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DIY Bridging Exercises for Hip Stretching & Strengthening

The bridging exercise can be a great exercise in your workout routine or as a home exercise in your toolbox for many reasons.  It assists in stretching the anterior hip/thigh musculature that overworks and gets tight with sitting.  It also strengthens the posterior hip and the deep low back/core musculature. 

Exercise Options: Bridging can be done by articulating (moving the vertebra one at a time to peel up/down) or by moving up and down with a neutral spine.  Articulation is demonstrated in this video. 

Once in the bridge, there is a wide variety of exercises that can challenge the stability of the back while you strengthen the posterior hip. The primary focus is on keeping the hips level by engaging the core and the gluteal muscles.  If the pelvis moves, you lose back stability and risk cramping through the hamstrings.  It is better to work at a less difficult exercise with better form.  Once you have mastered one level, progress on to the next challenge. 

Bridge Challenges:

  1. Bridging with a heel lift

  2. Bridging with opposite leg marching

  3. Bridging with opposite leg extension


About the Author: Francesca Durant Co-owner of Durant Physical Therapy and Centered Body Pilates, Francesca Durant is an experienced physical therapist and Pilates professional with specialized training in pelvic health from Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute.

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