I would break if I did that!
– Everyone who wants an excuse to deteriorate
The bridge, or the backbend, is a movement that to the untrained eye seems like it is only reserved for children, yogis, and circus performers. However, I am most definitely none of these things, and here is my bridge that I worked very hard to achieve as an adult!
This move used to be a more popular exercise for the shoulders, back, and more. The bridge is really just a form of a push-up, going from A (the floor) to B (a globally extended body). Maybe with this realization we can get more people interested in doing more/different types of push-ups, and developing from more than one angle.
A solid bridge is one in which the chest pushes out past the hands, the legs straighten, and the scapula is elevated (shoulders tall).
Feats of strength combined with often ignored mobility remind me of a oft used and beautiful quote – one that can’t be overused.
No man/woman has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his/her body is capable.
So, if you are interested in developing this movement but don’t know where to start, I will introduce the One Arm Reach, or as we call it, the Thoracic Bridge.
You can watch a full video breakdown of the movement by clicking here!
In order to effectively perform this movement, you need to have the following:
Generally healthy shoulders & spine
An intention to actually improve your range of motion
And that’s it! Often with mobility work, the INTENTION is overlooked. Sure, it is uncomfortable, but you need to lean into that and breathe. You need to WANT more range of motion, just as you need to want to become stronger by choosing to lift more weight over time.
When performing the Thoracic Bridge, start with these cues:
Drive through your heels and squeeze your butt as you drive your hips to the ceiling
Push the working arm into the floor, corkscrewing it into the ground as you externally rotate the shoulder
“Grow” the arm into the floor as you push away, and add a reach over the top with the second arm if it feels good
Start with 3 x 5 per arm with a 3s hold at the top (I also like to incorporate a breath here instead of time) and rest 60s after the 2nd arm.
Perform these for a month and you will feel your spine begin to arch and your shoulders to rotate, promoting long term health of the joints. Also, expect a new soreness in your upper back you may not have felt before!
If these are too advanced or too basic for you, feel free to send us a video or any questions you may have either in the comments below or in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.