The hip bridge should be in every swimmer’s dryland training arsenal. It’s a low impact exercise that strengthens the core and glutes, stabilizes the low back and addresses common muscle imbalances and weaknesses that can cause injury.

While the hip bridge might seem like an easy exercise, many swimmers perform it incorrectly, minimizing the benefits they’ll experience. Here’s how to perfect your hip bridge form to enhance your body position and kick in the pool!

Technique Check: Hip Bridges

  • Engage the core: Keeping your core fired up during this exercise will protect your low back and help stabilize your pelvis to help you maximize glute engagement. Think about pulling your hip bones toward each other to turn on those low abs!
  • Tuck the pelvis under: When your back is arched, your glutes have a hard time turning on. Think about tucking your tailbone toward your heels and flattening your back to the ground. Keep this alignment throughout the movement.
  • Engage the glutes: Before you lift up off the ground, squeeze your glutes. When you are at the top of the movement, really feel them burn. Make sure your knees are pressing out slightly to enhance muscle engagement.
  • Press through the feet: Think about gripping the ground with your whole foot to increase glute engagement. It can be helpful to do this exercise barefoot so you can feel the ground beneath you.
  • Knees over ankles: If your feet are too far away from your body, you’ll use more of your hamstring to lift your hips. Try to position your feet so your knees are right over your ankles at the top of the bridge.

Try 3 rounds of 10-12 reps to start. As you get stronger, you can try single-leg hip bridges, and can even incorporate equipment such as resistance bands, a Swiss ball or a medicine ball to challenge yourself further! 

Modifications

If you’re having trouble with this exercise, try the roll-up technique. 

  • Start lying on the ground with your feet planted. 
  • Then, instead of lifting your hips and torso as one unit, slowly roll your hips up off the floor, thinking about lifting up one vertebrae at a time. 
  • Reverse the movement and roll back down again, one vertebrae at a time. This will help you engage your core and glutes and find better alignment.

For more dryland training tips and guidance, download the MySwimPro app! Our library of more than 170 technique videos includes stretches to help you improve mobility and encourage proper form while you’re in the pool.

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