Bridging exercise variations are well researched and commonly employed for both rehabilitation and sport performance. However, resisted bridge exercise variations have not yet been compared in a controlled experimental study. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the differences in upper and lower gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and vastus lateralis electromyography (EMG) amplitude for the barbell, band, and American hip thrust variations. Thirteen healthy female subjects (age = 28.9 y; height = 164.3 cm; body mass = 58.2 kg) familiar with the hip thrust performed 10 repetitions of their 10-repetition maximum of each variation in a counterbalanced and randomized order. The barbell hip thrust variation elicited statistically greater mean gluteus maximus EMG amplitude than the American and band hip thrusts, and statistically greater peak gluteus maximus EMG amplitude than the band hip thrust (P ≤ .05), but no other statistical differences were observed. It is recommended that resisted bridging exercise be prescribed according to the individual’s preferences and desired outcomes.
Bret Contreras is with the Sport Performance Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Andrew D. Vigotsky is with the Kinesiology Program, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ; and the Leon Root, M.D. Motion Analysis Laboratory, Department of Rehabilitation, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY. Brad J. Schoenfeld is with the Department of Health Sciences, CUNY Lehman College, Bronx, NY. Chris Beardsley is with Strength and Conditioning Research Limited, London, UK. John Cronin is with the Sport Performance Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand; and the School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia.