We’re continuing on the bodyweight theme today, this time looking at a drill that can’t recommend highly enough, regardless of fitness level or training goals.
Today I want to present the Bridge and a few of its variations. Why do I hold the bridge in such high regard?
Simple answer, take a look at your posture right now as you read this blog. In fact set a beeper to off every couple of hours and each time it goes off, take a look at your posture.
I’ll take a stab at what it’ll look like:
Well? How did I do? 5 out of 5? 4 out of 5? The good news is that the bridge can and will undo many of the problems associated with what I call “Office Posture” what Physiotherapist friends of mine call the Turtle.
Part of the problem is, as you sit for hours the glutes go to sleep, the hip flexors shorten and the low back is constantly rounded becoming hyper mobile as the upper back seizes up.
There is no one quick fix, but the Bridge exercise goes a long way to redressing several of these issues.
It is simple to perform, lie on the back and push through the heels to initiate the hip lift. This pressure through the heels sends signals to activate the muscles in the Glutes and hamstrings (try it, you’ll notice that pushing through the ball of the foot activates the knees while the heel is the back of the leg). Once you’re raised up, you’ll feel the hip flexors and thighs are receiving a gently stretch. The back is arching, the chest is elevated and we end up in the exact opposite position to how we spend the majority of our time. For athletes who very often find themselves Quad dominant and prone to knee issues, the bridge will go some way to redressing this balance.
As a “corrective” drill the bridge is excellent, as a warm up drill it is essential and as a training drill it will leave you with buns of steel!
Here’s the Bridge in action: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORqOCNm6R3E]
In training I usually work sets of 20 reps, each help for around 3 seconds.
You can emphasise the Glutes even more by elevating the upper body, this is a long forgotten drill that we can thank Bret Contreras for digging up and re popularising. You’ll see how east it is to add load to the exercise in this video: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtjVvtDdxU8] As always, take your time and utilise common sense in all things.