Bridging Progressions for Mountain Biking

The bridge (or wheel as it is called in yoga) is a fundamental exercise that has been forgotten about in the modern fitness culture. It is the perfect antidote to the slouched shoulder/ tight hip flexors posture so many of us find ourselves in and one of the best ways to activate and strengthen the posterior chain (all the muscles on the back side of the body).

When I first show this exercise to new clients I get a lot of looks like I’m crazy – they never see themselves being able to do a bridge. However, with practice and an understanding of how to progress the exercise you can build tremendous mobility and strength with this exercise.

In this video I show you the progression I use in my facility to get people doing bridges and then how to take them a step further.

-James Wilson-

No Gym, No Problem. — Bodyweight Program

No Gym, No Problem. — Bodyweight ProgramWho says you need equipment to get a great workout in? With this workout program you have no more excuses to not train- the world is your gym. Designed around the principle of Exercise Progressions this workout program allows you to create the perfect workout for your current fitness level. Perfect for starting your strength training journey or adding a new challenge to your current workout, this workout belongs in every rider’s toolbox.
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  1. Jeff Knox says:

    I really like this exercise but the main problem I have getting into the bridge position is with my wrist. I have damaged my left wrist a few times and don’t have as good flexibility which means I find it difficult bending it back to the required position to push myself up and it starts to hurt after a few bridges. Do you have any suggestions for an alternative hand position because I’ve tried a few and they don’t feel very stable? Thanks

    Reply • April 13 at 7:56 am
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      Two things you can try. The first is to do them fisted, which won’t bend the wrists at all. My suggestion is to do as many as you can until it hurts and just treat the wrist like the weak link and let it get stronger. I have a rider I train at my who swore he would never be able to bend his wrist like that who can now do them fine after a few months of practice.

      Reply • April 13 at 10:49 am
  2. John K. says:

    I’ve suffered from slouched shoulders and poor posture for a decade now, and I’ve tried all sorts of exercises designed to counterbalance this. The bridge is the most effective I’ve come across yet – thanks so much James. And you’re right – it sucks for a long time but eventually it starts to feel great! I love it.

    Reply • April 13 at 9:27 am
  3. Joe says:

    HI James.. Thx for posting this and I’m looking forward to trying it. I do have a question for you though…

    In many of our previous posts you mention about doing exercises that keep your core stable, since that’s it’s primary function (i.e. planks, etc). Does this exercise violate that principle ? In fact, would you even put this exercise in the category of core strengthening ? Thanks ! – Joe

    Reply • April 13 at 10:23 am
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      You don’t want to drive movement through the lower back but letting it curve and move during the bridge is a bit different. It certainly hits the core but it is not in the same vein as a deadlift or shoulder press where you are under load and need to prevent all movement at the low back. You need mobility and stability and this exercise is a great way to work on the mobility side of things.

      Reply • April 13 at 10:47 am
  4. Robert says:

    Seems like this would build my core strength AND get my wrists stronger (I had a bad break a few years ago and have never really recovered). I like drills that have multiple benefits.

    Reply • April 13 at 3:34 pm
  5. Andrew M says:

    Im looking forward to working this into my routine. Thanks so much for all the free stuff you give away. Also, the new theme looks great.

    Reply • April 13 at 10:14 pm
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      Thanks, glad you like the info and the new blog look…

      Reply • April 14 at 8:44 am

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James Wilson
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Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson