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15 Effective Bridge Exercises And Their Benefits

by
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
15 Effective Bridge Exercises And Their Benefits July 10, 2018

One arrow, three kills – that’s the bridge exercise. It activates, tones, and strengthens the core, lower back, and hips. Popular among yoga and Pilates trainers, the bridge exercise can be easily integrated into your regular workout sessions. It is an effective full body exercise that does not require a gym subscription. All you need are a yoga mat, a medicine ball (optional), and 20 minutes. Whether you are a woman or a man, 16 or 60, can roll your tongue or not – you MUST do the bridge to define your lower body. Here are top 15 bridge exercises and their benefits. Swipe up!

Top 15 Bridge Workouts/Exercises

1. Hip Bridge Exercise

Target – Glutes, core, and hamstrings.

Steps To Do Hip Bridge

  1. Lie on your back. Keep your hands by your side, and palms flat on the floor.
  2. Flex your knees and keep your feet flat on the ground.
  3. Keeping your core engaged, push your butt towards the ceiling. Your chest should be off the ground. Balance your body on your feet and the back of your shoulders.
  4. Hold for 3 seconds and then lower your body. Don’t forget to breathe in and out when you hold the bridge.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 10 reps

2. Glute Bridge March

Target – Glutes, abs, lower back, quads, and hamstrings.

Steps To Do Glute Bridge March

  1. Lie on your back, bend your knees, and support your lower body on your heels.
  2. Keep your arms by your side, and palms flat on the ground.
  3. Push your hips, middle, and lower back up towards the ceiling.
  4. Lift your right leg and bring the right knee close to your abs.
  5. Lower it back and then lift your left leg.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 10 reps

3. Single Leg Bridge Ups

Target – Glutes, abs, lower back, and hamstrings.

Steps To Do Single Leg Bridge Ups

  1. Lie on your back. Keep your arms open, and palms facing the ceiling.
  2. Flex your knees, place your heels on the ground, and engage your core.
  3. Push your hips up and get into a bridge pose.
  4. Lift your right leg and fully extend it, forming a 45-degree angle with the floor.
  5. Hold this position for the next 3 seconds. Lower your buttocks without flexing your knee.
  6. Repeat with the right leg 9 times more before switching to the left leg.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

4. Tricep Dip And Reverse Bridge

Target – Glutes, abs, lower back, triceps, shoulders, and hamstrings.

Steps To Do Tricep Dip And Reverse Bridge

  1. Sit on the floor. Place your palms flat on the mat, behind you, and balance your feet on the heels. Keep your shoulders rolled back, and back straight.
  2. Supporting your body on your palms and heels, lift your buttocks a little. Do not assume the bridge pose yet.
  3. Flex your elbows and lower your hips to do a tricep dip. Then, push your hips up towards the ceiling, bringing them in line with your torso, and tilt your head back.
  4. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds. Lower your hips and do a tricep dip.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

5. Single Sky Bridge

Target – Glutes, abs, lower back, and hamstrings.

Steps To Do Single Sky Bridge

  1. Lie down on your back and keep your arms by the side, and palms flat on the mat.
  2. Place both your legs, fully extended, on a chair.
  3. Lift your hips up towards the ceiling and assume the bridge pose.
  4. Lift your right leg off the chair. Hold it at 90 degrees with the floor, and lower your hips till they touch the floor. Hold the pose for a second and then raise your hips.
  5. Do this 12 times before switching legs.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

6. Shoulder Bridge

Target – Glutes, abs, lower back, calves, and hamstrings.

Steps To Do Shoulder Bridge 

  1. Lie down on your back. Place your arms by the side, and palms flat on the mat.
  2. Flex your knees and keep your feet flat on the mat.
  3. Raise your hips towards the ceiling and then bring your right knee towards your chest. Extend your right leg straight up, flex your heels, and lower your right leg until the right knee is at the same level as the left.
  4. Hold this pose for a second and then bring your right leg back.
  5. Do this 10 times before switching to the left leg.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 10 reps

7. Bridge Chest Press

Target – Glutes, abs, lower back, chest, and shoulders.

Steps To Do Bridge Chest Press

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie down on the mat. Keep your knees flexed and feet flat on the mat. Extend your hands directly above your chest with the palms facing out.
  2. Lift your hips towards the ceiling. Take your time to stabilize your body on your feet and the back of your shoulders.
  3. Flex your elbows and slowly lower your arms, drawing an imaginary inverted ‘V’ until the dumbbells reach the side of your chest. Hold it for a second.
  4. Slowly bring the dumbbells directly above your chest, again following the imaginary inverted ‘V’.
  5. Do this 10 times before lowering your hips.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 10 reps

8. Weighted Glute Bridge

Target – Glutes, abs, and lower back.

