KT’s Exercise Spotlight: The Bridge - May 3rd, 2010

One of my “fav” exercises to introduce to clients is the Bridge.  The Bridge is a form of hip extension.   Muscles that extended the hip are: gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus.  The longer you know me the more you will understand my love of strengthening the “glutes.”  My reasons stretch beyond vanity.  The muscles around your hip play a HUGE role in injury prevention.  I can’t tell you how many clients I see that have knee, foot, and low back issues that are centered around weakness or muscle instability in the hip.

Benefits of this exercise include core stabilization and glute activation.  In order to execute this exercise, you need to understand and be able to perform a pelvic tilt and the overall “drawing in” process of the core.  You should have a reasonable level of flexibility that will all the motion required of your lumbo-pelvic-hip complex as well as the knees and ankles.


  1. Lying flat on the floor on your back with knees bent, feet flat and toes point straight ahead and arms by your sides.
  2. Activate your core by “drawing in” your belly button towards the spine and squeezing your glutes.


  1. While keep your core activate and glutes tight; lift your hips up and off the ground to form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.  (Imagine that a boat needs to pass under you, thus the name “bridge).
  2. Once you lift up, hold for a sec and then slowly return to the floor, but avoid completely resting on the ground.  If you rest of the ground too long, then you are relaxing the muscles and that goes against what we are trying to accomplish.
  3. Repeat movement.

Note:  If you feel any sort of cramping your hamstrings, try placing your weight in your heels or reassess the alignment of your hips/pelvis.

There are many ways to add difficult and challenge to a Bridge once you have mastered it.  I am continually reminding clients that adding weight is only ONE way to make something harder.  Another way to make this more difficult is by adding instability whether by using a Stability Ball or Bosu under either your back/shoulders or under your feet or by trying it with one leg.

If you have any questions or want more details on how to incorporate this into your exercise regime, contact me!

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