The bridge isn’t all that common in the gym environment, which makes me think that this is one of the most underutilised exercises in the gym. There are a plethora of benefits to be had…
- The Bridge is a low risk, low impact and less strenuous way of really isolating those all too often forgotten muscles, the glutes (your butt), hamstrings and your transverse abdominals (core). One of the most common ways people try to build these muscles is through heavy loaded squats and lunges, however these compound movements can place strain on the rest of your body, not good if you’re rehabbing from injury for example. You can fire up your glutes and hammies without the need for undue strain on other supporting muscle groups and connective tissue, it’s a win win.
- The Bridge is progressive. Unlike many bodyweight and ground based exercises, the Bridge can be made more difficult quite simply by adding a bench. Simply lay on a bench so that your shoulders and scapulae are the only parts of your body in contact with the bench. Now assume a regular Bridge position, only this time with your shoulders and scapulae on the bench rather than the floor, and start Bridging. You’ll notice the range of motion is larger and the ‘time under tension’ (TUT) is significantly increased, this should really help you target those glutes and hamstrings!
- If you find yourself hitting a bit of a plateau in the gluteals, try adding a barbell or some weight plates to your lap. Start by assuming a regular Bridge position on the floor and place the weight over your hip region, now proceed to perform the Bridge. Harder? You know it! Now we have a stimulus for further supercompensation and growth!