum. Drive the shoulders and feet into the floor and lift your butt up. Viola, glute bridge.
Key points here are that the knees do not travel out, they travel forward to create a back bend and hip extension. This is the precursor to wheel pose, a back bend. Please, DO NOT tuck your tailbone. That’s a whole other post, but for the comfort of your SI joint stop tucking your tailbone in a backbend.
Glute bridge with heel lifts
Sometimes you want something a little different, or something to do while holding glute bridge. If that’s the case try heel lifts. This shifts some of the muscular focus. If you find your feet getting sore or cramping I suggest some TLC for the feet.
Begin with lifting just one heel at a time. Maybe “repping it out” at the top of your bridge. You could also drive up into bridge one heel lifted. Build up to having both heels lifted, or staying up and lifting/lowering the heels.
Key points here are that as the heels lift the hips DO NOT drop. Keep elevating. Drive through the shoulders, and keep the knees pointing forward to the front of your mat.
Single leg bridge
For a more challenging variation then single leg bridges are fun. Again you get to choose, either stay up and just switch legs while in the isometric hold at the top of the bridge. Or keep one leg up and drive through the grounded foot to lift the pelvis. Both are beneficial for different reasons
Again the key points here are that as one leg lifts up the pelvis stays lifted. It’s more of a challenge but working through the posterior chain is so important to combat all the sitting we do in todays modern World.
Single leg bridge on tiptoes
After single leg bridge comes the Single leg bridge on tiptoes. It might not seem like a big change but it’s working different muscles as well as balance. Plus, doesn’t it just look prettier?
Again we’re looking at driving the pelvis high. Maybe think about toes on the lifted leg trying to reach the sky! Ensure you’re still rooting through the ball of the grounded foot AND the shoulders.
If tiptoe wheel on one leg is your goal, then I suggest saying high in your Single leg bridge on tiptoes. Hold there for time. This is a great option for those who want wheel and it’s variations but have shoulder or wrist issues.
Single leg bridge on tiptoes, on a block
Lower back issues? All of the variations above can be done on a block! This is a great way to get the back bend without straining into the muscles. My advice is start with the block low. Play with the heel lifts, and leg lifts.
Over time you can work up to a higher block. Always ensure the block is secure under the bulk of you pelvis and sacrum. You want full support for the weight of the pelvis. Honestly it’s one of my favorite ways to get a lovely back bend without any of the work!
Enjoy the variations and modifications for bridge pose. Get creative, and put some work into the muscles along the back body. It’ll help your back and improve your posture!
- What’s your favorite variation of bridge pose?
- Do you suffer with back pain?
- Are you a tailbone tucker?