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Alexander Moreen

Arch holds or Low back bridges?

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Alexander Moreen

I was wondering which is a better back strengthening exercise, a arch(superman) hold, or a fully extended bridge(lay down flat on the ground, press you head and heels into the ground and raise your body off the ground) which looks like this;

floorsuperman.jpg

Now, obviously I flipped the picture and added in the black line show how the floor would be, but I would imagine you get the idea.

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Ryan Libke

Better for what? Both exercises are good. Bridges present more of a challenge for me to do correctly, relative to my shoulder flexibility, or lack thereof. I usually try to do superman arches with my arms in line with my ears. I am not expert on this, but I understand both positions, besides the strength building properties, are also important shapes in tumbling and other gymnastic activities.

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Joshua Naterman

They are definitely different, and from the looks of it quite complementary. It seems as though these would both be good to use in the warm up. I will absolutely be looking for a more professional opinion here, since I don't actually have any experience with that particular bridge.

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Blairbob

A head bridge predominantly trains the neck musculature though it does requires use of the back muscles.

Personally, I think the superman hold would be harder based on the fact that doing a shoulder bridge doesn't tax the lower back that much (to me).

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Alexander Moreen

With a normal head bridge(shoulders stacked above head, bent legs) that is definitely true, and the fact that this one does include some neck work is one of the things that draws me to it, since we don't do too much neck stuff here. And with a normal shoulder bridge(yoga style hip thrusters, with bent legs) its really all about the glutes. However, I think the extended body and legs in this variation significantly increases the amount of lower back involvement, though I could be mistaken. I tried to find a video or image of this on youtube and google respectively, but I couldn't find anything since I have no idea what to call this type of bridge. All I could find were standard high wrestling head bridges, hip thrusting shoulder bridges, and gymnastic style bridges.

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Cole Dano

Its going to work the neck much more and i also find it work the low back as the legs are very disadvantaged. One thing to remember in this type of neck bridge is to try not to roll on to your forehead. Once this happens you can almost rest there. Think of lifting onto the crown of the head.

It usually wise to learn this in stages, first with arms on the floor and knees bent. Progress to straight legs and hands crossed on chest and finally the one you have so wonderfully illustrated.

Another great neck strengthener is head stand.

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Alexander Moreen

I could already do it like the lady in the photo the first time I tried it, I'm just not sure which of the bridge or archup to use for part of my morning warmup. I don't find either very difficult to hold for a minute, so I can't tell which is harder muscle wise. Probably best to switch between them like planks and hollows I guess?

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Joshua Naterman

Yea, every other workout day in the warm up would be my personal implementation.

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Blairbob

Since many of my guys are beginners, they often have to do quite a bit of headstand work or press to headstands in their WU.

Maintenance for some of the older guys is 3 in straddle, 3 in pike, and then working on some more advanced headstands I learned from the GB seminar.

I, personally like to do some head bridging and rolling in my WU but I don't do it with my young guys.

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