Desert island scenario. If I was told that for some reason that I could only ever teach one exercise for the rest of my life, the answer would definitely be, drum roll please…. the shoulder bridge!

Why a Shoulder Bridge?

Because with this fabulous exercise you get so much bang for your buck.

This shoulder bridge is great for,

  • increasing the flexibility of the whole of your spine and neck.
  • strengthening your gluteal muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings, pelvic floor, abdominals and back muscles; most notably the tiny ones which control movement of each individual vertebrae and can weaken after episodes of back pain.
  • grading; you can keep the bridge really simple or more challenging with add-ons like leg lifts and hip drops.
  • mindfulness as you focus on the most intricate movements of your spine.

How do I complete a shoulder bridge?

Jo explains exactly how to complete a shoulder bridge in this video

The shoulder bridge really is the Jessica Ennis of the exercise world; a total all-rounder that we love at Courtyard. It is a favourite with our Pilates teachers and physios who might use it to help with back pain or even as a post-op rehab exercise after hip replacement. Theresa, our yoga teacher would use it to help with spinal mobility. And on our Italian retreats you might find yourself using it as a wind down or mindful relaxation.

So, let’s all hail the shoulder bridge. I hope I’m never forced to make such a choice but if I do end up on a desert island, this would be a wonderful exercise for the beach and would keep me in shape until help arrived!