How to improve shoulder flexibility for bridge?

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Kiwi

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Jul 14, 2010
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My flexibility has never been good, especially back and shoulders. I can get up into a basic bridge okay with straight arms (just). I'm a long way from getting my legs straight or together. I know for bridge you're supposed to use more shoulder and upper back flexibility so there's less strain on the lumbar spine. Can anyone recommend any exercises I could do to improve my flexibility so that I can do a better bridge?
 

emandelsmom

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Jan 1, 2010
552
My youngest has this problem. Her coach has shown me several stretches to do with her each day. Talk to your coach, they will be able to show you stretches. :)
 
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gymnut1

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Easiest one to do at home is to do a bridge with your feet raised up on the sofa. That way you can concentrate on pushing tall through your arms and opening the shoulders. Lifting and leaning into your armpits. Try and straighten your legs and keep the leaning and lifting going for a count of 10. If you dont grow tall at the same time as leaning your arms will collapse lol. Ask you coach if this is suitable for you to do and warm up first.
 
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besse123

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Lay on the floor on your stomach. Clasp your fingers together behind your head. Now flatten your lower back and tighten your lower belly muscles. Keep them tight as you Squeeze the muscles between your shoulder blades, so that your shoulder blades move down and in toward your spine. No lift your upper body off the floor. Only lift a little bit. Keep your head in line with your body. Most gymnasts I treat have very weak muscles in their shoulder blades. This prevents them from doing a good bridge. If you can't hold your shoulder blades down and in, your shoulders go forward instead and your blades go up. Weakness in shoulder blades makes your shoulders go forward, making them tight, making a bridge really hard. Hope you understand. If not, let me know and I will try again.
 

gym4life123

Member
Jun 24, 2010
136
Lay on the floor on your stomach. Clasp your fingers together behind your head. Now flatten your lower back and tighten your lower belly muscles. Keep them tight as you Squeeze the muscles between your shoulder blades, so that your shoulder blades move down and in toward your spine. No lift your upper body off the floor. Only lift a little bit. Keep your head in line with your body. Most gymnasts I treat have very weak muscles in their shoulder blades. This prevents them from doing a good bridge. If you can't hold your shoulder blades down and in, your shoulders go forward instead and your blades go up. Weakness in shoulder blades makes your shoulders go forward, making them tight, making a bridge really hard. Hope you understand. If not, let me know and I will try again.

I am not to sure if I understand this. My upper body should stay on the floor. Should my elbows lift up? Do you have a picture or a video? Thank you.
 
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nettyinpa

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my dd's coach has been having the girls do bridges against the wall. They come up into a bridge, with their chest towards the wall. They have to try and get their shoulders to touch the wall. I don't know how long they hold them for but my dd's been doing them at home and they seem to be helping her.
 

Azgymmiemom

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Mar 12, 2010
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Wow...you ARE talking about my dd, right? lol...jk;) although, this is exactly the problem she has...no shoulder flexibility at all. She says she hates to hold her bridge up because she feels so stretched that she can't breathe. She has just tried the mentioned exercises and stretching, and hopefully, they will help her, [email protected] Thanks, guys! you are awesome!!:)
 

marie83

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Mar 23, 2009
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One I really like requires a partner -

The Gymnast lies on their back, as if ready to push up to bridge, the partner stands up and places their feet just by the gymnast's shoulders. The gymnast then pushes to bridge but with their hands on their partner's feet/ankles.
The partner then gently pulls the gymnasts shoulders towards them with the aim of eventually getting the gymnast's arm pits right next to their legs.

Another thing is try to always begin your bridge with feet together.
I believe even if your bridge is worse, at least you are trying to use correct technique!
 
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dancesterx3

Guest
In a rut...

Lately I've been really tired and unenergetic and not wanting or having the drive to work out, I don't know why this may be nor do i know how to get out of this. Any suggestions?
 
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dancesterx3

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sorry...

I hit post reply instead of new message.... Even though I had an answer for this one... My heads all messed up... I'll blame the heat.... Anyways, my ANSWER to this was to lay on your stomach, hold your hands behind your back and bring them up to your head, you may want a friend to push them a little bit to get an extra stretch in, but be careful I learned the hard way not to over push in this stretch... EXTREMELY painful... :)
 

gym4life123

Member
Jun 24, 2010
136
Here are some streches that you can do with a partner:
1. Lie down on your stomach, put your arms up on a raised surface (about 1 foot, crash mat) and get your partner to push down on your shoulders
2. Lie down on your stomach, get your partner to sit (not squish you) down on your shoulder blades to keep your body from lifting up, and take your arms and lift them up, you want them to grab at the elbows or below the elbows (part closest to your head)
3.Again lie down on your stomach, put your hands on your head, fingers interlaced, and get your partner to push your elbows together
4.On your stomach, put your arms by your side, and get your partner to lift them, towards your head. You want fingers to touch.
5. Sit in pike with your feet on a raised surface, put your ams behind your back, link your fingers together and get your partner to lift your arms and push you into a pike strech
6. Inlocate and dislocate: Hold a skippind rope in front of you, lift your arms over your head and behind you, all the way until they are touching your back. Then bring them back in front. Don't let go of the skipping rope. You want your hands to be as close together as possible. You could also use a towel, or rubber exercise band.
I hope these help.
 
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