How to Perform Bridging Exercise?

The bridge exercise is a backbend, a core strengthener, and a balance pose all in one. Bridging exercise, a closed chain weight-bearing exercise, is an exercise that increases muscular strength of the hip extensors and promotes trunk stability.
The bridge exercise is a great way to isolate and strengthen the gluteus (butt) muscles and hamstrings (back of the thigh). 


If you do this exercise correctly, you also will find that it is good core stability and strength exercise that targets the abdominal muscles as well as the muscles of the lower back and hip. It's also known as the hip raise.

It is often prescribed for patients with back pain and increases the activities of trunk stabilization muscles such as the internal oblique, external oblique, and erector spinal muscles.
The bridge exercise is considered a basic rehab exercise to improve core and spinal stabilization. It's considered to be a safe exercise for those with back issues.
If you sit all day, as many people do with a sedentary job, waking up your posterior chain can help with posture. It's a good warm-up exercise as well.

Technique

The patient lies down with the back, knees in full flexion and feet flat on the floor and close to the buttock. Then the patient lifts hip off the floor towards the ceiling/sky as high as possible.

Muscles Worked During Bridging

The target muscle is the erector spinae, which runs the length of your back from neck to tailbone. But this exercise also stretches and works the stabilizers of the posterior chain, including the hip abductors, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings. The antagonist stabilizers for the bridge are the rectus abdominis and the obliques. Even the quadriceps will be involved to maintain stability.

Equipment needed for Bridging

You will want to do this exercise on a mat rather than a hard surface. There is no equipment required for the bridge, although as you progress you can add an exercise band, dumbbell, or exercise ball to increase the difficulty.

How to Perform the Bridge Exercise?

1) Lie on your back with your hands by your sides, your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Make sure your feet are under your knees.
2) Tighten your abdominal and Gluteal muscles. Raise your hips up to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders.
3) Squeeze your core and try to pull your belly button back toward your spine.
If your hips sag or drop, lower yourself back on the floor.
The goal is to maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your knees and hold for 20 to 30 seconds. You may need to begin by holding the bridge position for a few seconds as you build your strength. It's better to hold the correct position for a shorter time than to go longer in the incorrect position.
4) Perform Accordingly to your progression.

PHYSIO-TIPS for Bridging Exercise

  • Avoid raising your hips too high as that could hyperextend your lower back.
  • If you have knee discomfort or difficulty bending your knee at 90 degrees, put your leg far from the hip.
  • starting may be difficult to perform, but keep going. however few inches of hip raising can engage all the muscles.

Progression and Variations For Strengthening 

  • One-leg bridge exercise.
  • Resistance Bridging ( simply with weight or dumbell)
  • Elevated bridge
  • Banded bridge using an exercise band held in each hand and crossing over your hips to provide resistance.


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