Bridge Exercise Tutorial
How to do the Bridge Exercise
Bridge pose can be adapted to different levels of fitness using props like weights or resistance bands.
Also Known As
- Glute Bridge Exercise
- Bridge core strength exercise
- Bridge Stretch
- Bridge Pose
Beginner to advanced, depending on modifications.
The bridge exercise encourages motion in the pelvis and lower back (lumbar and lower thoracic vertebrae) to prevent pain and stiffness. Bridge pose also isolates and works the glutes and abdominal muscles to build strength in the legs, bum and core.
Step by Step Instructions
Basic Bridge Pose
- Lay on your back with your core engaged (belly button to spine).
- Keep arms at your sides, knees bent and feet flat on the floor under the knees.
- Slowly lift your bum off the floor as high as you can comfortably go.
- Press your feet into the floor and tighten your bum and core muscles.
- Hold the bridge pose for 3-5 seconds.
- Slowly lower yourself back down to the floor.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
Bridge with Weights
Instead of arms at your sides, you’ll use your arms to hold on to the weight. You can use any type of light weight for this exercise, working your way up to heavier weights as you get stronger.
- Place a weight on your hips to add resistance and follow the steps for basic bridge pose.
Bridge with Resistance Bands
- Place a resistance band over your hips and hold it against the floor on both sides with your hands.
- Follow the steps for basic bridge pose while holding the band to the floor. This adds more of a challenge when you’re in the highest point of your bridge.
Bridge with One Leg Extended
- Start in basic bridge pose, ensuring that your core’s engaged and your shoulders are on the floor.
- Once you are comfortably in bridge position, straighten your right leg so your left leg is supporting your body.
- Go back to start and begin another bridge, this time straightening your left leg
If you’re more comfortable doing sitting/standing core exercises, you’ll like the camel bridge. You can also use a chair or couch behind you for extra support.
- Kneel on both legs with your feet in a flexed position.
- Gently sit back and put your hands on your heels or on the chair/couch behind you.
- Arch up off your heels and press your chest out, while holding on to your heels or the chair.
- Relax your head and neck, arching your back as far as is comfortable. Feel the great stretch from your chest to your quads.
- Hold for 1-2 seconds and then relax. Repeat for 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
Tips / Common Mistakes
- Keep knees bent at 90-degrees, directly over your toes
- Maintain a straight line from hips to shoulders— overextending your hips can cause your lower back to bow
- Point your knees and toes in the same direction
- If your hips and back start to sag, lower back down for a quick rest
And that’s how you do the Bridge Exercise.