Updated: Sep 6, 2021
Bridges! An amazing drill and skill to help with back strength and flexibility!
~What is this bridge you speak of?~
Bridge is the skill where you are on your hands and feet in an arched position. Bridge is a beautiful skill to put in a routine, or you can use it as a drill for your flexibility training. Bridges require a great amount of flexibility in the back, shoulders, and hip flexors. In addition to that, it requires an enormous amount of strength. But it is such a phenomenal pose/drill! And once you can get in/out of the bridge, there are many variations you can do with this drill.
~All bridges will look different~
Not all bridges will look the same! I think this is a very important concept to keep in mind when watching others do bridge, and also when looking at your own bridge. Bridge is a skill that really shows where the body has range of motion, and where it is most tight. Questions I get asked a lot are "Rochelle, why does my bridge not look like so-and-sos?" or "Rochelle, why aren't my shoulders stacked over the wrists?" and "Rochelle, why are my hips not lifting higher in the bridge?". These are all phenom questions...think of it like this though, if person A has tight shoulders and person B has open shoulders, the bridges will look very different. Person A probably won't be able to stack their shoulders over their wrists (due to lack of shoulder mobility), whereas person B might be able to get their shoulders pushing past their wrists (good shoulder mobility). That being said, both of these people can do a bridge, they just are going to look different.
Once you feel comfortable with bridges, there are many variations you can do with it. The list goes on and on and on. My personal favorite though is forearm bridges. Those help me push through my shoulders so much. I also love bridge with leg developpe into the air. That helps me get into my low back a lot and practice my active flexibility for my splits. Bridge against the wall is also a personal fav of mine. I can really get into my shoulders doing this drill. There are so many different drills you can do, and in my Vimeo video I just released, I go through many bridge drills you can try! Once the drills start feeling good, it makes practicing bridge skills in routines so much more comfortable!
~Listen to your body~
I think something very important to remember with bridges is to listen to your body...because this skill is so intense, it can fatigue the body easily. Once the muscles get fatigued, it puts your joints into a little more vulnerable position. And in bridge, we want our muscles working as much as possible. With that being said, I always tell myself, if things are starting to hurt, stop! There is a difference between the feeling of stretching and the feeling of pain. It takes body awareness and time to be able to decipher the difference. But once feelings of pain begin, I think it is important to stop. Listen to your body! If it is trying to tell you something, listen:)
~"But Rochelle, I need to see you do the bridge drills, plz"~
And you can, no worries! You can head over to my Vimeo page, where I show you, not only what a bridge is, but lots of drills you can do in bridge! Subscribe to the page and you will see the videos! https://vimeo.com/ondemand/functionalflexibility
I hope all of that information about bridges was useful to you! Let me know if you have any questions! And check out my Vimeo page and subscribe to get access to all of my flexibility videos!