Watch the following video with the SOUND ON for verbal instruction.
This is NOT a backbend exercise like the bridge sometimes taught in yoga classes, but rather a neutral spine bridge intended to strengthen the muscles of your butt and the backs of your thighs. This is a great exercise to teach and master the hip extension movement pattern.
HOW TO DO A HIP BRIDGE:
Place your feet hip width apart with your toes pointing directly forward.
If you have one, place a yoga block between your knees and give it a gentle squeeze with your inner thigh muscles.
Set up with the neutral curves of your spine in tack. This means your mid-back (bra-line area) will be in contact with the ground, your lower back will be slightly arched away from the floor, and your chin and forehead will be level.
Without moving your spine at all, simply engage your butt muscles. DO NOT tuck your tailbone. Do not make a movement yet, just feel your butt engage.
Maintain the neutral curves of your spine as you press your feet into the floor and use your butt to lift your hips to the sky.
Consciously engage your butt muscles and keep pressing your feet into the floor.
As always, keep your face relaxed and breathe easily through your nose.
HOW TO PROGRESS THE HIP BRIDGE:
Once you have mastered the Hip Bridge, hold the top position for up to 30 seconds while isometrically contracting your hamstring and buttock muscles. Work up to 3 sets of 30 second holds.
Once you have mastered 3 sets of 30 second holds, progress to the Single Foot Hip Bridge, Alternating Single Foot, Hip Bridge March, Hip Thrust, Hip Thrust March, Single Leg Hip Thrust.
Can you understand and feel how this exercise informs your Deadlift, Squat and Lunging exercises?