The Frog Pump is a little bit on the controversial side of glute training. Experience tells us that for about two thirds of the population, it's an incredible exercise for glute activation pre-workout and king of the booty pumps when used as an end of the workout finisher or burnout.
For the rest of you, you might try it, hate it and roll your eyes at us for wasting your time.
The difference comes down to your physical anatomy: how long your bones out, muscle insertions and body proportions. If you've tried the Frog Pump before and haven't been a fan, don't worry. There are a ton of glute bridge variants that you can use to get the same results as your Frog Pumping counter parts.
If you’re not sure which camp you fall into, give the frog pump a shot and see!
Why Is The Frog Pump (Potentially) Any Better Than Other Bridges?
There are four basic stances for glute bridges: Wide, Narrow, Narrow Abducted (knees pushed out), and Frog. If you’re one of the lucky ones, the frog pump generates the highest level of glute activation when tested by EMG.
This comes from the fact that your knees are so aggressively abducted, which has been shown to fire the glutesseparatelyfrom hip extension. In a nutshell you get two types of muscle activation from one movement.
It’s not ideal as a primary movement in your exercise routine because weight loading creates some issues, but in a pre or post workout activation or burnout exercise it’s tough to beat!
Here’s how to do it:
1. Lay down on the floor
If you’re just getting into Frog Pumps, we have a couple of recommendations before you begin adding additional resistance.
As we noted before, the Frog Pump is never going to be a heavy weight, max effort lift. Instead we’re focusing on high rep, pump work. Before you begin adding weight it is strongly recommended that you work up to be able to perform 3 sets of about 50 reps.
Our second tip is to do those three sets in the beginning of your glute focused workouts, as a part of your glute activation program or at the end of the workout to get that juicy booty pump we all crave.
Once you’ve got your 3 sets of 50 locked in, you’re probably going to be looking at adding some progressive overload.
Dumbbell Frog Pumps are the best way to add some resistance. Perform them by placing a dumbbell right over the pelvis. At a commercial gym, you can essentially progress forever. 50+ rep sets with 100+ pound dumbbells is an insane accomplishment. Even for lightly equipped home gyms, you’ll be able to make progress for a long time with just a few dumbbells.
If you’re working out at home and lack any real weights, the frog pump is a great choice. Throw some heavy books in a backpack, put in over your hips and pump it out! The exercise is low to the ground and pretty stable so you’re very safe (and so are your floors!). Get creative. Anything even remotely heavy will work.
Knee Banded Frog Pumps also work, although due to the extreme hip abduction, you’ll likely need a lighter (or longer) band in order to keep your knees out on these very high rep sets.
Frog ThrustEssentially, this is the hip thrust to the glute bridge. Find a bench, couch, ledge- anything that is secure and won’t slide around, place your shoulders on top and perform the frog pump as usual. Check out “How To Hip Thrust Anywhere” for more ideas.
Foot Elevated Frog Pumps are the opposite of the Frog Thrust: instead of elevating your shoulders and upper body, you elevate your feet. This increases difficulty a bit more.
The Frog Pump may not be for everyone, but it can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. Use it for what it’s intended, activation, pumps and burnouts and reap the benefits.