Video Series - The Bridge
Lie on your back, bend your knees so that your feet are relatively close to your glutes and in alignment (ie toes are pointing forward). Engage your core, press firmly down through your heels and slightly lift up your hips (activating a slight pelvic tilt). Then roll up one vertebra at a time until your body is in a straight line. Squeeze your glutes at the top. Hold and slowly lower reversing the roll through your vertebra.
Note: for yoga positioning, Bridge Pose often emphasizes opening your chest and shoulders. For this strength exercise we are really emphasizing glutes and core stability. Keep your entire back flat and core engaged with no excessive low back arch.
Where do you feel this?
If you are only feeling this in your hamstrings or the back of your legs, come back down and bring your feet in just a bit closer to your hips so your fingertips just touch your heels. Again push through your heels and slowly start to raise your hips.
If you find you simply cannot feel your glutes, try this alternative:
With the basic Bridge, there are many variations to try as you build strength. You’ll find that some work better for you than others and everyone is different. We particularly like some of the one-legged variations. It’s quite likely that you’ll find one side is stronger than the other. That’s very common!
One-Legged Bridge with Crossed Leg or Held Knee
Lie on your back with legs bent and bring one ankle up to the other knee so it is crossed. Slowly rise into Bridge. Lift and lower keeping this position. When you are done on one side switch to the other. This is also a hip opener and if you find the position does not work for you, instead of crossing the leg, bend your knee and bring to your chest and hold with your hands. Then perform Bridge.
No matter which variation you use, make sure you working to fire the correct muscles slowly and in control. This is more important than hitting any particular number of repetitions or jumping directly to the more challenging versions. If you are not feeling it in your glutes, try shifting positions and try some other variations. Remember, if you build it, strength will come!
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