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Common Bridge Form Fault

Hey, it’s Jennifer. Today I want to talk about glute bridges and why they might bother your back.

A lot of people tell me that they don’t like doing bridges, because their low back hurts when they do them. One reason that can happen is when you lift up, you might be trying to get as much height off the ground as you can, and you run out of hip-opening range of motion so end up arching the low back to try to get even higher. Doing that puts a lot of stress (in a not ideal position) on your low back.

Instead, try engaging your core, lifting up and stopping when your hips themselves don’t open up anymore. Try to keep the low back, neutral. Instead of arching up, your low back stays totally locked in, so it’s just the hips, closing and opening that makes up your bridge.

If you feel like, “oh my gosh, my hips are tight, I can’t get very high off the ground”  there’s a few things you can do before you do your bridge to feel less restricted.

  • You can hit the foam roller to your quads. You just need to get the muscle that runs straight up the middle of your quad because that’s the one that crosses your hip. Roll for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • I also really like tall kneeling quads. Squeeze your butt cheeks, engage your abs, lean back, and then come back up. Try five of those.
  • Rear foot elevated split squat. You don’t have to use a high step, just like a stair at home would be fine. Put your back foot up on that and make sure you stay up nice and tall. As you sink down, you’re gonna get this really nice stretch across the front of your hip. You don’t have to go to fatigue with this; just do enough to feel like you get some mobility back in that hip – maybe five to 10 on each leg.

After all that nice hip-opening work, try your bridges.

Also, the bridge itself is another great way to work hip opening because you’re fighting to get this open and not crunched up like it is all day when you’re sitting at a desk.

That’s my spiel on bridges and why sometimes they get a bad rap for hurting your back, when really, it’s just operator error. Try these few things if you feel tight in your hips, and you’re having a hard time getting off the ground with your bridges.

Hope you enjoyed. Let us know what you think!

Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.