If you want to know some different bridge exercises to try then we’ve got five bridge exercise variations below. Bridge exercises are a great way to target the glutes (the ones that are at the back of the hip) and lower back.
Watch the video or read more below:
Here are the Bridge Exercises you should try:
Exercise 1: Basic Bridge
Basic Bridge can actually be fitted into two different subcategories:
Exercise 1a: Articulated Bridge
Start by laying on your back on your mat, with your knees bent and feet flat. Imagine you’ve got a strip of velcro attached to your spine, which fixes you to the mat. Tuck your tailbone underneath and slowly peel your back away from the mat, lifting your hips up first and stopping when you’re resting on your shoulder blades/upper back. Roll yourself back down in reverse (we find this the harder part of the exercise). Throughout the whole movement, check your knees are staying very still (also a challenge!).
Repeat 5-10 times.
Exercise 1b: Hip Raise
Start in your rest position (back flat on the mat, knees bent and feet down flat). Focus on your glutes (back of your hips/pelvis) and squeeze them, raising your hips up towards the ceiling (stop when you’re resting on your shoulder blades/upper back). Lower yourself back down. Focus on which muscles are working for this, it should be mainly glutes and also the hamstrings (back of the thigh).
Repeat 5-10 times.
Exercise 2: Bridge with Hip Rotations
Start in your rest position, back is flat on the mat, knees are bent, feet are flat and raise yourself up into your bridge position. Breathe out as you float your left knee out to the side (so the knee points to the left) and then breathing in, bring that knee back to the start position.
Repeat 6-8 times before moving on to the right knee.
Whilst you’re moving your knee you’re checking that your hips are staying level and not dipping down. You’re also checking the opposite knee (that isn’t moving) stays really still.
Exercise 3: Bridge with Theraband Around the Knees
Start in your rest position (back on the floor, knees bent and feet flat). Tie a band around your legs, just above your knees. We’ve used a blue band, which is one of the stronger ones.
Make sure your legs are hip-width apart (depending on how tight you’ve tied the band, the band may be pulling your knees together so fight against this). Raise your hips up and down (check above as you can either do the articulated bridge to target spinal flexibility or hip raises to target the glutes/hamstrings). Keep your knees still throughout the whole of the exercise.
Repeat 6-8 times.
Exercise 4: Bridge with Theraband Around the Hips
Start in your rest position (back on the floor, knees bent and feet flat) with the band around the front of your hips. We’ve used a blue band, which is one of the stronger ones.
Hold on tight to the band with your hands and raise your hips up and down (remember this can either be the articulated bridge or hip raises – see optiosn above).
Repeat 6-8 times.
Exercise 5: Bridge with Leg Raises
This one is a challenging one. If you’re a beginner or new to the bridge exercises, we’d suggest to try it and see how you feel (it’ll give you an understanding of what’s expected). If too challenging, work on the options above as these will get you stronger and then try this one again after 4-6 weeks.
Start in your rest position, lay down on the mat, knees are bent, feet are flat. Lift your hips up into your bridge position.
Keep your hips raised and straighten your left leg. Bend your left knee, put your foot down flat and then you can lower yourself all the way back down again. Repeat 6-8 times before trying on the opposite side.
Watchpoints – hips and pelvis. The hips and pelvis may dip down to the left side as you’re lifting your left leg. Keep your pelvis as steady and level as possible while doing this exercise.
Things to consider:
- Always pay attention to the quality of movement
- Try a different bridge exercise a day. Perhaps you can try a different bridge exercise every week, you can do the same bridge exercise that week and then you can change it in the following week.
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Trying out different exercises is key to improving and maintaining the body’s flexibility, which in turn can help with recruiting muscles efficiently.
If you’ve got any questions on the above, then please let us know (click for contact details).
Remember – Listen to Your Body!
Please remember to listen to your body. Get any aches and pains checked out sooner rather than later.
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