The Glute Bridge tends to get overlooked for posterior chain work because people think they are "above" it. Too advanced to use a glute bridge.
Well, that opinion might change after reading this post.
Just like any other exercise, there is a continuum of movement that shifts along the spectrum. Not every movement has to be the most effective option. Every movement however should be the most effective for you in the moment in time though.
GLUTE BRIDGE CONTINUUM
To better appreciate the movement we need to hit every mile-marker along the way to make sure we own the movement at every stop available. Just like beating levels in Super Mario, you have to beat the level before you move on - but you can always go back.
Lets look at the starting point
SINGLE LEG EXTENSION
Before you try to move the body in what you would imagine to be a stable situation, you need to appreciate maintaining a stable spinal position while extending one single limb at a time. Own single leg extension of 3 sets of 8 on each side before progressing to more difficult options.
DOUBLE LEG EXTENSION
Once you have ownership of single leg extension, double leg extension is the next step. This isn't just a basic leg extension but more importantly a mode of double hip extension. The lower back in the extended position is OKAY! Stop trying to flatten your lower back against the ground in movement. Maintain neutral spine and let the heels tap the ground.
Glute bridging is still an awesome posterior chain movement to add into your routine. The limited range of motion to challenge mainly the concentric portion is where we can better at getting a full posterior tilt at the pelvis. We want to aim for:
1) Full Foot Contact
2) Elbow Drive into the Ground
3) Full Range of Motion
Make sure you can control both ends of the movement for 3 sets of 8 repetitions before moving forward.
DOUBLE LEG EXTENSION TO GLUTE BRIDGE
Now is when we get to work at full range movement through the hip. Pairing the Double extension through the Glute Bridge allows the leg to centrate in the hip through its full range of motion. The key is control. Reps and movements you cannot control are simply not worth doing.
EXPLOSIVE DOUBLE EXTENSION TO GLUTE BRIDGE
This is when it starts to get spicy. If you are looking for a great explosive prep for movement, this is the one. If you want to band this up and add this as your ballistic movement in your strength training routine, that is also an awesome option. As with every exercise, spinal position needs to be in the strongest position. Especially with explosive movement you want to stabilize the vulnerable areas. CLOSING THOUGHTS Movement should be fluid. Straight lines and only working within limited range isn't the way to a effective movement. Blend efficient movement with building capacity to maximize not just the muscular system but all systems involved in spatial awareness and sensory feedback. The goal of movement is to learn. That means providing opportunities to send as much information as possible!