The Bridge is a fantastic exercise that requires core activation and pelvic stabilisation while, strengthening your gluts and hamstrings and opening up the front of your hip.
A few pointers to ensure you get maximum benefit from the Bridge are:
- Ensure your inner core is activated before tilting your pelvis. If not you may overload your back muscles, which will consequently tighten up and start to cause you discomfort while performing the bridge.
- Push up through your heels (particularly if you feel your hamstrings cramping up), this encourages activation of your gluteus maximus (we are aiming for the Beyonce buttock here!), ensuring you do not over work your hamstrings. Overactive hamstrings, with underactive gluteal muscles is a common problem in patients and can lead to multiple ache and pains, such as tendonopathies.
- As you progress to lifting a single leg while holding the bridge position, watch that your hips stay level. If you find that your hip drops as you lift that leg, you have a couple of options. First think of a piece of elastic tightening between that hip and your opposite knee. This encourages activation of your anterior oblique sling which helps stabilise the pelvis. If that hip still drops try your Bridge again this time with a heel lift only, keeping the ball off foot in contact with the floor. Once you are confident at that level try progressing to the full leg lift again.
- Progressing to Bridge on the Swiss ball means you are significantly reducing your stability. This mean you are increasing the load on your core, pelvic stabilisers and gluts and hamstrings. This is tough, so do not feel disgruntled if you can’t master it quite yet.
For more progressions check out our our video on the bridge ;