Build a bridge

Bridging is the exercise to master. When performed correctly, it will:

  • Increase segmental spinal mobility
  • Reduce lower back tension
  • Lengthen the front of your of your thighs and hips
  • Strengthen your glutes and hamstrings.

ONE: GOLDEN RULE- SET UP FOR SUCCESS

Start lying on your back in neutral spine: back of head, shoulders, hips and feet touch the mat. Feet parallel, hip distance apart, heels under knees. The further your feet from your seat, the more your hamstrings will tend to dominate. Arms down by your side, or at your hip bones for feedback to ensure they stay level. 

TWO: LETS PEEL UP AND DOWN

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  1. Peel up. Roll pelvis back, sending sitting bones towards the back of your knees, peeling spine up one vertebrae at a time until the weight rests just between the shoulder blades.  
  2. Articulate down one vertebrae at a time. Focus on softening through the breastbone and chest, to allowing the upper back to peel down first, then allow your mid back, lower back, and pelvis to follow.
  3. Repeat 6 – 8x or until your spine feels warm. 

Focus on each repetition as an opportunity to get more of the spine moving segmentally, gradually opening up and mobilising these rigid sections. Notice if there are certain parts of your spine that move as a block, rather than articulating independently.

KEY THREE: TOP TECHNIQUE TIPS

  1. Pelvis Position: At the top, check the top of your pelvis (pubic bone) is higher than hip bones (ASIS) to ensure your lower back is long and hips extended.  The more you can keep the top of your hips tipping back and tailbone reaching under, the more you will encourage your hips to open (and not your lower back to arch).
  2. Create Opposition: Create a sense of opposition as you roll down, keep the pelvis high and sit bones reaching towards heels as you initiate the movement down from the top of the spine. 
  3. Balance On Your Blades: Resist lifting too high. You do not want to allow the ribcage to flare, lower back arch or place unwanted pressure in the head, neck and shoulders. Only peel up until the base of your shoulder blades or as high as lower back remains uninvolved.