Bridge Your Way To Strong Hips

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If your hips aren’t strong enough to stabilize your pelvis while walking, running or playing sports, your knees and back will suffer.

Strong Hips = Strong Knees.  Weak Hips = Weak Knees.

Bridging is an exercise often used by physical therapists to help strengthen hips and it can be done anywhere with no equipment.

Here’s some tips to performing a variety of different bridging exercises. Perform these exercises 2-3 days per week on alternating days.

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Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.  Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles and slowly lift your hips off the floor. Slowly roll up until your hips are high in a comfortably position and your body weight is resting on the top of your shoulder blades. Keep your hips square to the ceiling. Try to avoid letting your pelvis rotate. Hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly release down. Perform 10-20 reps.

  • As a simple variation to this exercise, adjust the speed of the movement. Try 5 counts up, 5 counts down. Try 1 count up, 5 counts down. Try 1 count up, 1 count day. Adjusting the speed of movement will stimulate the muscles differently.
  • Another simple variation is to hold the bridge in the high position and allow the knees to move in and out laterally while staying within comfortable positions.
  • Another simple variation is to start with the bridge in the high position and then allow one hip to drop/tilt down while the other lifts high. Tilt side to side.
  • bridgedA more advanced option is to progress to 1 Leg Bridging – Lay on your back with 1 leg bent, foot on the floor and the other leg lifted straight up to the ceiling.  With your arms at your side, slowly lift your hips and buttocks up towards the ceiling while contracting your glutes (buttocks) and hamstrings (back of thigh) until your body weight is resting comfortably on your shoulder blades.  Throughout the entire exercise, be sure to keep your hips square to the ceiling and your abdominals contracted.  Be sure not to tilt to one side while doing these 1-leg lifts.  Slowly lift up and down 8-20x for 1-2 sets.
  • hamstringcurl1a hamstringcurl1bOnce your hips become strong, another more advanced progression is to use a stability ball. Place your feet on the stability ball and then perform the bridge for an intense recruitment of your hips and hamstring muscles.



Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan



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