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We explain how to perfect and build upon the bridge, one of the best moves to tone your butt. (When one version feels easy, step it up to the next level.)

Beginner

Basic bridge

Lie face up with knees bent, feet hip-width apart on the floor. Extend your arms at your sides with palms on the floor. Lift your hips until your body forms a line from shoulders to knees [shown]. Hold for 30 seconds.

Description: Lie face up with knees bent, feet hip-width apart on the floor.

Lie face up with knees bent, feet hip-width apart on the floor.

Intermediate

Bridge with knee lift

Get in the starting position for a basic bridge (see above). Lift right foot, then raise your hips until your body forms a line from shoulders to left knee [shown]. Lower to starting position and repeat on opposite side. Continue, alternating legs, for 30 to 60 seconds.

Description: Bridge with knee lift

Bridge with knee lift

Advanced

Bridge with leg lift and reach

Get in the starting position for a basic bridge (see above). Lift hips as you extend right leg at a diagonal and reach left arm toward right toes [shown].Lower to starting position and repeat on opposite side. Continue, alternating sides, for 30 to 60 seconds.

Description: Bridge with leg lift and reach

Bridge with leg lift and reach

Lead from behind

Get a leg up on your cardio routine: A strong lower half can improve your endurance and speed, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. People who did leg extensions three times a week for two months felt less fatigued and moved faster during high-intensity treadmill workouts. Strengthen your leg and butt muscles with the bridge and you’ll make it through tough cardio sessions with less effort.

 

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