Bridge is a great movement for the posterior chain muscle group and excellent stretch for the anterior chain muscle group. It engages the muscles, such as hamstrings, adductors, glutes and small muscles in the lower back. Once lifted it also stretches primarily your hip flexors and the front of the spine.
The benefits are great: strengthens your core, tones your butt, helps with lower back pain, helps to improve your squats and hinge movements, and believe it or not it will help to decrease your knee pain! Not having enough control of the femur might result in femur sliding forward which causes internal rotation or collapsing to the midline of the body. This movement is fundamental for everyone of us no matter what your fitness level. There are several variations of bridge, such as lifting one leg up and doing movements with only one leg as a foundation on top your shoulders (immediately more engagement in the muscles listed above), incorporating a stability ball underneath your feet, bringing an additional weight on top of your hips or even just marching in place as hips are up.
Lie on your back, knees bent 90 degrees, and feet flat on the floor. Feet are hip-width and you bring heels as close to your hips as possible. Place hands by your sides, palms facing down. To protect your lower back, contract your glutes, inner thighs and your abdominals. As you continue contracting lift your hips off the floor so that your body is in one line from shoulders to knees. Hold for a moment and lower back on the mat one vertabrae at the time. There's no rush, take time to pause at the top and feel your back side of the body engaged, and then slowly lower down. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets. Remember to stretch and elongate the back side of the body afterwards.
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