back    home

Various bridges.

Description:Arching your back in a supine position

Motions trained:Torso extension, also with a twist.

Main muscles used:Lower back, abs and hip
   Other muscles:


How to do it: Lay on your back. There are two of these. The first is to bridge by rolling onto your shoulders and arching your back. Think of bucking a person sitting on you off. Come back to the starting positon. The second is much the same, just reach, say your left hand to touch the ground by your right ear. Repeat on the other side.

How to work up to it: Reverse situp and reverse leg lifts are good.

Ramping it up: Pin a weight to your hips and do the motions once you have the basics down. You can also lift one leg as your bridge.

Do's and don'ts: Don't do a wrestler-type bridge: This has you coming up on your head. It makes sense in a way to do them, since if you can bridge that high with someone on you, they will go flying for sure, but neck muscles and vertibrae are not designed for this sort of wear and tear. While you can do it with only seemingly minor discomfort, the long term consequences are not hopeful. Only roll up onto your shoulders at most.

Comments: These combine really well with situps (ok, they train your posterior chain if you want to get technical). Do a mess of situps and a bunch of bridges. Do the bridges in sets of three; one side, straight then the other side.

Some people do side bridges: lie on your side, plant an elbow on the floor and lift yourself off it for a count of 20 - 60 seconds. This are not a bad exercise, they just don't fit into the sorts of movement we do and in any case those stabilizers get worked in other ways.

You can also do front bridges: on your stomach, plant both your elbows on the floor, lift your hips with body straight and hold. Again, we do these in other contexts so these are a bit of a waste of practice time. Still, if someone cannot hold these, they make a good way to build those core muscles.