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  • Lee Hopkins

The Hip Bridge


This week’s tip for improved posture and wellbeing is the Hip Bridge.


I love bridge, as a movement and as a posture for its many benefits.

Firstly, its beautiful for the spine. Trust me on this one.


It’s one way we can really play with segmental control (movements of the individual vertebra) as well as strengthen and co-ordinate the muscles that support the spine.


We can roll the spine. vertebra by vertebra, both peeling up and releasing down.

It’s so good for improving spinal flexibility and coordination.

A more flexible spine improves how our body works internally as well as the benefits of being able to physically move better.


When the spine is flexible the organs coordinate and move better together, sliding around each other as we move and as we breathe.


Improved spinal function helps the flow of sacral spinal fluid both up and down the spine, nourishing the brain enhancing cognitive and neural function (the mind body connection).


Therefore, Bridge is one of my top 3 exercise to practice daily if possible.


Technique

- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat to floor.

- Feet approx. hip distance.

- Relax your head and shoulders down.

- Take a breath in and pull the naval gently down as if hollowing.

- As you exhale peel the spine slowly off the floor, vertebra by vertebra until you are at a comfortable height.

- Breath in at the top of the bridge.

- Exhale and imagine lowing the spine like a well-oiled bicycle chain, link by link down until the pelvis finds the floor.

- Inhale as the pelvis becomes weighted and you gently extend the lower spine as if passing through neutral.

- Repeat.




Holding Bridge as a posture.

Bridge helps to strengthen the buttocks, the hamstrings, and the lower back.

It improves the posterior chain (the back of the body) by coordinating muscles to work together and in balance to support the weight of the body.

It also improves the muscles of the deep spine and helps create stability around knees and ankles.

It is also seen as a semi-inversion, where the head is lower than the heart and so has many of the benefits of a full inversion including regulation of hormones.

You may hold the Hip bridge for a duration of time or for a certain number of breaths.

I would recommend anywhere from 30 seconds to few minutes depending on desired outcome.



Technique


- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat to floor.

- Feet approx. hip distance.

- Relax your head and shoulders down.

- Lift hips into the air holding a strong line between knee, hip, and shoulder.

- Pull down evenly into both feet and hold position

- Observe yourself in this posture and notice if the pressure between both feet is level.

- If the hips stay balanced

- How you distribute the weight through your shoulders.

- Breath slowly and evenly for desired time.

- Release slowly.




There are many variations of the bridge and lots of adaptations and modifications that you can make enhance its effects and improve general strength.


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