The Back Bridge: A Classic Exercise?
Back bridges are one of the most popular exercises for building upper body strength. They have been used for centuries in many different cultures around the world. The basic idea behind back bridges is to support yourself while leaning against something. This helps build core strength and balance, which will make it easier to perform other activities such as climbing stairs or walking up and down steps.
There are several variations of back bridges, but they all share some common features. The main feature is that the person performing the exercise leans forward with their hands clasped together and holds onto a handrail or another object at the top of the ladder.
Other than that, there are no special rules governing how to do them. There are various ways to go about doing them, so you need to decide what works best for your own personal goals.
Some people like to start out slowly and work up to holding for longer periods of time. Others prefer starting out fast and working their way up gradually.
Still others may choose to just jump right into it, because they feel that it’s not really necessary to spend any extra time learning how to do them properly before jumping in head first!
Regardless of how you want to begin training your back, there are certain things you’ll need in order for you to succeed. One of the most important parts of training is safety.
You should always train somewhere that you are comfortable and safe. This can be in your home, outdoors, a park or anywhere else that you feel will work for you. It also helps to have someone with you that can help you in case anything happens during the training process.
Common Mistakes When Doing Back Bridge Exercises
There are many common mistakes that people make when performing back bridge exercises. Not all of these mistakes are major, but it is still important that you know how to avoid them.
Some people try to hold their back too straight when they do the exercise. As a result, they end up hurting their back, or even worse, they end up getting paralyzed.
Always try to keep your back arched a little bit as this will help protect your spine.
Not all back bridges are created equal. Different back bridges require you to have different levels of strength and endurance.
Make sure that you set your goals at a level that is right for you so that you don’t get frustrated or injured in the process.
Many people make the mistake of doing too many repetitions of back bridges. Like any other exercise, your body adapts to the stress that you put on it.
When you perform too many repetitions, your body gets used to a certain level of stress and will no longer improve if that is all you ever do. On the other hand, if you only do a few repetitions, your body won’t ever get the chance to improve and you won’t see any changes. As with any exercise, you should be sure to push yourself, but not to the point where it is a danger to your health.
Common Myths About Back Bridge Exercises
There are a lot of myths about back bridges floating around out there on the internet. Some people say that they are completely useless and will not help you in any way.
Others claim that they are an absolutely essential part of any good exercise routine. As with anything, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
There is no doubt that back bridges are a very strenuous activity and should not be performed by anyone with back problems. The less your back is used to being in a certain position, the more likely you are to suffer an injury.
If you have any doubts about whether or not you should engage in this activity, you should consult with a doctor first.
That being said, back bridges are not completely useless and will provide substantial benefit to people who use them correctly. They are a great way to strengthen your core and develop muscular endurance in your back.
Just make sure that you don’t overdo it. Start out slowly and ramp up your activity levels as your body gets more used to the stresses that the exercise puts on your body.
Back Bridge Exercise: Step by Step
If you haven’t already, read the introduction to back bridges to learn more about this exercise and how to get the most out of it.
Lie face down on the floor with your arms extended straight above your head. You should keep your palms flat on the floor at least shoulders width apart.
Your legs should be kept straight and together, but your knees can be slightly bent. Push your entire body up until it is straight from your head to your feet, but not using your hands or feet. Instead, use your back to lift yourself up. Your back should remain arched the entire time. Avoid rounding or caving in on your back. If you are having a difficult time with this step, try bracing your feet against a wall to give you extra support.
Once you are in the correct position, hold this for as long as you can. Continue to push yourself to hold the position for longer and longer periods of time.
When you can hold the position easily, you can make the exercise more difficult by lifting one leg at a time a few inches off of the floor. Again, always make sure to keep your back arched and do not round it.
If this becomes too easy, you can put your legs down and lift one arm at a time a few inches off of the floor. Again, you should always keep the other arm extended straight above your head so that your body is making an “X” shape.
After you have mastered lifting your leg or arm off of the floor, hold the position with one arm or leg in the air while keeping the other extended straight above your head for as long as you can. Eventually, work your way up to holding both arms and legs off of the floor at the same time.
If you notice that your back starts to hurt while holding the position, you should rest and try again another time. The goal is to strengthen your back, not make the pain worse.
If you are experiencing sharp pains with any back exercise, you may want to see a doctor to make sure that you do not have a more serious problem with your back.
Make sure that you do not raise your feet or toes off of the floor, as this can put an unnatural stress on your back.
If you feel any sharp pains when doing this exercise, stop immediately. Continued pain may be a sign of a more serious back problem and you should contact a medical professional.
Like most exercises, back bridges are not without their risks. Always remember to listen to your body and gauge how it is reacting to the exercises.
Always stop if you are feeling pain and never push yourself too far. In most cases, back pain that is persistent and worsens with exercise or activity may be the sign of a more serious condition. If you begin experiencing pain, you should seek medical help.\
If you have had any spinal problems in the past or have been diagnosed with a back condition, you may not want to do this exercise. The same goes if you feel any sharp pains or discomfort while doing it or afterwards.
If you are in any doubt at all about whether or not you should perform these exercises, it is best to talk to your doctor first.
Sources & references used in this article:
Exercises for spine stabilization: motion/motor patterns, stability progressions, and clinical technique by SM McGill, A Karpowicz – Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 2009 – Elsevier
Reliability and accuracy of a video analysis protocol to assess core ability by DA McDonald, JQ Delgadillo, M Fredericson… – PM&R, 2011 – Elsevier
Coaching the Tkatchev on Uneven Bars. by B Roskoski – Gym Coach: Journal of Coaching & Sport …, 2010 – search.ebscohost.com
Trunk muscle activity during lumbar stabilization exercises on both a stable and unstable surface by A Imai, K Kaneoka, Y Okubo, I Shiina… – Journal of orthopaedic & …, 2010 – jospt.org