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Columns: Exercise Technique

Exercise Technique: Front Bridge

Graham, John F MS, CSCS*D, FNSCA

Author Information
Strength and Conditioning Journal: October 2009 - Volume 31 - Issue 5 - p 79-80
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e3181b94f5d

Figure
Figure:
No Caption Available.

John F. Graham, MS, CSCS,*D; FNSCA

Column Editor

TYPE OF EXERCISE

Core.

MUSCLES USED

Rectus abdominis, erector spinae, transverse abdominis, trapezius, rhomboids, rotator cuff, anterior and medial deltoid, posterior deltoid, pectoralis major, serratus anterior, gluteus maximus, quadriceps (vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, and rectus femoris), and gastrocnemius.

STARTING POSITION

  • Lie prone (face down) on an exercise table or mat (Figure 1).
  • Place your elbows close to your sides and directly under shoulders (shoulder width).
  • Hands should be forward with palms facing down.
  • Contract the quadriceps muscles and dorsiflex the ankles.
Figure 1
Figure 1:
Start of ascent.

ASCENT (UPWARD MOVEMENT)

  • Prebrace the abdominals by attempting to contract the muscles prior to initiating the upward motion (Figure 2).
  • Slowly lift and straighten the torso from the table while maintaining a stiff torso and legs until the body is supported on the elbow and the feet.
  • Avoid arching (sagging) of the lower back or elevation (upward) in the hips or bending of the knees.
  • Avoid shrugging your shoulders and keep your shoulders positioned directly above your elbows.
  • Continue to breath while holding the completion of the ascent for 3 seconds (beginner), 5 seconds (intermediate), and 10+ seconds (advanced).
Figure 2
Figure 2:
Start of descent.

DESCENT (DOWNWARD MOVEMENT)

  • Slowly lower the torso back to the table while maintaining a stiff torso and legs while keeping the body supported on the elbow and the feet.
  • Avoid arching (sagging) of the lower back or elevation (upward) in the hips or bending of the knees.
  • Avoid shrugging your shoulders and keep your shoulders positioned directly above your elbows.
  • Inhale at the completion of the descent before beginning the ascent.

SETS AND REPETITIONS

  • Beginners = 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Intermediate = 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions.
  • Advanced = 3 sets of 15-25 repetitions.
Table
Table:
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© 2009 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association