Steps To Do Weighted Glute Bridge 

  1. Lie down on the floor. Keep your legs shoulder-width apart, knees flexed, and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Hold a weight plate with both your hands and rest it on your belly, near your groin area.
  3. Push your hips up towards the ceiling and hold this pose for 3 seconds.
  4. Lower your hips and lift your hips again.

 Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

9. Stability Ball Bridge Exercise

Target – Glutes, abs, lower back, and hamstrings.

Steps To Do Stability Ball Bridge Exercise

  1. Sit on top of a stability or gym ball.
  2. Walk forward until your shoulders and head rest on the ball. Keep your legs hip-width apart, femur at 90 degrees with the shin, and feet flat on the ground.
  3. Lower your hips and raise them to a bridge pose to complete one rep of the stability ball bridge.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

Tip: If you don’t have a stability ball, use a mid-rise platform to rest your shoulders and head and do this exercise.

10. Decline Stability Ball Bridge

Target – Glutes, abs, lower back, and hamstrings.

Steps To Do decline Stability Ball Bridge Exercise

  1. Lie down on a mat and place your heels on the top center of a stability ball. Keep your hands by your side, palms flat on the floor, and look straight up.
  2. Lift your hips towards the ceiling. Hold this pose for a second and lower your hips to complete one rep of the decline stability ball bridge.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

Tip: If you don’t have a stability ball, use a mid-rise platform to rest your heels.

11. Stability Ball Hamstring Curl

Target – Glutes, abs, hamstrings, and lower back.

Steps To Do Stability Ball Hamstring Curl

  1. Lie down on a mat. Keep your heels up on the stability ball and palms flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your hips and get into a decline gym ball bridge pose. This is the starting position.
  3. Flex your knees and draw the stability ball closer to you without lowering your hips. Your knees should face the ceiling.
  4. Roll the ball away and get back to the starting position.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 10 reps

12. Single Leg Stability Ball Hamstring Curl

Target – Glutes, abs, hamstrings, and lower back.

Steps To Do Single Leg Stability Ball Hamstring Curl

  1. Lie down on a mat. Place your heels up on the stability ball, and palms flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your hips and get into a decline gym ball bridge pose. Flex your right knee, lift it off the stability ball, and bring it closer to your abs. This is the starting position.
  3. Flex your left knee and draw the stability ball closer to you without lowering your hips or extending your right leg.
  4. Roll the ball away and get back to the starting position.
  5. Do this 7-10 times before switching legs.

 Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 7-10 reps

13. Folded Single Leg Glute Bridge

Target – Glutes, abs, and lower back.

Steps To Do Folded Single Leg Glute Bridge

  1. Lie down on the floor with the knees flexed and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your left leg and hold the knee with both your hands to draw it closer to your chest.
  3. Push your buttocks up toward the ceiling. Hold it for a second.
  4. Lower your hips and again push them up.
  5. Do it 10 times before switching legs.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

14. Reverse Bridge (With Variation)

Target – Glutes, abs, chest, shoulders, and lower back.

Steps To Do Reverse Bridge (With Variation)

  1. Sit on the mat with your legs shoulder-width apart and feet flat on the mat. Place your hands behind your body, palms flat on the mat, and fingers pointing away from your body.
  2. Lift your hips towards the ceiling. Lift your left hand off the mat, keeping it fully extended, twist slightly on your right and reach for the ceiling.
  3. Slowly bring your left hand back to the floor.
  4. Lift your right hand, twist slightly on your left, and try to reach the ceiling.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 10 reps

15. Side Bridge Elbow To Knee

Target – Glutes, abs, chest, shoulders, and lower back.

Steps To Do Side Bridge Elbow To Knee

  1. Lie on your left and support your upper body by flexing your elbow and keep it directly below your shoulders. Your forearm should be at 90 degrees with the upper arm, and fingers pointing forward. Keep your right foot on top of the left.
  2. Push your hips up toward the ceiling and balance your body on the outer part of your left foot and the left elbow.
  3. Extend your right arm straight back over your head. This is your starting position.
  4. Flex your right elbow and right knee and bring them closer.
  5. Hold it for a moment before going back to the starting position.
  6. Do 12 reps before switching sides.

 Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

These are the best and effective bridge exercises. But the question is, why should you do these exercises? Find out next.

Benefits Of Bridge Exercises

  • Help build core strength.
  • Improve stamina and stability.
  • Correct your posture.
  • Reduce knee and back pain.
  • Tone the lower body.

It is clear from the list above that bridges are essential and should be done regularly to build overall strength and tone your body. Of course, your athletic performance will improve, and you will feel great by the end of it. So, get up, get ready – it’s time to show your body some love. Cheers!

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Charushila is an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and a full-time contributor to Diet & Weight Loss at Stylecraze. She believes that food has healing powers and eating good food is the best way to lose weight. A binge eater-turned-fitness enthusiast, Charushila likes to share her knowledge and experience with the world. When she is not working, she loves to cook healthy food, watch movies, travel, workout, and read Bengali literature.