Looking to change up your workout or to maximise as many muscle groups as possible? Ready the “drawbridge.”
We’re not talking about a medieval gate contraption — this drawbridge is an exercise trainer Charlee Atkins, CSCS, uses for full-body routines. You might already know it by a different name; usually, this combo dumbbell move is called simply the glute bridge and pullover, since that’s exactly what you’re doing.
To get her clients more amped about the move, Atkins decided to go for a rebrand. “I ran a poll on Instagram, and a follower came up with the best name: drawbridge,” Atkins says.
The new name doesn’t change how effective the exercise can be, however. “Holding the glute bridge position is so powerful because it maximises the lower body (and feels good on the hip flexors),” says Atkins. “Adding in the pullover (or the ‘draw’) makes the core work to stabilise the position. With the arms moving and the lower body isometric hold it takes a lot of control and focus.”
To perform the drawbridge, all you need is a dumbbell and some space on the ground to spread out.
- Lay on the ground, holding the dumbbell at your chest with both hands cupping one end of the weight.
- Come into a glute bridge, squeezing your core and glutes as you raise your hips. Keep your muscles tense throughout the exercise.
- Extend your arms straight above your chest, raising the dumbbell.
- Raise your arms and the weight directly over the chest.
- Slowly lower the weight back over your head, keeping your elbows locked. Stop just short of touching the top half of the dumbbell to the ground.
- Raise the weight back up to the starting position, keeping your elbows locked.
The drawbridge isn’t just a versatile move because it works so many muscles. You can also change up the weight for different results. “You can do it with a heavier load,” says Atkins. “I do it [with less weight] more for the full burn and tone.”
Try adding a drawbridge to your next full-body workout session with 3 sets of 8 reps. Be sure to start out with low weight until you find your balance — even the sturdiest bridge needs a strong base, after all.
By Brett Williams