Bridging on the Floor

Starting Position
  • This exercise ball exercise requires you to lie on the floor with your back and palms flat.
  • Bend your knees.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor
  • Contract your abdominal muscles and set your transversus abdominus through Abdominal Hollowing
  • Slowly lift your buttocks off the floor until your trunk is straight from your knees to your shoulders without losing the neutral position.
Prime Movers Physio Tips
  • Practice Abdominal Hollowing in supine.
  • Only lift so high that you form a straight line from your knees through your trunk. Do not lift so high as to put weight on your neck.
  • Bridging on Ball
  • If you are not yet confident about introducing an unstable surface you can a) put your feet on a pillow or piece of foam and try the above exercise, or b) prop your ball in a corner and try bridging on the ball
  • Another way of making this more challenging is by introducing some asymmetry. In the starting position, cross one ankle over the other knee and then lift up onto the one leg for a bridge on one leg.

We use this exercise frequently in the clinical setting for the rehabilitation of back injuries. The glutes work with the lumbar paraspinal muscles during functional activites to extend the hips and spine. It is when you lose coordination or strength in these groups of muscles that you are particularly vulnerable to injury.
This exercise can also be used as a starting point for other exercises. If you are finding the above exercise getting easy try the one below:

Leg Raise while Bridging

  • Lie on your back with knees bent, arms at your sides as above.
  • Lift your pelvis by pushing through your feet and engaging your abdominal muscles. Hold yourself up in that position, and then straighten your right knee. You are bridging on one foot, thighs and knees remain next to one another, but with the one leg straight.
  • Hold this for a few seconds, return your foot to the floor, and then lower yourself.
You can see there are many variations that employ bridging. I've mentioned just a few.

1ballsHold this position for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.

2ballsHold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

3ballsHold this position for 45 seconds and repeat 5 times.