The Bridge -
great exercise for an important but often neglected group of muscles.
It’s called the Bridge and it focuses on the muscles on the back side
of your body, specifically the muscles of the lower back, hip, and
These three muscle groups often work together when you’re getting up
from a chair, going up stairs, or picking something up off the ground.
I particularly like this exercise because it is quite gentle on the
back, knees, and hips but still manages to work those muscles quite
In the video below, I demonstrate the Bridge while lying on the ground.
If you do not want to lay on the ground you can instead lay on your bed
or even on the couch (though you may find the couch too cushy).
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Lay down flat and relax your head and shoulders. Lay your arms by your
sides with the palms flat against the floor. Bring one knee up and
place the foot so it is about 1 foot away from your hips, then do the
same for the other knee. Your feet should be about 6 inches apart from
each other. This is your starting position.
Now squeeze the muscles on your backside and push through the heels as
you raise your hips off the ground. Bring them up until there is a
straight line formed from your knees through your hips to your
shoulders. Then lower down slowly. Repeat 5-15 times.
As you’re going up, try to imagine that your spine is moving as one
stable, straight unit. The motion here is actually happening at the hip
joint, and your lower back muscles are just acting as stabilizers,
holding your spine in good alignment.
As always, you should not feel pain when doing this exercise.
If you’ve had problems with your knees, it is possible that they might
not like being bent quite so far as you get situated in the starting
position. In that case, place your feet a little further away from your
hips which will lessen the degree of knee bend.
If you feel that you can’t go all the way up until your body forms a
straight line, that is ok. Even just raising the hips an inch off the
ground will activate the muscles. Do what works for you.
You can do this exercise 2 or 3 times per week and slowly add more
repetitions over time.
Want to Get Moving With Mike?
Enjoy a full length workout with Mike that you can watch on your TV as
you follow along. The DVD is 30 minutes and includes:
warm-up to get your body ready
exercises to help reduce your
risk of falling
strength exercises to
keep you active and independent
exercises to help your
brain communicate better with your muscles
body exercises to keep you strong
exercises to keep you standing
exercises at the end to
keep your joints mobile and healthy