This is another post in our series of Fitness Saturday exercises—workouts appropriate to women in the second half of life. Personal trainer Brooke Marrone, president and founder of Brooke Marrone Fitness, in New York City, is our fitness guru.

 

We celebrate the last week of American Heart Month with another exciting new exercise to add to our routines. Working your glutes (buttocks) is essential, not just for aesthetic improvements, but also to ensure that you are giving your back the proper support that it needs. This week’s exercise, The Bridge, is an amazing and safe way to help shape and strengthen your bum, build muscle, improve core stability, and increase flexibility. Most important, this exercise will help keep your back healthy and pain-free.

  1. Lie on your back with your arms straight by your side, palms down, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart.
  1. Make sure your feet are under your knees, toes forward and knees in line with your hips. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears.
  1. Exhale as you lift your hips up off the mat, pushing from the weight in your heels, not in your toes. Try to lift your hips straight up without shifting your weight into your neck and shoulders.
  1. Bring your hips up high enough that you can get a good squeeze in your butt while maintaining a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Do not go up so high that your back arches.
  1. Hold the bridge pose for 5 seconds before slowly returning to your starting position. Repeat 10 times for 2 sets.

To advance, end each set of ten with 20 little pulses at the top of your bridge, or bring one knee toward your chest and perform this exercise one leg at a time.

Muscles worked: glutes, abs, lower back, hip flexors, quads.

 

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