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.
You can also view the video on my YouTube channel, don’t forget to like and subscribe! I’m committing to at least two YouTube videos per week. Going “all-in” on the creative content!
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?
Laura | Tales of a Natural Spoonie`
I’m currently in the process of creating a work out programme (former PT) that suits me and my health issues, thank you for the reminder of the glute bridge.
Glute bridge is a great exercise for home workouts!
This is a great way to instruct! I do yoga on an app and I’m always worried I’m not getting the positions correct
Thanks. Yes words, photo’s, video, sound. Trying to appeal to all different types of learner.
I love yoga. I would love to add Glute Bridge poses in my exercise routine. this looks great for the glutes specially.
Awesome for the glutes and hamstrings, plus lower back
First off, I’v subscribed to your YouTube channel. Why? Because I need a virtual trainer like you! These are excellent moves to do at home!
My friend’s friend is a yoga teacher, in the Uk and she has now been virtually guiding our yoga sessions online which is fab
Yep I started teaching virtual classes also. It’s not the same, but it’s better than nothing!
Thank you for the thorough explanation, I really need to try this out for myself.
It’s nice to see that you have captured all the great tips here. I think they all are very much needed especially at this time.
Both your photos and video are so informative for someone who would like to learn how to correctly do the pose
Wow that’s a lot of different variations of the bridge, but it’s so nice to have options to work towards. I don’t tend to do them very often but I’m out of routine with my workouts x
No time like the present to get back into it!
I love a good glute bridge pose, they’re a staple of most home workouts for me. I love how throughly youve explained this.
thanks so much, yes glute bridge is a great exercise!
Liam | Whatthedadsaid
These can be excellent to help your body and mind, this stretch looks a good one and something many people can do, great post!
Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too
This sounds like a wonderful way to stretch away all the stresses and strains of modern life. Perfect for relaxing too.
That’s the blessing of yoga!
It’s really a good time for me for this post, because I just started to practice yoga and to my surprise I am able to do this bridge without any additional support. I am very happy to train with your video and I hope to be the change I want to see 😉
You just answered some questions I had about glute workouts. Thank you for this. Working on these thighs tonight.
This sounds like a really good pose for helping stretch! I do suffer with back pain ever since having my kids.
Common for a lot of women post pregnancy! Try it!
This sounds like it would be a good pose for me to learn. It would help strengthen my back from the sound of it.
Yes it would! Make sure you can do both feet down first before trying single leg variations!
Oh wow this looks like a wonderful exercise, as though it would really give you a good stretch out!
It really does!
I’m doing all my workout at home now rather than going to gym classes so this is really useful