DIGGING DEEPER - Get to Know Your Pilates Exercises: Shoulder Bridge

Shoulder Bridge

By Amanda Turner
Kerry doing Shoulder Bridge on the Cadillac

Summer is upon us, and you know what that means - another lower body focused exercise! Although I love a good glute exercise - I love Shoulder Bridge for so many other reasons: the articulation of the spine, the stretching and lengthening of the hip flexors, and while it’s considered an Advanced Mat exercise, it is foundational for so many exercises to come (think Table on the Wunda Chair, Semi Circle on the Reformer, and Rolling Stomach Massage on the Cadillac).
Amanda demonstrating Table on the Wunda Chair
Alright, let’s get started:
1.) Lie on your back, bending your knees, feet firmly pressing into the Mat aligned with your hips about a fist’s distance apart (*after Neck Pull with the black strap you just bend the knees dropping the strap and your feet are in position), arms pressing into the Mat.
2.) Scoop the abs, curl the tailbone to the ceiling, and peel the spine off the Mat. My favorite cue to give here is - without moving the heels, pull the heels to the glutes and glutes to the heels. This will keep you from shifting your weight into your shoulders and keep the work in the powerhouse.
3.) Repeat for 3 reps total. Inhale as you lift your powerhouse, exhale as you return to the Mat. As you become stronger, you’ll be able to add the kicking of one leg while the other stabilizes the Shoulder Bridge position.
Exercises to excel in or prepare for Shoulder Bridge:
*the Roll Up
*Single Leg Kicks
*Double Leg Kicks
*Short Spinal Massage
*Kneeling Knee Stretches - Round Back
*Pelvic Lift
*Leg Springs
Wunda Chair:
*Low Frog