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Running Exercises Blog Series 2/5

Running Exercises Blog Series

Part 2 of 5: Single-leg glute bridge with foam roller

Sara Carpenito, MS, LAT, ATC

Let's talk about another underutilized muscle group that should be a main contributor when running…glutes! Chances are you have done a glute bridge before but there is also a chance that you performed this exercise correctly and unfortunately did not use your glutes. A good way to learn how to master the bridge and make sure your glutes are engaged is by doing a single-leg glute bridge using a foam roller.

Here’s how:

1. Lying on your back, bend your knees and place one heel on top of a foam roller.

2. Bring the other knee toward your chest so it is out of your way.

3. Pull your heel into the foam roller so the foam roller does not move.

4. Feel your hamstrings (the back of your thighs) contract.

5. With your arms at your sides to help stabilize you, lift your hips off the ground.

Did the foam roller roll out from underneath you?

Here are a couple reasons why this could’ve happened:

1. Your hamstrings cramp up.

2. Your quads try to perform the movement which leads the foam roller to move away from your body.

3. Your hips were unable to move very far off the ground.

These things happen because your hamstrings and glutes are not used to doing this job on their own. Chances are your body has turned to your very strong but very overused quads to perform this exercise. If always dependent upon our quads, which insert to our knee, it is not uncommon to experience knee pain.

By adding the foam roller to the exercise, you are telling your body to fire up the glutes and hamstrings and to tell your quads to sit this one out. You will most likely feel some hamstring cramping in the beginning but that will go away if you continue to practice this exercise and you will be able to lift your hips high enough to feel your glutes! If you’ve been here for a while, you know we love to salute our glutes here at The Micheli Center!

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