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When you sit all day at a desk, your body is constantly in flexion, which leads to injury.
The 5 bridge exercises below are the opposite of what you do all day and, when paired with a proper trigger point release program, can help you prevent and alleviate injury.
See the 5 Bridge Variations in the video below!
The Basic Glute Bridge:
Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the ground just close enough that you can graze your heels with your fingertips when you stretch your arms down by your side. Your feet should be about hip-width apart.
Bend your elbows to 90 degrees so that only your upper arm is on the ground.
Then drive up through your heels and upper back to lift your glutes up off the ground. Drive your hips up as high as possible, squeezing the glutes hard. Keep your belly button drawn in so you don’t hyper extend your back.
Do not push backward off your heels. Make sure you are driving straight up and that your knees aren’t caving in.
Squeeze your glutes for a second or two at the top and lower all the way back down to the ground before repeating.
You should feel this move in your glutes and hamstrings and not in your low back.
Do not rush through glute bridges. Take time to hold at the top and feel the glutes activate.
Kneeling Bridge or Camel:
Start by kneeling on both legs with your feet flexed. Sit back and place your hands on your heels.
Then arch up off your heels and press your chest out, keeping your hands on your heels. Relax your head back and arch as much as you can, getting a nice stretch down your chest, core, hips and quads.
Hold for 1-2 seconds and relax back down. Repeat.
If you are less flexible, do this stretch with a couch, chair or table behind you. Kneel down and place your hands back behind you on the couch or table.
Press your chest out and arch as much as possible away from the piece behind you while leaning your head back.
Then relax back down and repeat.
Table Top Bridge:
Start seated on the ground with your feet flat on the ground in front of you and your hands on the ground behind you.
Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips up as high as you can. Lean your head back and press your chest out as you bridge up.
Keep your core tight as you bridge up. Try to create a “table” with your body.
Drive your hips up as high as you can without hyperextending your low back.
Hold at the top then lower back down and repeat.
This move is a progression of the table top bridge. If you can’t get your body into a nice flat “table” at the top of the bridge, do not attempt the posterior plank.
To do the posterior plank, start seated on the ground with your legs out straight in front of you and your hands on the ground behind your butt. Your feet should be together and your fingertips should be pointing toward your butt or out to the side.
Drive through your hands and heels and raise your hips up off the ground toward the ceiling, keeping your legs straight. Press your chest up and out as you raise your hips. Keep your legs straight as you bridge up and relax your head back. Your body should be in a nice straight line at the top.
Keep your core engaged and squeeze your glutes.
Hold at the top then lower down and repeat.
Thoracic Bridge to Sit Thru:
Set up on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Flex your feet and lift up onto your hands and toes.
Then lift your right hand and bring your left leg through and place your left foot flat on the ground. Rotate your hips up toward the ceiling, squeezing your glutes to lift them up as high as you can.
While your lift your hips, reach your right hand down toward the ground, rotating your chest toward the floor.
Feel your glutes working to keep BOTH hips up, while you reach your hand down. We have a tendency when we rotate to drop that hip down. Make sure both stay up.
You should feel a nice rotation and stretch through your spine. You are twisting almost like someone wringing out a towel.
Then drop your hips and step your foot back through while placing your hand back down on the ground.
Rotate to the other side, bridging your hips up as high as you can.
Include these 5 bridge variations in your warm up or use them to loosen up after a long day of sitting at the computer.