Create mobility AND strength in your back with this great exercise!
Our clients not only tend to like the results of rolling bridges but they also tend to like the released feeling they feel in their backs as they do them! The biggest difference between a rolling bridge and a straight back bridge, which is the most common bridge, is that a rolling bridge helps build spinal mobility as well as strength, whereas a straight back bridge builds only strength. Both versions have advantages and having both in your exercise repertoire is extremely beneficial.*
Here are a couple of important tips for your rolling bridges:
- Keep your hips level (parallel to the floor) as you go up and down.
- Hips lead up but resist coming down until the very end.
- Really try to feel each vertebra individually leaving the floor on the way up and then individually touching the floor on the way down.
- Use your low abs to start your pelvic tilt by pulling them in toward your spine. This allows the front of your hips to relax and open up.
- Keep length through your spine, tail bone, front of your hips, and quads as you roll up and down.
- Push from the back of your body (hamstrings, low glutes and back muscles); do not lift with the front of your body.
- The only part of the front of your body that should be working is your low abs. Everything else should feel long and released.
- Keep your chest open and shoulders relaxed, especially as you begin the roll down.
- For a good visual, think about a pearl necklace laying long on a dresser top. Imagine one end being taped down. Then imagine taking the other end and picking it up off the table one pearl at a time while you gently pull it away from the taped end. Thereby creating length as you move the necklace off the dresser one pearl at a time.
Rolling bridges can be added to almost any bridge exercise series. Try it for yourself; watch the video now!
*Note: if you have had a rod placed in your back or a large spinal fusion, rolling bridges won’t be an option for you but straight back bridges can still be wonderful!
Looking for more spinal mobilization or strengthening exercises? Schedule your free 90 minute consultation.
This blog was contributed by our Pilates guru, Kaethe Birkner. Kaethe is a certified Pilates instructor through Balanced Body and dances ballet professionally at Continental Ballet Company. She has been teaching Pilates since 2012 and has been taking Pilates since 2004.