4 Back Bridge Holds for Strength and Flexibility (Video)

What are Back Bridge?

Back Bridge is one of the most popular exercises among bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. It’s used for various purposes such as:

Strengthening the core muscles; Strengthening your lower back; Improving balance and coordination; Increasing flexibility; Preventing injuries.

How to Perform Back Bridge?

1) Stand with feet shoulder width apart.

Keep knees slightly bent, toes pointed outwards.

2) Keeping your chest high, bend forward at the waist until your upper torso forms a 90 degree angle with the floor.

Your arms should form a straight line from head to toe.

3) Slowly raise yourself up by bending forward at the waist again while keeping your arms parallel to each other.

Do not let them touch each other or any part of your body except the top of your head. You may feel some resistance when raising yourself up but it will pass soon.

4) Lower yourself down by bending forward at the waist again while keeping your arms parallel to each other.

Do not let them touch each other or any part of your body except the bottom of your head. You may feel some resistance when lowering yourself down but it will pass soon.

5) Repeat these movements three times on both sides, then switch legs and repeat the same steps for the opposite side.

Continue alternating between left and right leg until you reach failure.

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What is Back Bridge Holds?

During the back bridge holds, your legs and feet make a 90 degree angle with each other. Your knees are bent, thighs are at a 90 degree angle with shins. Your upper torso and arms form a straight line from head to toe. Your hips are pushed up, your lower back is flat on the floor. You keep your head off the floor by using neck muscles.

Strengthening Back Bridge Holds:

Start with ten seconds. Build to 30-60 seconds. Holds are used to build strength and endurance. Your bridge should be fluent and relaxed, do not use any momentum or swinging in the movements. If you feel your form will fail, stop before it does.

For more detailed instructions, please read the steps above.

Muscles Worked During Back Bridge Holds:

The back bridge holds strengthen your whole core but the main muscles worked are your Erector Spinae (lower back). They are a pair of parallel muscles that run along your spine. They run from the base of your skull all the way down to your bottom: from your shoulder blades to your tail bone. There are three layers: superficial, long and deep. The superficial layer is between the long and deep muscles.

Strengthening in the back bridge holds is sub-divided into two types: isometric and isotonic.

Isometric: There is no movement during the exercise, you contraction your muscles to the point of failure without any movement.

Isotonic: There is movement during this exercise. Your muscles are slowly built up to hold a position, then slightly past that point with no movement for several seconds. This is called a iso-pause. Finally, you hold the position for several seconds with movement.

The “feel” of the exercises is very different for isometric and isotonic movements. The holds feel like they are burning your muscles: a good burn that feels similar to a deep massage. The strength built through this type of exercise will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Isotonic: This is the same movement as the back bridge, so there is no need to practice that part. The movements are slow and under complete control. Holds will build strength quickly because they recruit so many muscle fibers across so many muscles. You work your muscles right up to failure and just a bit further. Your muscles will not be able to complete the movement without help from your arms.

Think of pushing yourself up from the floor. You can’t do it, you need to use your arms and hands. Your muscles will not be able to push you up if they are strong enough, they’ll still be trying to hold the bridge when your arms have already pushed you up.

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Isometric: For the isometric holds, you will need a partner to help you. Have your partner put pressure on your back by pushing down as you hold the position. The isometric part comes from your partner pushing down and you fighting to keep the back bridge hold. You will not be pushing up at all. If you feel like you are going to fail, let your partner know so they can ease up slightly.

Your goal during these holds is to not move at all and if you feel yourself moving, stop the exercise right there. This type of training will really burn the muscles and if done correctly you will feel it for the next two to three days.

Your isometric holds should only last 10 to 15 seconds. You may need to start with shorter holds and work up to the full length as your muscles strengthen.

The key to building strength is to slowly work your way up to longer holds. Good form is also very important, do not sacrifice good form for extra time on an exercise. This is one of the most common mistakes people make when trying to get stronger.

The following is a sample routine that you can start out with and then adjust as needed.

Three sets of ten second holds

Two sets of fifteen second holds

One set of twenty second holds

One set of thirty second holds

Once you get to the thirty second holds, you can go back to the twenty second holds and continue in this cycle until you no longer need the help of a partner.

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Once you are able to do the thirty second holds on your own, you can move on to one arm chin-ups. This is an excellent exercise for building up the back muscles. You will find that your one arm chin will be stronger than your other just like with the back bridge.

If you feel up to the challenge, you can also try lifting weights. You will not be able to use heavy weights because your muscles are smaller and your bone structure is not as strong, however, you can still build strength with lighter weights. You may also find that you need to decrease the amount of work your arms do in daily activities. Things like carrying bags of groceries or furniture will really wear you out and cause you to become sore quicker.

Many people worry that training their muscles in this way will make them grow huge. This is not likely unless you are taking steroids. Even if you were taking steroids, your body would not be able to support that size and it could have serious side effects. Your body can only become as big as it can support.

You may have heard of people saying that they have worked out every which way, and yet they cannot gain any weight or get stronger. There are many reasons for this. The main reasons are improper training, poor diet, or perhaps they are just not meant to be muscular.

If you have been working out every which way and still cannot gain any weight or get stronger then you may want to see a doctor to see if there is a problem with your hormone levels.

Appendices

Are Appendices Required?

I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying “I’ll blow my app…Appendix!” right?

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