Drop back into bridge, yas! Drop backs into bridge are not only a great strengthening/stretching exercise, but also, a super impressive, gorgeous skill. Here are five exercises that I think will help you achieve your drop back into bridge!
~Tad bit scary~
Okay, so drop backs are scary! You are arching backwards, staring straight at the floor, and trying to stay balanced. It can be terrifying! And as a coach, sometimes when I watch people attempt a drop back, I am terrified for them: their arms are nowhere to be found, there is no strength in the back, they are super relying on counterbalance, and much more. Luckily, if you have proper form and strength, the drop backs should come, no problem!
~Do I need a partner to practice drop backs?~
Not going to lie, drop backs are a little easier to practice with a partner. Having someone to assist and hold your low back and hips is helpful. Also, there is that comfort in knowing that if you don't feel strong enough to hold yourself up, your partner can help assist in getting your hands to the floor safely, and not crashing down. However, you can still do drills for drop backs without a partner. My five exercises I have listed below are all done without a partner.
~"To the windowwwww, to the wall"~
Thank you Lil Jon for that intro. Anywho, I often see people practicing their drop backs by walking their arms down a wall to get into the bridge. While this is great way to feel what arching back is like, this will not transfer to what an actual drop back (off the wall) is like. The reason for this is when we walk ourselves down a wall to get into bridge, the arms are in front of our body (I call this zombie arms). When doing a drop back in center, our arms should never be in front of us...they should be behind us. Our ours behind us ensure we do not land on our face when dropping back...when the arms are in front of the body in a drop back, the first thing that will hit the floor is you gorgeous face, oh no!!! Moral of the story, the wall is a great tool for practicing drop backs, just be aware that it is not exactly how a drop back will be in center.
~5 essential exercises to help with your drop backs~
Just like I have said before, there are so many exercises/drills that will help with drop backs. These are 5 exercises that I have found to be extremely helpful to all of my students. You will need two blocks and a wall for these drills. For these drills, make sure the back, shoulders, and hip flexors are very warm. If you need any stretches to help you warm up, I have so many videos to help with that on my Vimeo page: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/functionalflexibility
Pulling the arms back: can be sitting or standing for these. Arms straight up by ears, practicing pulling the arms as far back as you can. So important for your shoulder strength for drop backs!
Bridge with block jumps: doing a bridge with hands on the outside of your blocks. Then trying to jump your hands onto the blocks and then back onto the floor.
Bridge rocks: I feel like doing rocks in bridge is super common. However, this version, you practice bringing weight into your finger tips when you are rocking towards your feet. Goal is getting more and more weight into the feet and less in the hands.
Bridge with arm reach: in bridge, going up onto fingertips. From here, try to reach one arm towards the same side heal. Keep arm straight and engage the glutes.
Dropback from knees: practice drop back from knees, with wall behind you. Because you will be on the knees, it is a lot less sketchy than standing. Can also really emphasize the pulling of the arms back motion.
~"But Rochelle, I need to see you do these drills"~
And you can! Head over to my Vimeo page (https://vimeo.com/ondemand/functionalflexibility )
and subscribe! I have a video of me showing and explaining all 5 of these drills!
I hope these 5 drills help you with achieving your drop back! Let me know if you have any questions! Remember to check out my subscription page on Vimeo for more flexibility videos!