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May’s Monthly Exercise: The Bridge

Yvonne Tally
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The Bridge is a simple movement and ideal for stretching the spine, bringing blood flow to the entire back from top to bottom, and strengthening hamstrings and firming bottoms.

If you have back issues and have been advised to remain in neutral spine, do not roll through each vertebrae and remain in neutral throughout the movement pattern. Doing the exercise in neutral will make it more of a glut and hamstring and core strengthening exercise without the spinal stretch.

And as with all physical activity, please consult your personal physician with any concerns or questions before beginning any new exercise routine.

To Begin:

  1. Laying supine on a mat or padded service, bend your knees hip distance apart
  2. Place your feet directly under your knees at a 90-degree bend.
  3. Arms on mat at your torso.
  4. Head flat on the floor
  5. If you have difficulty keeping your knees stable during the bridge, place a small ball or rolled up towel between the knees. This will help you keep proper alignment and engage your adductor muscles.
  6. Maintain Neutral Spine when lifting into your bridge.
  7. Inhale, press your feet into the mat and while maintaining neutral spine, lift your torso and hips until you are in a inverted plank position. Hips will be higher than waist and upper back will still remain on the mat. Pressure should be over your shoulders, not your neck.
  8. Exhale at the top and hold for a count of 5
  9. Inhale to prep the next movement.
  10. Exhale, return to mat as you flex your spine one vertebrae at a time (as much as possible). Upper back, mid back, low back, and roll your hips down into neutral. Neutral spine will allow your low back to be light on the mat, and your hips and top of your pubic bone on the same plane.

Be mindful to keep the tension out of your shoulders and neck. This is a great spinal release after sitting, traveling, or standing on your feet for extending periods of time.


Yvonne Tally

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