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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT

Bridge Posterior Hip Exercises

A subtle way to help alleviate lower back pain

Low back pain is common. So common, that it’s abbreviated in almost all medical journals (“LBP”). While pain, and causes of pain are different for everyone, it’s worth checking posterior hip health when trying to alleviate tension. This is because the area that we commonly consider our “lower back”, actually includes the very top of the gluteal muscles.

Anatomy Lesson:

The area marked in this image is the small of the back (“lordosis”), making up the lower inward curve we have there. As you can see, not only are the muscles on either side of the spine implicated in this area, but the tops of the gluteal group (Glute maximus, medius and minimus) come up on either side of the spine. So when clients come in holding their lower back, the spinal muscles are certainly involved, but the tops of the glutes are usually tense as well. It’s also worth noting that when one has pain in the lower back, they typically move it less, leading to a pain cycle. That’s where these bridge exercises come in.

 

The Movements:

Begin lying flat on your back, toes in a straight line down from the hips.

 

 

Raise your hips up as high as possible, bending the knees, keeping a straight line from the chest to the knees, forming a “bridge”. If you need to, you can hold your lower back with your hands (but try not to!) Slowly lower your hips until they’re nearly touching the ground, and raise back up. This is one rep. Repeat 10-20 reps in this position.

Still want extra work?  Kick a single leg: 

A more advanced movement, which will affect more of the gluteal muscles, is to begin with your knees in a turned out position: Again, lying flat on your back, bring your toes together and allow your knees to bow out. Keeping the feet touching, raise and slowly lower the hips as before. You should notice the effort shifts from the very back of the hips to the sides of them. Repeat 10-20 reps again.  More advanced:  Kick a leg again: 

The most advanced movement is to combine these two exercises: Begin with the knees in a straight line from the hips, raise the hips, bow the knees out, lower the hips, and repeat. Repeat 10-20 reps again.

Whenever I feel like my lower back isn’t moving as freely as I want it to, or if my hips hurt a little while I’m laying down, I’ll spend the time to do these movements. Hip bridges truly do help your lower back function well. And if you find that you still can’t locate the source of your pain and discomfort, it’s time to make a massage therapy appointment. I’ll see you in my Westport office!



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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT