Exercise #1658

Shoulder Bridge

2 min - Exercise


Muscle Focus: Hamstrings, glutes.

Objective: Strengthen the hamstrings and glutes while increasing the flexibility of the front of the leg.

Start Position: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip distance apart. Peel your tailbone and spine off the Mat to create a straight line from your shoulders to knees.

Movement: Extend your right leg to the ceiling with foot pointed. Lower the right leg down towards the ground, flex the foot and bring the leg back to the ceiling. Repeat and place the right foot down onto the mat. Repeat with the left leg, then roll the spine and tailbone back down to the Mat.

Precautions: Avoid arching through the ribcage. Maintain a stable and still spine and pelvis as the leg moves in the bridge.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

The Shoulder Bridge. This is an exercise that develops the strength of the back of the legs, while also challenging the flexibility through the front of the legs. It also encourages that we know how to hold our pelvis still in space, while we have a free leg moving back and forth. So the gravity will change, and we have to hold our bodies still in response to that. The set-up for this exercise would be lying flat on your back with your arms down at your sides, and your knees bent and hip distance apart.

So to get into the movement, Kristi will roll through her spine into a pelvic curl and create this long line from her shoulders to her knees. Notice that Kristi's not overarching through the ribcage and making a giant back bend. But instead, staying-- keeping the ribs just a little bit lower than the pelvis so we have that nice straight line. We're going to look to maintain that straight line throughout the entire exercise. Kristi will then lift one leg off the mat and reach towards the ceiling.

Keeping the foot pointed, she'll reach down towards the mat on the exhale, and she'll flex or reach through the heel as the leg comes back up. Point and reach down, exhale. Flex and come back, inhale. Why don't you bend that knee and place it back down on the mat, and we'll do a few on the other side. So point and reach down.

You want to use the back of the free swinging leg to stabilize and keep the pelvis lifted in space. So what Kristi will show you now is what it looks like if the pelvis is not stable. So one side will drop, or the spine will change. So what we're really looking for is for that spine to stay very, very still as the leg moves through space. She'll then bend her knee and bring the leg back to the mat.

And from there, rounding through the spine. Using the stomach muscles to move the spine into the mat and dropping all the way down to her tailbone. The Shoulder Bridge.


Great breakdown. I love the cue to not over arc the back but a straight line. Ty, this is very helpful!
Glad to hear it, Wendy.
1 person likes this.
Can I reverse the foot movement? Flex as the leg come down, and point as it comes
Of course you can Christina! The flexed foot on the way up is intended to facilitate the hamstring stretch.

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