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Proper Form for Pilates Bridge 


April 27, 2017 - Amanda Jessee Iiams

How high is too high in a Pilates bridge? Whether your bridge is articulating (rolling up with lumbar spinal flexion) or a neutral bridge (stabilizing the lumbar spine in neutral), going too high and into lumbar spinal extension can compress the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint. In the video, I demonstrate 2 versions of an articulating bridge. In the first, I begin with a pelvic tilt and then continue to articulate my spine off the mat while also recruiting the glutes to lift the hips. My goal is to only go as high as I can continue to hold the lumbar flexion that was established in the initial phase of the bridge, the pelvic tilt. In the second, I articulate through a pelvic tilt, and then recruit the glutes to lift the hips off the mat. However, I then go too high, lose the lumbar flexion from the abdominals and allow the erectors on the posterior side to act as stabilizers while the glutes lift the hips. It doesn't look very comfortable and puts stress on the SI joint and lumbar spine. This position does very little to strengthen the abs and glutes as major players in the core. Watch for this error with your client who tend toward hyper-lordis, or hyper mobility. The same error can occur when doing a neutral bridge. While difficult to spot at first; look for the alignment of the pubic bone to the asis at the top of the bridge. The pubic bone should always be higher than the asis, not lower and not level. Because you have lifted your hips off the mat they are higher than the shoulders in a bridge. So, regardless of the type of bridge mentioned above, the pubic bone would be higher due to the diagonal angle of the spine from hips to mid thoracic spine.