If you know me- you know I love the bridge to activate your glutes. I think that regardless of diagnosis, glutes are often inhibited due to our society migrating towards sitting predominance. Waking up your glutes puts the knees, low back, neck, and shoulders in a better position to work correctly.
Bridging is one of the most effective and efficient ways to wake up the glutes. But I find it is often performed incorrectly. And more than likely, you can cater the bridge to better suit your needs!
Some things to consider:

1. Bridging should be done from the hips. One of the most common mistakes I find is that folks bridge from their low back. In an effort to get their pelvis sky high they stop using their glutes, arch their low back and use their quads to lift. This can cause back pain and recurrent flare ups. When bridging you want to lift through your belt buckle, not your bellybutton.

2. Push through your heels. This reflexively makes you activate your glutes more. We often bias pushing through our toes which emphasizes the quads more. Most of us do not need more quad tone.

3. Bridge for you: analyze your gait- do you walk with your toes pointed out? Or do your knees fall and rotate towards the other knee? Are your feet stiff or do your arches collapse?

–If you walk with your toes out and have stiff feet you most likely have tight IT Bands and glutes. This means your inner thighs are relatively weak. For you bridging with adduction is going to be more beneficial. To do this lay on your back as if you were performing a bridge. Now bring your feet together. Firmly squeeze a towel between your knees, lift your hips (through the belt buckle!). This makes your hip flexors lengthen and puts your glutes in a more neutral position based off your daily activities and gait.

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Bridging with Adduction

— If your knees collapse and your arches fall, you may benefit from using a theraband to activate your hips more. When your lateral hips ( the ones on the side) work better, your  arches of your feet reflexively work better. Often, flat feet are a result of weak hips. Lay on your back, knees bent, feet hip width apart. Wrap a theraband around your knees. Push your knees (don’t move your feet!) into the band. Hold this pressure as you lift your hips (through the belt buckle!). This drives you to use your lateral hips more and corrects the knees falling inward.
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Bridging with Abduction

When performed correctly, the bridge is one of the easiest ways to keep your hips activated and help prevent a multitude of conditions!
**please note I do not claim any of these photos as my own and found these through a generic Google search**


Chandler Physical Therapy is a family owned and operated Physical Therapy clinic in Chandler, Arizona. We treat active adults who are looking to keep themselves pain free and active through exercise and healthy living.
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