SXS Fitness Tip: Bridge your way to stability
Bridging is a common exercise used by all types of people, from recovering weekend warriors to elite athletes. The exercise helps increase strength of the hip extension muscles (the 3 hamstring muscles and gluteus maximus) and increases pelvic/trunk/lower back stability (pelvic floor muscles, internal/external obliques and erector spinae muscles). As I’m sure you know alpine skiing puts a lot of work on the legs, hips and core. Starting every workout with a bridge, or adding it into a daily muscle engagement/mobility routine is a great way to get the body firing these important muscles properly so when you compete, you don’t have to think about them – they will already be stable!
Lie on your back with knees up, feet on the floor with hips, knees and heel in line with each other. Tuck through the tail bone and roll up the spine one vertebrae at a time until you reach the shoulders. DO NOT arch up like a yoga pose, keep your chest relaxed and keep the work in the core and lower body. Press down into the heels (or even lift your toes) to feel the hamstrings and glutes working. Hold with the pelvis neutral (not arched too much up or down) for 30 seconds. Every week increase the hold by 10 seconds until you reach 90 seconds. Perform this during your warm up before a workout, or every day as a part of your daily body workout routine.