Exercise – The Bridge

It is a great exercise to train the glutes (buttocks) while giving support to your lower back and core muscles. Before you lie down and attempt this exercise, make sure to check with your doctor if you are fit to do any kind of exercise. It is not intended as any kind of substitute for professional healthcare and should you feel any kind of sharp pain especially in a joint stop immediately.

Start out by laying down in the supine position (belly up) on a flat surface, preferably an exercise mat or a thick carpet. Align your feet parallel to each other close to your buttocks. Your hands rest comfortably next to your hips and your neck is relaxed. (see picture 1)

layingNow tighten your abdominal muscles and slowly (very controlled) elevate your hips off the floor. Imagine driving your heels through the floor while pushing off with your upper body. The goal here is to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Keep the weight off your neck but on your shoulders and avoid arching your lower back. Maintain normal breathing (don’t hold your breath) Try to hold this position anywhere from a few seconds up to 30 seconds (see picture 2); then lower the bridge safely down. Relax – when you are able to, repeat this exercise.

layingupThe gluteal muscles are very useful in the normal motions of the human body, such as getting up from a chair, hiking up hills, climbing stairs, bending over, squatting, etc. These muscles are also used for any kind of sport activity involving your upper body.