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Progressing Spinal Strength using ‘Bridging’ Exercises: Part 2 – Bridge progression sequence

July 12, 2011

In Part I of this II part series I discussed the importance of progressing spinal rehabilitative programs past the traditionally prescribed exercises such as cross-crawls and planks.  These exercises indeed provide the necessary base core strength needed for spinal stability and rehabilitation, however, as with any physical conditioning program, PROGRESSION is the key to improving function.

As previously discussed, I often start my advanced spinal rehab patients on Bridge progressions in order to increase spinal strength, flexibility, and coordination.  How far along the demonstrated sequence you take the patient will depend on goals, patient age, previous levels of conditioning, etc….however the final ‘goal’ of performing full bridges, in my opinion, is ALWAYS attainable if the proper progressional steps are achieved.

Regarding the ‘steps’, you will note on the video that I provide a ‘Progression Goal’ for each exercise in the sequence.  I highly advise that the individual master the previous goal before attempting the next step.  Failure to do so can result in injury.  Note that in athletic patients, they are prone to attempting to skip the earlier steps….however you will note (especially if you try the sequence yourself), that even the ‘beginner’ steps can be quite challenging if done using the correct speed and form.  The speed being approximately 2 seconds for both the concentric and eccentric portions.

As always, comments and discussions are welcome.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bob permalink
    July 12, 2011 3:18 pm

    Great Vid Dr. Spina. Do you ever find while coaching clients to brace their core and use their spinal erectors, that they substitute lumbar extension for hip extension?

  2. July 12, 2011 3:27 pm

    Absolutely. This is especially the case of course when their lumbosacral junction lacks the necessary amount of independent movement from their pelvic girdle…however even in cases when the proper movement is possible, I sometimes find it necessary to verbally cue them to consciously shift their rotation point up into their lumbar spine

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