Shoulder Bridge Pose Powers Core, Legs and Hips

picture of yoga pose

The Shoulder Bridge is a basic bridge pose in yoga. It is easy to master and just might wind up in your daily exercise routine once you try the basic pose and add a few variations. gives us the steps from Dr. Mark Wiley, mind-body health practitioner, author, and teacher. Wiley holds doctorates in both oriental and alternative medicine.

When you use it you will be powering your core, hips and legs as you protect your knees. The stronger all of these muscles are the less likely you will incur injuries and the better your posture will be.

I like to start my day with this pose. But you can use it anytime, anywhere, at home, in the office, or when traveling. All you need is a yoga mat or carpet.

How to Start

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent slightly, less than a 90-degree angle, with feet flat on the floor. Start with your arms at your sides palms down. For more of a challenge turn palms face up.

Press your feet into the floor and push your hips up into the air. You should feel your weight, with stabilizing points in heels and shoulders pushing on the floor.

Once your hips are up, see if you can lift them a little more. If you can, go higher, or if not, start there.

Try the Hip Lift

Slowly lower your hips to the floor, pause for a moment, then raise the hips up again. Repeat bridge with hip lift for three sets with 10 repetitions.

At the end of each set, raise hips and hold them in the up position. In this position, keep pressing your heels into the floor to keep your raised hips level. While up there, squeeze your buttocks.

Try Alternating Toe Taps

Working on your hamstrings and abdominals, start with the basic bridge pose, lift hips and hold. Then raise the right leg pointing toe to ceiling. Lower to just above the floor. Repeat 10 times. Return to basic bridge pose and repeat with left leg.

As you learn the basic pose and variations, monitor your body and do what feels comfortable to you, building the routine and number of repetitions as you gain strength.

As always check with your physician before beginning a new exercise.

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Image used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Amy

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