Overview: The face up supine bridge is an excellent core building exercise. It builds, strengthens and engages the important areas of your core which include your pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis and erector spinae. This is a key exercise to master before moving onto more complex exercises since this exercise provides you with the stability and support needed to successfully perform those other more complex core movements.
Exercise Advice: Place a padded mat on the floor and lie on your back. Slowly raise yourself off the ground and align your feet under your knees with your hands positioned just outside and under shoulders. Raise your hips up until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds while focusing all your attention on keeping tension on your core muscles.
Muscles Targeted: Since this exercise engages so many different muscles, we will break it down into primary and secondary groups below.
- Transverse Rectus Abdominis – These muscles are located in the front of your abdomen, also know as your “abs” and they are the main muscle group targeted with this exercise
- Gluteus Maximus – These are your butt muscles and this exercise is great for toning and tightening your booty.
- Pelvic Floor Muscles – These muscles support your internal organs. Having strong pelvic muscles is extremely beneficial to your health because it enables you to fully control our bladder and bowels.
- Obliques (internal and external) – The oblique muscles are the largest muscles in the abdomen and make up most of your core. These are also known as “love handles”.
- Hamstrings – The hamstrings is a group of three muscles, located at the back of your thigh and this exercise stretches and strengthens this area.
- Quadriceps – The quadriceps consist of four muscles and are located in the front of your thigh. This exercise strengthens and builds these muscles.
- Erector Spinae – These are a group of muscles that straighten and rotate the back.
Things To Avoid:
- Avoid lifting your heels of the ground as this might lead to an imbalance and becoming unstable while performing the exercise. Your feet need to be flat on the ground at all times.
- Avoid spacing your feet too far apart. Your feet should be parallel to each other and in-line with your shoulders.
- Avoid raising or dropping your hips too quickly as this could injure your spine.
- Avoid bending your hands or spacing them out in an unnatural angle. Your hands should be in-line with your shoulders and feet.
- Avoid lifting your spine in an unnatural angle. Your spine should be raised in proportion to your bent legs.
This exercise takes a little time to master, so make sure that your technique is correct as this is very important to ensure that you get the maximum benefit from this exercise and also so that you don’t injure yourself.
Reps and Sets: The number of reps and sets you perform depends on your level of experience:
- Level 1 – Hold the position for 20-30 seconds and perform 3 reps with a 30 second break in between reps.
- Level 2 – Hold the position for 30-60 seconds and perform 3 reps with a 30 second break in between reps.
- Level 3 – Hold the position for 1-2 minutes and perform 5 reps with a 30 second break in between reps.
- Level 4 – Hold the position for 2-5 minutes and perform 8 reps with a 30 second break in between reps.
Other Exercises To Use: After mastering this exercise, try performing the 1 Leg Supine Elevated Bridge, the Prone Bridge and the Leg Up Supine Bridge as these core strengthening exercises are similar to the face up supine bridge exercise and are all excellent to include in your overall core routine.