Basic bridge exercise helps to increase strength in your glutes and hamstrings. It also enhances your core stability. Therefore, it is convenient to include it in a strength training workout. Also, you can do this exercise as a warm-up. It is also a good rehabilitation exercise to improve stability in the spine and improve core exercises.
The bridge is an excellent choice to increase your strength, which works through your butt and core. Bridge exercise also supports the spinal column that extends down to your tailbone. In addition, it will stretch your posterior chain stabilizers. These include the gluteus maximus, hip abductors, and hamstrings. The rectus abdominis, quadriceps, and oblique muscles also have better stability through this exercise.
Your strength and power will improve as the muscles of your body get stronger. A core will also enhance your posture and aid in easing lower back pain. Also, bridge exercise is safe for individuals having chronic back problems. This is also true for people who want to manage their overall body pain.
How to do the bridge exercise
- Find out an open space on the ground and lie on your back. Use a mat if you must. Rest your hands by your sides. Also, bend both knees, placing your feet flat on the floor.
- Constrict your abs and hip muscles as you push your lower back off the floor
- Elevate your hips for creating a straight line running from your knees to your shoulders
- Squeeze your core and pull your belly into your spine
- Hold your body, pausing your breath for about 30 seconds
- Lower your hips to return to the resting position.
Best Form for the bridge exercise
The right way to do bridge exercise is to turn out your toes a little. If you keep them forward, it will change the overall alignment of the exercise. Resultantly, you will get more pressure on your hamstring. Also, keep both your feet hip-width apart. If you keep them too far apart, you might get a muscle injury.
Squeeze your glutes as you lift them from the ground. As your body gets powerful enough, increase the time you perform this exercise. Don’t extend your back entirely. Instead, focus on raising your hips as you do bridge exercise. It will make sure that you don’t strain or arch your back. Resultantly, you can protect yourself from a possible back injury.
Including the correct muscle group is essential to get the right benefits from any exercise. Hips, hamstrings, and the core are major muscle groups worked with the bridge exercise. However, your entire weight transfers to your heels, and your quads come off the ground a little. So don’t fix your attention towards speed. Instead, be sure to place your feet firmly on the floor and go slowly.
In this exercise, your glutes will be the biggest target out of all the muscles involved in your body. So when you perform the bridge exercise correctly, you can work on this muscle group.
Variations of the bridge exercise
Bridge exercise comes with a lot of variations. Some of these variations are:
a) Elevated Feet Form
- You can go for an elevated bridge if you want to support your feet in the exercise.
- Use an inflatable exercise ball to do this variation.
- Start with the initial position of the bridge.
- Place the heels of your foot on the ball.
- Raise your pelvis just like you would do with the basic bridge exercise
- Keep your core fully engaged as you perform the bridge exercise.
b) Straightened Leg Form
You can also try the straight leg bridge. It may come as a challenge for some when they have to perform it with straight legs. You can also perform this variation with the help of an exercise ball. The ball can support your legs and make the exercise a little easier to do.
c) Single-Leg Bridge Exercise
You can also go for a single-leg bridge, considering you want to improve your primary core strength. You are free to use an exercise ball for that. This variation targets your trunk muscles.
Here is how to do it:
- Start with your initial basic pose for a bridge exercise
- Raise your right leg while you also lift your pelvic core
- Hold and lower your hips towards the ground as you raise your legs
- Do the same steps with your left leg.
What Not to Do?
There are some mistakes people make as they do bridge exercises. These are:
Some people may raise their hips too high. This can cause hyperextension of the lower back. As a result, they may put themselves at the risk of getting a strain. As you keep your abdominal muscles engaged, make sure you don’t form a back arch too much.
Don’t let your hips drop as you undergo the bridge exercise. At the start, you might need to hold the position for only a few seconds until you get better at the bridge exercise.
Muscles the bridge exercise helps
A bridge exercise will help strengthen and isolate the gluteus muscles. These include gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, and gluteus minimus. Also, this exercise targets the hamstrings that come as the primary muscles, making the posterior chain. You can target these muscles as you lie down on your back. Bend your knees, make your feet flat, and put them at a comfortable distance from the hips.
Last words on the bridge exercise:
A bridge exercise is simple to follow, and it is pretty beneficial. This is suitable for those who want to tone and strengthen their butt, legs, especially the hips and thighs. However, you will need to make sure you follow the correct form to get the best results.