The Full Bridge is a strength-flexibility powerhouse. It requires flexibility in
- the shoulder joint,
- shoulder girdle,
- extension of the back,
- as well as extension of the hips.
This total body exercise has many names from Upward Bow to Wheel Pose to Full Bridge. In yoga it's known to give energy, help with osteoporosis, and stimulate a variety of glands and organs. Outside of yoga this exercise is very useful in gymnastics, acrobatics, various martial arts styles, wrestling, dance, etc.
Watch the Gymnastics Bridge Muscle Anatomy Breakdown:
A standard way of mastering this exercise is attempt it from scratch with coach or partner lifting the athlete by the hip or worst by the lower back. This often work for young children, who have the flexibility and need just a little adjustment.
Teens and up need a good preparatory work on each body section separately. We recommend taking a look at back extension flexibility, wrist flexibility and overhead shoulder flexibility first. If all of those are already up to par or better, than you can start on Bridge Program.
This program take apart each joint and then each muscle articulating in each joint. Than each tissue is worked individually with kinesiological stretching techniques to avoid the painful stretch reflex, while quickly lengthening the muscles, culminating in a beautiful Back Bridge.
Today in the morning I did again one round of Kinesiological Stretching for the Back Bridge/Wheel.
I have taken some pictures and send one with this email.
As review I would write:
" When I first had the plan to study sports and sports sciences at the age of 17 I began to train in my weakest field, gymnastics. I could progress quite quickly, but came to some limits due to the lack of flexibility especially in the thoracic spine and shoulder area. I could master the front and back handspring, but it was more due to my quickness and explosive strength rather than flexibility. I did not get far with the back bridge.
For some years I have not trained the back bridge at all following what I have read from some experts calling this exercise dangerous for the spine.
Since some time I have also put some of my focus on training with bodyweight exercises, among them the back bridge, which has tremendous benefits for the spine and related muscles as I know in the meantime. I designed a progression with exercises from different programs and followed the progression. For a while I got stuck with half bridges and the problem was an old one: lack of flexibility in the thoracic spine and shoulders. I was a bit frustrated, and it was just last week that I tried the Kinesiological Stretching routine for the Back Bridge or Wheel. Due to time pressure I could only do one round, but I was blown away by the new feeling at the end of the routine going into a full bridge. Being able to lift the head just a few inches above the mat before, now I was able to stay comfortably and stable in the Full Bridge and the elbows quite extended. Since last week I have repeated one round of the Kinesiological Stretching routine twice and today took some pictures. My bridge is not yet perfect, but the improvement in the very short time compared to what my bridge looked like one-and-a-half weeks ago is amazing. And that at my age of almost 55. It proves that Kinesiological Stretching works. I would have been glad to know about this system in my younger years, but still now I can improve a lot.
Maximilian Schmid, Bangkok, E-Mail: MAXIMILIAN4320004@yahoo.ca."
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