The side bridge is a plank exercise to enhance abs and shoulder strength. The exercise can be challenging but is renowned for its health and strength-related benefits.
- It is better to try this exercise under the supervision of a professional trainer.
- Once you get acquainted with the exercise, you can do it in isolation.
Army PRT Side Bridge Exercise
- Lay on either side.
- Keep the elbow, forearm, and fist supporting the upper body off the ground.
Leg Positioning (Choose either option):
- Option A: Cross the bottom leg in front of the top leg, ensuring both feet touch each other.
- Option B: Position the legs so the knees are together, bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Firmly press into the ground with the supporting arm.
- Raise the trunk and pelvis straight upward until they form a straight line with the legs and knees.
Hold and Breathe:
- Hold this position while continuing to breathe.
- Aim for one minute.
Switching Sides and Duration:
- Switch to the other side after one minute.
- If you cannot hold for one minute, lower, rest briefly, then repeat until one minute has elapsed.
- External and internal obliques
- Abdomen (transverse and rectus)
- Quadratus lumorum
How to Perform a Side Bridge Correctly
- Adequate body strength
- Good balance
- Healthy shoulders
- Inherent motivation
- Begin by lying on the floor in a side plank position. Your arm should be spread on the ground, while your legs should be stacked over one another. (If you need additional balance, put the other arm on the hips for support.)
- Bend your arm at the elbow and rest your head on the vertical arm.
- Lift your hips upward to get in a straight line with the rest of your body. To do the lift comfortably, employ all the core muscles on the lower side of the body to grip your body. (You have to hold this position for the entire exercise duration.)
- Maintain both legs stacked on each other so your legs do not sag during the exercise.
- Now, flex your body towards the floor by bringing your hips closer to the floor by an inch.
- Keep moving your body towards the floor and then upward.
- Repeat this movement as per your desired number.
Alternate Version: Easier Variation of the Side Bridge
- If you find the exercise complex, try the easier version.
- For this, you can bend the upper leg and put the foot in front of the lower foot on the floor.
- This will decrease the immense pressure on your spine and aid in improved balancing.
- Once you practice the exercise with the easier version, you can learn to balance your body and move on to the regular version.
Benefits of the Side Bridge Exercise
- Improves abdominal muscle and pelvic strength.
- Build oblique muscles to offer adequate support to the abdomen.
- It offers stability to the abductor.
- Stabilizes the spine.
- It offers extreme support and strength to the shoulders and upper body.
Drawbacks of the Side Bridge
- You need a strong arm, hips, and core to do the exercise; if you are a beginner with no such strength, you won’t be able to do it.
- If your body weight is high, you will find it challenging to balance the weight on one arm and foot.
- If you have any shoulder injuries or pain, you won’t be able to bear the weight and exercise.