The bridge is my go-to exercise for developing baseline anterior core stiffness, glute activation, and terminal hip extension. If you can't bridge correctly is unlikely that you can execute a proper squat, deadlift or many other lower body and core exercises effectively. You will need to master the rib position and core stabilization foundation in the first video prior to advancing to the next progressions.
1. Diaphragm breathing / rib depression with body weight bridge
- Breathe in through your nose while allowing your belly to fill with air
- Use purse lips and forcefully, but slowly exhale allowing your rib cage to drop down and abdominals to tighten. This creates helpful stiffness stabilizing your lower back
- Tighten your glutes and bridge up without losing core stiffness - your body should be in a straight line, without an arch or pressure in your low back
2. Single leg glute bridge (floor and elevated)
- Bend one leg up to maximize glute contraction on the opposite side
- Keep pelvis level (not allowing it to drop on one side) as you bridge up
- Elevating the working leg will increase range of motion and difficulty
3. Band resisted bridges
- Working against the resistance of the band requires you to create more tension and help build more adaptation
- Stay tight in your abs with your ribs down to prevent arching in your lower back
Stay tuned as we load the bridge up with 135 lb
Stop in to Soul Physical Therapy to schedule a free screening if you have any questions with the exercises or want to learn how to apply them into your training.
Jenna Mattera DPT, CSCS
Soul Physical Therapy