Muscles Targeted: The prone bridge is a very simple but effective exercise that builds your core muscles and overall core strength. By working your external obliques and transverse muscles, this will help you develop the much desired “V-Taper” look that many people try to attain (along with a clean diet and cardio to burn body fat). The targeted muscles of the prone bridge exercise include:
- Erector Spinae – This set of muscles straighten and rotate the back.
- Rectus Abdominis – Also known as the “abs”, this is the large flat muscle in front of the abdomen.
- Hip Flexors – The hip flexors are several muscles that bring the legs and trunk together.
- Transverse Abdominis – These muscles are located underneath your rectus abdominis and run horizontally across the abdomen.
- External Obliques – The external oblique muscles are one of the largest parts of the trunk area and is one of the outermost abdominal muscles, extending from the lower half of the ribs around and down to the pelvis.
Exercise Advice: Place a padded mat o the floor and place yourself in a prone position on the ground. Raise yourself off the ground and onto your toes with your forearms under your shoulders. Keep your hips and back parallel with a straight line posture.
Things To Avoid:
- Avoid keeping your spine in an unnatural position. Your spine shouldn’t be humped like a camel’s back, nor should it have a dip in the center. If your spine hurts during this exercise, your spine is probably not in a neutral position and you are probably straining your back muscles.
- Avoid keeping your elbows too far apart. Your elbows should be tucked in near your body.
- Avoid keeping feet too far part. Your feet should be in line with your tucked elbows. If your feet and elbows aren’t in line then you are doing the exercise incorrectly.
- Avoid dropping your hips too low or raising them too high. Keep both your hips and your back flat.
- Avoid holding your breath. The key to successfully completing your reps is to breathe normally.
Reps and Sets: The number of reps and sets you perform depends on your level of fitness:
- Level 1 – Hold for 5-10 seconds for each set. Perform 1-2 sets with a 1-2 minute rest period in between sets. Perform this workout once a week.
- Level 2 – Hold for 10-20 seconds for each set. Perform 2-3 sets with a 1-2 minute rest period in between sets. Perform this workout once a week.
- Level 3 – Hold for 20-30 seconds for each set. Perform 3-4 sets with a 1-2 minute rest period in between sets. Perform this workout 1-2 times a week.
- Level 4 – Hold for 30-60 seconds for each set. Perform 4-5 sets with a 1-2 minute rest period in between sets. Perform this workout 2-3 times a week.
Other Exercises To Use: Some other great core exercises to include in your workout are the Side Bridge Crunch, Giant Zeros, Russian Twists, One Legged Cross Body Chops, Leg Up Supine Bridge, T-Stabilization Lockout and the Scissor Cross. All of these exercises work your core muscles very well which helps makes your overall core area much stronger.