How To Do Bridge Pose

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chloe Freytag demonstrating Bridge Pose in a black tank top and yoga pants

Bridge Pose stretches the chest, neck, spine and hips and also strengthens the glutes, core and lower back and promotes good posture. Almost anyone can learn how to do Bridge Pose and experience the benefits it has to offer. Among the many benefits is headache relief. If you have trouble with tension headaches, bridge pose might be a natural solution for you. How about tight hips? Yup- bridge pose can help relieve tight hips too.

If you have been to a yoga class or done a yoga practice on your own, you will notice is there a fair amount of bending forward. This is for good reason, since most of these poses help to stretch and open the hamstrings and back. It is, however, very important to balance out your body and provide ways to stretch and open the chest and front of the hips. Bridge pose is an excellent example of this and it is user-friendly for most people. Contraindications (those who shouldn’t do this pose) include those with neck injuries. If this is the case for you, be very careful or just avoid Bridge Pose all together.

During Bridge Pose you want to focus on lifting and supporting your body with your glutes, legs and core (both abs and lower back). Be sure to keep your neck relaxed completely and let it rest gently on the floor. Another great option to enhance Bridge Pose is to use a small, squishy ball or rolled up towel between your knees. This keeps your legs for bowing out which puts pressure on your spine and de-activates some of the muscle use. Be sure to keep your inner thighs puling toward one another as if magnets were inside each of them

Your neck should rest gently on the floor during this pose and you should be able to feel that all 7 cervical vertebrae are on the floor.

After incorporating yoga in your stretching, don’t forget it is a fantastic way to strengthen and shape your backside! Check out a single leg bridge in our workout How to Build a Better Butt.

Here are the steps to doing Bridge Pose:

1) Begin lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor close to glutes.

2) Place arms flat on the floor next to you, tucking your shoulders under your back. Align knees with hip bones.

3) Press palms down as you lift your hips high and squeeze glutes and abdominals. Keep neck relaxed on the mat.

4) Continue to breathe and hold for 30 seconds.

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