Bridge Exercise With Optional Leg Lift 

Always make sure that your muscles are warm before exercising .

DID YOU KNOW that according to research women, (for various reasons) are up to eight times more likely to suffer from a knee injury than our male counterparts.

This bridge exercise will strengthen your hip flexors, abductors, and your buttocks. If you already feel confident with the bridge exercise you can incorporate your Pilates fitness ball. You can place your feet securely onto the fitness ball to increase your challenge.

Lay on your back arms by your side palms facing downward. Knees are bent and feet flat on the floor. Relax your shoulders and neck and begin your Pilates breathing.

Inhale and then as you exhale begin to raise your hips and buttocks slowly and gently from the floor. Your thighs and back should now be in one straight line. Hold this position with an inhale remembering to engage the pelvic floor muscles throughout the exercise. Exhale. Hold your position.

On your next inhale, raise your right foot only a few inches from the floor. Do not let your buttock sink hold your position. Lower your right foot to the ground as you exhale.

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Now try this with your left foot. Repeat this pattern with each foot. Start off with six to eight repetitions per leg. If you find that you do not have enough strength to keep your hips level and buttocks raised from the mat return to the mat on your exhale. Inhale, prepare, and then on your exhale return to the bridge position. 

Ok so now you are ready to use that Yoga ball. You can use your Yoga ball for this exercise also. Place your feet securely on the Yoga ball and not on the mat to challenge your stability! Keep hips level, buttocks raised, pelvic floor engaged, shoulders and neck relaxed, remember to breathe, and most of all have fun!

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