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The Bridge to a Healthy Back

The bridge back exercise is often done as part of a yoga or Pilates class. It strengthens the abdominal core, buttocks, and hamstrings. Another benefit of the exercise is that it helps keep your spine aligned and your back stable when walking. Ask your physical therapist to demonstrate the exercise, if needed.

Woman demonstrates the bridge position.

Here's how it's done:

  • Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent. Keep your feet and palms flat on the floor with feet hip-width apart.

  • Pull in and tighten your stomach muscles and your buttocks. Gently breathe out (exhale) as you raise your buttocks and hips off the floor. There should be a straight line between your knees and shoulders. Don't raise your hips too high. This can cause arching in your lower back. 

  • Hold the position for 5 seconds. Breathe in (inhale) as you slowly lower your hips to the floor. Repeat 10 times or as instructed. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN CCRC
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Trina Bellendir PT
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2021
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