Muscles Targeted: The 3-point dynamic bridge is one of the most effective core exercises you can do. It is an exercise that helps to develop strength in your entire core region. It strengthens the chest, abs, obliques, hips, upper back, and lower back. With the variation of raising your arms and legs each one at a time, you work the shoulders, arms, hamstrings and glutes.
Exercise Advice: Start in a push-up position on the floor. Slowly lift one hand while stabilizing yourself and then return your hand to the ground. Then slowly lift one foot and stabilize yourself, then return your foot to back down to the ground. Repeat this for your other arm and leg to complete a full repetition. You can vary the order also. For example, lift one arm then the other before going to the legs or lift one arm then lift the opposing leg, etc.
Things To Avoid: Technique is crucial with this exercise and there are many ways to incorrectly perform the 3-point dynamic bridge. Here are some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Avoid letting your hips drop too low. When you do this, you put all the pressure on your lower back and take away the primary focus which is on your core and glutes. You must keep your head, hips and heels in a straight line to get the greatest benefit.
- Avoid arching your back by raising your hips too far off the ground. When you do this you are also decreasing the effect in your core and glutes. Again, make sure to keep yourself in a perfectly straight line from your head to your feet.
- Avoid tilting your hips to one side or the other. When you do this you work your core unevenly. To avoid this, be sure that your hips are an equal distance from the ground at all times.
- Don’t let your head and neck drop down during the exercise. This is a problem because it takes your spine out of alignment. Be sure to look straight forward for the duration of the exercise.
- Avoid positioning your hands incorrectly on the ground. Your arms should come straight down from the shoulders. They must also be horizontal and not staggered. This is important because positioning them incorrectly can cause pain and discomfort.
- Avoid arching your shoulders. The reason this is important is that it causes strain on your deltoids, rotator cuff and neck. To avoid this, make sure to keep your shoulders parallel to the ground at all times.
The bottom line is to keep your body in straight lines without any arching, bending or drooping in the back, shoulders and legs.
Reps and Sets: For the 3-point dynamic bridge, how many reps and sets you should perform will depend on your fitness level and how the exercise fits into your routine. One full repetition is equal to lifting each arm and each leg once. Many beginners will do 10-12 reps for 2-4 sets, while others will do more reps and many more sets. Again, this is a matter of personal preference. The key is that you are doing enough reps and sets to get the greatest effect from this exercise.