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exercise of the month

Shoulder Bridge taught by Emma Newham

March 2018

Aim

To maintain a strong bridge position with neutral pelvis and also maintain an equal height in the pelvis.  The hip bones should be level with each other.

Starting Position

Lie supine on the floor in the relaxation position with knees bent and hip width apart.  Inhale to prepare.  Exhale to engage the core abdominals and tilt the pelvis into a posterior tilt and gently peel the spine off the floor, one vertebrae at a time until a neutral bridge position is achieved (i.e. knee, hip and shoulder form a diagonal straight line with the lumbar spine in neutral).

Action

Inhale - To prepare

Exhale - To engage the core abdominals and lift the right foot off the floor until the knee is bent at 90 degrees above the hip ensuring that the hips and pelvis remain level

Inhale - To hold

Exhale - To return the foot back down to the floor gently.  Repeat with the opposite leg.

Target Muscles

Gluteals, Hamstrings, Core Abdominals

Watchpoints

  • Use the glutes to preven the pelvis from twisting, hiking, dipping or sagging
  • Do not lift too high.  The lumbar spine should not go into hyper-extension
  • Ensure that both hip bones stay level to avoid the tendency to drop one hip below the level of the other hip bone as that foot lifts off the floor
  • Maintain length on both sides of the waist to avoid shortening on one side
  • Ensure the back of the neck stays long and shoulders stay away from the ears

Contra Indictions

Avoid “bridging” (i.e. arching the back by lifting the spine too high), as this will place stress on the lower back.  In some cases, even a neutral position of the lumbar spine can cause discomfort.  In these cases, the exercise may be performed with a posterior pelvic tilt rather than in a neutral position.

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