I often recommend adding back bridges to your program in order to keep a healthy spine (assuming there are no previous back juries), had one of my Facebook Fans ask for a clear explanation on how to do them, so here is a Tutorial on How To do back Bridges With Progressions
This exercise requires lots of mobility & flexibility from your spine so make sure you ease up onto it & do only what’s comfortable at first
Slowly as you get more flexible & comfortable with the exercise move onto the full back bridge
So as you can see the full back bridge requires a lot of back mobility & flexibility & this is not developed in one day, so spend time with the progressions before hitting up a full back bridge
Back Bridge Progressions:
1 – Wall Back Bridges
- These will get you used to arching your back so you feel a lot more mobile & comfortable when on the floor
- Eventually you can progress until you go from a wall back bridge to a full back bridge to the floor
- I’ve seen little girls doing them & I am amazed at their flawless flexibility & mobility
- We become stiff because as we grow up, since we are constantly sitting down so much (school, work, driving, eating, etc) that we lose this fluidity in our movements so to improve this we must do mobility work such as foam rolling
- So start off with these so you get used to the movement & slowly get farther away from the wall & also start walking down the wall at your own phase
2 – Glute Bridges (AKA Hip Bridges)
- Lay down on the floor & lift your hips up while squeezing your glutes
- You should feel tension in your glutes, hamstrings & low back
- You can also add weight to your pelvis to make this harder (I usually add a 50 pounds sandbag & do 5 sets of 5 reps for 5 sec holds each)
3 – Neck Bridges
Just as side note: this is not a wrestler’s bridge, which is when you actually hold the bridge with your neck & no arm assistance (that is more advanced so progress later onto that one once full back bridges are comfortable to avoid strains or injuries)
- The neck bridge explained in the video is simple holding your arms in a flexed position at the height of your neck, so here you are nto fully extending yet, but most of the weight si supported on your flexed arms
- This is the start position before you actually press up into the full bridge which is what’s next
4 – Full back Bridge
If you got all of the other exercises down & you feel comfortable slowly press yourself up into a full back bridge
And that’s it!
- At this point you can progress into holds for time or doing back bridge push ups like I showed, but the first thing is getting comfortable with your pressing so do 1 rep at a time & take a break (don’t max out or go to failure, ease your way into things to avoid strains)
- A good goal to shoot for is to hold a 10 second bridge & also to do 5 back bridge push ups..That’s it!
- Ever since doing these my back feels so much better & mobile so I for sure recommend you add them into your program to keep a healthy back
Doing just 4 sets of 10 sec (or however many seconds you can hold it for) holds would be sufficient to start
4 Extra Tips:
- Wrist Flexibility: this might be something stopping you from getting the full back bridge, so before starting stretch out your wrists for about 2 sets of 10 seconds (or more if you need it)
- Push Ups to Strengthen Triceps: doing back bridge push ups requires pressing strength, so make sure you are doing push ups in order to strengthen your triceps…dion’t just do standard push ups but also add variations of them like spiderman push ups & closed grip push ups (will also help with your joints)
- Handstands to stabilize shoulders & upper back: if you are lacking pressing strength then there is no better exercise to strengthen & stabilize your shoulders, upper back & triceps like handstands…start off with holds for time & then move on to side to side walks & eventually handstand push ups (against a wall)…this won’t just get you strong but also help with wrist flexibility a lot!
- Touch your toes stretch after back bridging: it helps a lot to do an opposite stretch when back bridging, so touch your toes to balance out the back stretches
And that’s it, there is not much to it, you simply gotta attack the progressions first if you aren’t flexible enough in your back yet, but slowly as you get more mobile you will get a full back bridge!
If you still got questions about back bridges drop them below & I’ll be glad to answer them, other than that have fun back bridging!
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