We are into the third week of January! I hope your back muscles are feeling stronger and the muscles along the front or your body are feeling more flexible!
This week we are doing a basic Bridge. It stretches the front of your body, including the shoulders, torso and hips, while strengthening the back and hip muscles.
You will not need any equipment to perform this exercise. Important considerations prior to perform a basic Bridge include:
- All movements should be smooth and controlled.
- If you have any current low back symptoms or a history of low back injuries, fractures or spinal stenosis, this may not be the right exercise for you. As with beginning any exercise program, contact your physician, physical or occupational therapist to review what is most appropriate for you.
- Start by laying on your back. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor and directly under your knees. Knees should be no more than hip distance apart. Big toes should be turned in slightly. Arms should be resting comfortably by your sides.
Performing the Bridge:
- A) Inhale and gently lift your hips and back away from the floor.
- Now bring your hands together underneath you and interlace your fingers.
- Finally, lift the chest towards your chin.
Tip: if you cannot interlace the fingers because your shoulders are tight, use a strap or belt between the hands and use that to inch the hands together as close as they will go.
- For those who want to work on endurance, hold this position for 8 controlled breaths. If you want to focus on strength and control, you can repeat the movement for 10 repetitions, lifting on the inhale and lowering on the exhale.
To increase the intensity of the Bridge:
- Press the hands towards the heels and down towards the floor. This movement will help facilitate further opening of the collar bones and chest, as shown in the top photo marked yes. Keep the knees in line with the hips as you press the feet into the floor. You don’t want to look like the bottom photo marked no, where the knees knock together because the feet are so wide, and the chest is collapsing because the arms aren’t engaged.
Enjoy, and tell me how it goes by leaving a comment below!