Do you want a move that hits your glutes and your inner thighs, and is really simple to do? Frog pumps may be the answer! It is quite challenging to find exercises that prioritize sculpting the glute muscles; simply because it is difficult to activate the glutes alone. When they are not enabled, other muscle groups will automatically try to take over.
Enter frog pumps. This movement is one of the best glute bridge variations. You can do it wherever you have some floor space, and it's a high-intensity move that shapes the muscles that you want to work.
What is a frog pump?
Frog exercises are perfect for leg day. This move is a high volume, low load glute exercise, and doing it works out your glutes and inner thighs and adds definition to the area.
Frog pumps are named so because they mimic the movement of a frog. However, this exercise is in reality just a slight variation on glute bridges; but with some extra intensity around the posterior area.
The exercise was created by Bret Contreras, who calls himself 'The Glute Guy'; so he should know a thing or two about exercises that really work for this muscle group!
Instead of starting with your feet parallel, flat on the floor, as you would do with a glute bridge, you put your feet together with your legs in a butterfly position. When pumping upwards, your legs will be spread out. The actual movement is the same as a glute bridge, but due to the positioning of the feet, different muscles are worked.
How do you do a banded frog pump?
Frog pumps are easy to do with no equipment. However, if you find that doing sets of frog pumps with only your bodyweight is easy, adding a dumbbell or a band is a great idea to add some more intensity. Subsequently, you'll get more definition and have a more successful leg day.
Let's look at how to do banded frog pumps. It is recommended to either do these as an activation exercise at the start of your leg day or as a 'finisher' before cooling down.
- Lay flat on your back, facing the ceiling.
- Put a hip circle band around your lower thighs, just above your knee.
- Ensure that your spine is completely flat and your neck is tucked into your chest to protect your back. Put your arms by your side, with your palms facing down.
- Put the soles of your feet together and bend your knees, pointing them away from your torso.
- Squeeze your abs and glutes as you push your hips towards the ceiling.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, tensing your abs and glutes the whole time.
- Slowly lower your hips towards the ground. This is one whole frog hip thrust.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
If you want a more intense workout, you could pair frog pumps with sets of normal glute bridges. You'll give your glute muscles a bit of a break while you do the bridges - doing a set of lower intensity exercises like glute bridges will help you power through the frog pump exercises and ultimately do more of them.
Another variation could be with a dumbbell or other weight. If you use one of these, place the weight on your thighs, and hold it there while you do the movement. When you pump upwards, you'll be pushing both your body weight and your dumbbell weight with your glutes, so it can be very intense!
If you want a slightly more intense exercise than you would achieve with bodyweight alone, our advice is to do the frog bridge exercise with a workout band initially. This means that you'll be able to ensure that your form is correct before adding heavyweights, while still doing an effective workout that will make you feel the burn for hours after. Resistance bands are also a lot lighter than weights, which is perfect if you are working out anywhere that isn't the gym or your house.
What are frog pumps good for?
It can be a bit of an awkward exercise to do, especially in the gym, but there's no denying it: frog pumps are a real butt and thigh shaper, and they are easy to master, even if it does burn after doing a few reps!
The effectiveness of frog pumps is in the initial position. Because the glute muscle fibers are oblique rather than just straight up and down, beginning with your legs pointed outwards means that you are already starting in a position with external hip rotation. You are also flexing the lumbar spine throughout the movement.
This position means that it helps you isolate your gluteus maximus muscles from the get-go. Isolating muscles is crucial when working out that specific area; if your glute muscles aren't isolated, they won't be doing all of the work. Your larger and stronger thigh muscles will take over, and you won't get the strength and definition that you might desire in your glutes.
Frog pumps also help with mobility and strength around your inner thigh muscle area. While the main area they work out is the glutes due to the muscles' isolation, they help to open up and stretch the surrounding areas, adding to the muscles' strength and making it easier to perform other exercises.
The last word on frog pumps
This frog pump exercise is easy to do at home or in the gym; anywhere where you can lay down comfortably! It's a fantastic glute workout, and this position ensures that the glutes are really getting worked, unlike other exercises where the thighs naturally take over. You won't need to do many reps of this exercise to feel the burn, and its a great move to do when you have limited equipment.
Add a few frog pumps onto the end of your leg day workout, and not only feel the burn after your workout but check out the increasing definition in the weeks and months following!