Build Your Glutes and Hamstrings With The Chaos Glute Bridge
Dr. Joel Seedman, Ph.D.
The next time you want to crush your backside try this very unique but brutal single leg chaos glute bridge exercise as demonstrated by one of my awesome figure athletes Leslie Petch.
Yes the glutes and hamstrings respond very well to overload but most people don’t realize that they also respond quite well to instability as the oscillatory nature of the surface forces the smaller stabilizers around the hips, feet, and ankles to activate. This produces incredible signaling throughout the larger muscles of the posterior chain (due to concurrent activation potentiation) resulting in significant growth and strength to the glutes and hamstrings. It also does wonders for cleaning up areas in the posterior chain and lower extremity that are prone to misalignment, energy leakage, and other forms of muscular dysfunction.
In addition the chaos glute bridge requires very smooth and controlled mechanics as the use of excessive momentum will cause the bands to oscillate in an uncontrollable fashion. That means more constant and continuous tension to the glutes and hamstrings.
Finally, the chaos glute bridge requires intense foot and ankle activation to lock the movement in. When you examine the way most lifters perform glute bridges they typically have poor foot and ankle alignment as you’ll often notice one or both toes flaring with very littler motor control of their lower extremities. Because of the heightened instability of the chaos glute bridge you’ll be forced to activate the muscles around the feet, ankles, and shins in order to achieve proper alignment through the foot and ankle complex. Anything less will result in loss of stability and lack of control.
You’ll notice the use of the dorsiflexed foot and ankle position. The dorsiflexed position is something I advocate on most movements when possible as it helps to ensure that the calves are not taking over and tends to create a stronger muscle mind connection to the posterior chain. For athletes, it also does wonders for improving running and sprinting mechanics as dorsiflexion plays a key role not only in gait and postural control but also in sprinting speed and foot and ankle positioning/shock absorption.
Because of the intense nature of these I recommend beginning with the double leg variation then progressing from there. Once you’ve mastered those try bodyweight single leg variations then add weight in the form of barbells, plates, and dumbbells for increased intensity. Several sets of 8-10 repetitions will leave your glutes and hamstrings pummeled for several days.
To read more about how posterior chain training improves postural control and spinal alignment click here