|This week we’re taking a closer look at Bridging.
It’s a versatile movement – you can do it on the mat, reformer, chair and ladder barrel.
On the Reformer, we’re focused on segmental movement of the spine as we flow into and out of our bridge. You’ll have heard teachers suggesting that you think of your spine as a string of pearls (or a strand of cooked spaghetti) peeling up from the carriage and then gently lowering back down.
In Bridging we are aiming to find flow as we articulate through our spine, supported by our hamstring muscles (at the back of our thighs) rather than ‘clenching’ our glutes.
Once we have found our form, we can progress to single led bridging – the challenge here is to keep our pelvis high and level. One the Reformer, we can glide the carriage out and back again while keeping our pelvis high and level and the front our hips open. We can also progress into more challenging movements such as Semi-Circle; and the ability to maintain our hips open and high is key to many of the more advanced movements on the Trapeze Table.
If your back is tight, you can also bridge with your feet high (eg. on your sofa). This gives you a feeling of more space to articulate your spine, helping to ease out tightness.
Bridging is one of the first movements we learn in Pilates, although our form will improve as we become more familiar with the intention behind the movement. It’s a great exercise that helps to strengthen, stabilise and mobilise our body all at the same time!
In everyday life, it will help improve our posture and relieve tension in our lower spine. Maintaining flexibility in our hips will also help us get down and up from the floor and help us walk, run, cycle or swim pain-free.
We’d love to hear if you’ve found Bridging has improved your quality of life in any way!