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Enhance pelvic position awareness with a segmental bridge

This is an excerpt from Total Control by The Women’s Health Foundation.

Segmental Bridge

Purpose

To enhance pelvic position awareness while engaging the TVA and to improve spine mobility.

Starting Position

Equipment: 4- to 6-inch ball

Lie on the back with the knees bent and the feet flat and pointed forward. The feet remain in a tripod position, which enhances vertebral articulation during the exercise. Place a 4- to 6-inch ball between your knees and find a neutral spine and pelvis. Relax the glutes (a).

Execution

  1. Inhale and energize the pelvic pyramid.
  2. Exhale and "scoop through" the abdominal wall and roll through the pelvis, pulling the tailbone up (b, posterior pelvic tilt). Continue this motion by rolling segmentally (one at a time) through the sacrum and lumbar vertebrae, then the thoracic vertebrae just to bra line level to form a low bridge position (c).
  3. Inhale at the top and exhale while rolling back down one vertebra at a time (thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, tailbone).
  4. Roll up for a count of 6, then down for a count of 6.
  5. Perform 4 reps × 1 set.

Cueing Example

"Going up, think ‘pelvic tilt, pelvis, belly button, rib cage.’ Coming down, think ’rib cage, belly button, pelvis.’ The glutes should be relaxed until the pelvis lifts. Relax the neck and shoulders. Think of moving each vertebra like the links on a bike chain."

Common Mistakes

  • Skipping vertebrae
  • Lifting umbilicus higher than the pubic bone at the high position
  • Not maintaining foot position
  • Lowering buttocks before the back is down

Teacher’s Note: Teachers may touch cue this using the following techniques:

  • Straddle the participant at the hips, bend over, and place thumbs on ASIS with other four fingers around the waist to the back side of each participant. Emphasize the articulation from waist line up to the bra line and again the bra line down to the waist line. OR
  • Once through the first part of the exercise (bridged to bra line) slide the hand underneath the participant’s back and lay flat fingertips of the hand closest along the participant’s spine (vertically). As the participant proceeds down to the starting position, "walk the fingers down" the vertebrae one at a time. This is the most challenging part of the ROM.

Read more from Total Control by The Women’s Health Foundation.

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