How are you doing? I’m Dr. Bill Booker, and
today we are going to be going over what we call functional bridge. The purpose of the
bridge is to turn on primarily the glute medius muscle and the glute maximus. What we tend
to find is most people with low back problems, is they actually are overactive in the hamstrings
and inactive in the glutes. At the same time, they are overactive in the hip flexor and
inactive in the quads. So the purpose here is to turn on a large muscle which is primarily
responsible below the motion. So, what we are trying to do is re-train or ingrain this
large muscle to help with walking, running, sprinting, and every other athletic activity.
The reason the glutes are inhibited, is well, primarily because we sit on them all day,
we tend not to fire them, and then we go do our athletic ativities, we tend to use the
muscle incorrectly. So with the bridge, the objective here is simply to turn on these
two primary groups. What we are going to do is, we’re going to have Beth start in a supine
position, with the knees bent. We’re going to have her instructed to bring her toes off
the floor, so she’s going to do this from her heels. What we’ll notice is, if she does
this with the feet flat, go ahead and bridge up for me Beth, she’s going to feel it primarily
in the hamstrings, exactly what we don’t want to fire. So down. As we bring her up onto
her heels, now as she comes up, she’s going to feel the firing primarily in the glute
and in the glute medius. So, the beginner position, will specifically be to go up and
down from here, good, go down a couple of times, good form, up to a full plank, down,
she holds for about 1 or 2 second count, and down. Ok. When she can master that, we will
move her up to what we call the intermediate level which is simply going to be to bring
one leg off the table, or off the floor. So this leg is going to go straight, we want
to keep it level with the planted leg, and she’s going to push again from the heel, lifting
the hips off the table. Good, and down. Notice how when she comes up, she maintains this
nice plank, her leg is not flying up in the air, it stays level with the support leg.
This is going to fire the glute medius and glute max even more. Now, from here, go ahead,
thank you, to the athletic position, we call this the bridge with a kick. So she’s going
to start on both feet, toes off the ground, she’s going to come into a bridge position,
she will maintain this plank position, then she’ll go ahead and ultimately extend one
leg out at a time. Excellent. Again, notice as she keeps a nice level bridge, she is breathing
normally, and this is maximum firing for glute medius and glute max. Go ahead and hold this
one for one second, right here she’s going to feel it on the outside, and the posterior
cord of the lower body, down, that’s exactly what we are shooting for. So…thank you…so
this is basically the bridge track. With beginner stage, the intermediate to the athletic stage,
with the objective of firing glute medius and glute max. Now if I wanted to take it
up to even another level, we could simply purchase a theraband, we have her put this
around her knees, as she comes into the bridge, she keeps her knees open, that’s going to
further fire the glute medius…that’s really again for the really extreme athletic position.

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