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Brian Schiff’s Blog

Injury Prevention, Sports Rehab & Performance Training Expert

Tag: bridging exercises

This is the second installment of corrective “go-to” exercises I am highlighting here and in my online column for PFP magazine. Click here to read the post on resisted overhead squats.  The in-line lunge allows for the observer to pick up flaws or asymmetry by placing the body in a narrow stance with a wide stride to assess hip, knee, ankle and foot mobility and stability of the client.  It places the upper and lower extremities in alternate asymmetrical patterns.

Limited mobility or hip disassociation will produce movement dysfunction with the in-line lunge (see picture below for how it is assessed during the FMS).


A common corrective exercise prescribed to improve mobility is the leg lock bridge.

Execution: Begin in supine flexing one leg up to the chest.  Hold the flexed leg against the chest while keeping the extended (down) leg in line with the center of the body and the knee flexed.  A small ball (pictured below), pillow or towel roll may be placed between the thigh and chest for tactile feedback regarding the lock position.

Next, push down through the extended leg on the floor to elevate the hips off the ground into a bridge.  The height of the bridge should be limited to the point where contact can be maintained between the thigh of the flexed hip and the chest keeping the extended hip/thigh in the in-line position.  Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.


Application:  The ability to stride in a lunge position without forward trunk lean during the in-line lunge can be inhibited by tight hip flexors.  Soft tissue work and stretching is certainly helpful, but this active mobility exercise will improve reciprocal movement and facilitate hip disassociation.  It is a great exercise to include as part of your corrective exercise series and/or movement and pillar prep work with your clients.

If clients struggle or experience hamstring cramping, consider adding a small step beneath the foot of the extended leg to increase the hip flexion starting position.  Modifications and adjustments to sets, repetitions and distance between the flexed thigh and chest as well as the extended foot and ground should be considered with exercise prescription.

I utilize bridging as an assessment and exercise tool in my training and rehab programs.  Posterior chain/hip stability is poor in many clients.  The ability to maintain a neutral spine, engage the glutes and fight rotation is NOT an easy task by any means. So, coaching and cueing proper bridging is a great way to enhance pillar strength and reduce injury risk, while facilitating better movement patterns in sport.

I wrote a recent column for PFP magazine entitled iso bridge with alternate knee extension.  Click here to read the column and the application, regression and progression of the exercise.  In addition, I have included a short video below showing double leg and single leg bridge exercises that can be used to work on the hips and core.  The second exercise is the dynamic version of the iso alternate knee extension bridge I write about. I show you some of the single leg progressions that come after mastering the iso bridge as well.

I hope this video and article is useful to you.  I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my blog and wish you a very Happy New Year!