Build a Better Body Abdominal Exercise Progression: Bridging

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By Jill Murphy, DPT, LAT, CSCS

During Part II of our Build A Better Body Series titled Myth Busting the Abs, we promised you more advanced exercises to try once you got the hang of the basic ones. So here you go! Here are some progressions you should be ready for after months of perfecting your abdominal brace!

Bridging

Bridging

Position: Lying on your back with your knees bent with your arms resting on the surface

Directions:

1) Perform the abdominal brace, by pulling in each side of your stomach towards your belly button (creates an hour-glass figure).

2) While holding the brace, lift your hips off the surface until your body is in a straight line.

3) Hold for 3-5 seconds.

4) Continue to hold the ab brace while slowly lowering your hips back to the floor. Do not release your brace until your hips are resting on the floor!

5) Perform 2 sets of 10-15 reps.

 

Bridging with Arms Crossed Over Chest

Bridging with Arms Crossed Over Chest

Position: Lying on your back with your knees bent with your arms crossed over your chest

Directions: Same as for bridging

 

Bridging with Alternating Knee Extension

Bridging with Alternating Knee Extension

Position: Lying on your back with your knees bent with your arms resting on the surface

Directions:

1) Perform the abdominal brace, by pulling in each side of your stomach towards your belly button.

2) While holding the brace, lift your hips off the surface until your body is in a straight line.

3) Straighten one knee fully.

4) Hold for 3-5 seconds, then return the foot to the start position.

5) Straighten the other knee, hold for 3-5 seconds, and then return the foot to the start position.

6) Continue to hold the ab brace while slowly lowering your hips back to the floor. Do not release your brace until your hips are resting on the floor!

7) Perform 2 sets of 10-15 reps.