Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Bridge

This is a simple exercise that will help to build functional strength in your gluteals and core.

Start with the level one bridge. Both feet are on the ground with knees bent. Toes up to minimize the activity of the hamstrings during this exercise. Contract your gluteals or buttock muscles and tighten lower abdominals simultaneously. Push through your heels and lift pelvis off of the ground slowly and under control. Lift until your pelvis in line with your thighs. Do not arch back. If you are arching you're probably going to high. Lower your pelvis back to the floor under control. Remember are to keep both sides of pelvis level as to not let either hip drop during the movement.

Once you are able to perform level one with minimal fatigue and with good form and control, move on to level two. This level is performed using a single leg. The same principles apply. Use buttock muscles or gluteal to lift pelvis off of the floor. It is important to remember while performing this movement to maintain a level pelvis. Weakness can be seen if the unsupported side of the pelvis drops during initiation of the movement or throughout the movement. Keep core tight and perform slowly to maximize gluteal activation.

This exercise along with clams and standing band exercises are a great functional warm-up before a run. We also recommend doing these exercises on off days/strength training days to increase functional strength and prevent many lower extremity injuries.

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