Using bridge exercises? Want to make it more effective? Here's one simple way: bend the weight bearing knee to 135 degrees rather than the traditional 90 (1) . It preferentially activates the g max and med more (relatively, compared to the hamstring ; the actual values for the max and med remained similar) and the hamstring significantly less (24% vs 75%)
"Modifying the traditional single-leg bridge by flexing the active knee to 135 ° instead of 90 ° minimizes hamstring activity while maintaining high levels of gluteal activation, effectively building a bridge better suited for preferential gluteal activation."
Want to make it even better? Along the same vein, consider abducting the leg 30 degrees, which increases gluteus maximus activity, lessens anterior pelvic tilt and lessens erector spinae activity. (2). Of course, pelvic tilt should have clued you in to a weak core in the 1st place : )
Pair those with some needling to increase endurance (3) and your patients will have glutes of steel!
1. Lehecka BJ, Edwards M, Haverkamp R, et al. BUILDING A BETTER GLUTEAL BRIDGE: ELECTROMYOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF HIP MUSCLE ACTIVITY DURING MODIFIED SINGLE-LEG BRIDGES. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 2017;12(4):543-549. link to free full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5534144/
2. Kang SY, Choung SD, Jeon HS. Modifying the hip abduction angle during bridging exercise can facilitate gluteus maximus activity. Man Ther. 2016 Apr;22:211-5. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2015.12.010. Epub 2016 Jan 2.
3.De-li Sun, Yan Zhang, Da-Long Chen: Research progress in Sports Fatigue prevented and treated by acupuncture
link to free full text: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11726-009-0123-7