Shoulder Bridge Exercise – An Exercise to Improve the Posting Trot


Start by lying on your back with your knees up, feet parallel and flat on the floor, and hip-distance apart.  The abs are scooped up an in and engage the pelvic floor.  Find neutral pelvis (see article on neutral pelvis).  This exercise stays in neutral pelvis throughout.  This exercise mimics the posting trot while you are lying on the floor.  Become very aware of your balance and symmetry throughout the exercise.  Make sure your feet are parallel and even (not one closer to your butt).  Have someone watch you to see if you raise your hips together or if one leads.  Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed throughout the exercise.

Prep Exercise:

  1. Inhale to prepare.
  2. Exhale and lift the hips up to make one long line between shoulders, hips, and knees.  There is no rolling through the spine.
  3. Inhale and stay.
  4. Exhale and lower the hips back to the ground, tail bone touching down first.
  5. Repeat a total of five times.

Essential challenge:

  1. Inhale to prepare.
  2. Exhale and lift the hips up to make one long line between shoulders, hips, and knees.  There is no rolling through the spine.
  3. Inhale one foot off the floor an inch and put it back down.
  4. Exhale the other foot off the floor an inch and put it back down.
  5. Inhale and stay.  Fix the hips as they probably dropped.
  6. Exhale lower the hips to the floor.
  7. Repeat with the other leg first.
  8. Do a total of three sets, alternating legs within each set.

Intermediate Challenge:

  1. Inhale to prepare.
  2. Exhale and lift the hips up to make one long line between shoulders, hips, and knees.  There is no rolling through the spine.
  3. Inhale one foot straight up into the air with a pointed toe.
  4. Exhale and flex at the ankle and lower the straight leg as far as the other knee.
  5. Inhale, point the toe, and raise the STRAIGHT leg back up.
  6. Repeat 4 and 5 two more times.
  7. Exhale, bend the knee, put the foot on the floor.
  8. Inhale the other leg straight up into the air.
  9. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the second leg three times total.
  10. Inhale and stay.  Fix the hips as they probably dropped.
  11. Exhale lower the hips to the floor.
  12. Repeat with the other leg first.
  13. Do a total of three sets, alternating legs within each set.

*  It is VERY IMPORTANT to keep the leg absolutely straight through the knee when raising the leg up.  If your knee bends, you are using your hip flexors as a default.  The hip flexors are already too tight in most people.  Straighten through the knee!  If you can’t get your leg perfectly vertical with a straight knee, then go only so high as a straight knee will allow your leg to go.

Advanced Challenges:

  1. Do the intermediate version with your feet flat on a stability ball or cushion.  That will mean that only one foot is on the ball or cushion when the other foot is in the air along with your hips being up in the air.  Control the ball!  Control your hips!
  2. Do the intermediate version while lying on a foam roller.  The roller is along your spine.
  3. You can start with your arms by your sides, but then you can challenge yourself further by raising your arms up in a V above your chest.
  4. You could combine the two above challenges together – lie on a foam roller and have your feet on a stability ball or cushion.

About Laurie Higgins

I play with clicker training - with my horses, dogs, and cats. I also attempt to grow vegetables with the hope of one day being able to feed my family from my garden. My daughter and I are learning ballroom dancing. Well, we were. But she left me for a paying horse job, so now my husband and I are learning ballroom dancing. I'm also now helping Peggy Hogan, of Clicker Training Horses (and The Best Whisper is a Click) to teach people how to train their own horses using "clicker training".
This entry was posted in Fitness, Pilates, Pilates, Riding & Fitness, Riding Fitness, Riding Pilates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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