The Pilates Bridge or pelvic lift is one of the best exercises you can do for pelvic back pain because it helps to strengthen the muscles that support and stabilize the pelvis and hip muscles.
Find out how to do the bridge or pelvic lift correctly and then how to add variations and more challenge to it here in my video.
I use the Pilates bridge in my classes as a back warm-up exercise to help students stretch and open the vertebra in the spine as they articulate or roll the spine up and down the mat.
This articulating motion helps the cerebral spinal fluids to move up and down the spine from the sacrum to the cortex of the skull. In effect you realize more energy, clearer thinking, and increased circulation throughout the body.
Other benefits of the Pelvic lift includes more strength in the hips, hamstrings, and gluteal or buttock muscles, while simultaneously actively stretching the quadriceps and hip flexors in front.
Lying on your back with your knees bent and heels just under the knees or a little farther away. Place your hands on your pelvis making sure it is neutral or parallel to the sky (meaning hip bones and pubic bone on same level and a little space in the lumbar spine).
Then bring your arms to your sides.
Feel the weight evenly through your feet.
1. Articulating Bridge:
Inhale to prepare and as you exhale flatten your spine pressing evenly into your heels and curling the tailbone off the mat, then continue to peel the spine up one vertebra at a time until the weight is evenly between your shoulder blades.
Take a breath in at the top and then exhale again as you roll or peel the spine from the top to the bottom releasing the tailbone last so you come back to neutral position.
If you have lower back pain this articulation of the spine may feel good for you to both stretch and strengthen the back simultaneously.
Caution! Do not peel the spine up so high that you have weight in your neck.
2. Neutral Pilates Bridging:
Neutral spine means that the ribcage and tailbone are in contact with the mat with just a natural curve or small space in the lumbar spine.
You'll want to do the Bridge this way if you have Osteoporosis in the spine or pelvic back pain.
Take a breath in to prepare and feel the muscles tighten and support the spine, then exhale to lift the pelvis straight up. The ribs and hips come up at the same time pressing evenly into your heels as you rise.
Inhale at the top then exhale to lower the pelvis and ribcage at the same time back to neutral position on the mat.
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