Single leg bridge test is a great way to test strength and stability of the core, pelvic and hip muscles. If you are an athlete or runner you want to make sure you have a solid foundation with good core strength and glute strength to prevent injuries and for optimal performance. You are setting yourself up for injuries if you don’t test and work on building a strong foundation before running. All sorts of different injuries: patellofemoral pain, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, hip injuries and low back pain can be due to weak core and hip strength.
Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and Ayurveda herbalist. So I’m going to show you a quick test to determine if you have core and pelvic stability and whether you need to work on strengthening your core muscles, and then your glutes also or your pelvic muscles. So this is important not only for day-to-day activities, walking, but definitely for athletes and runners especially if you want to have good core as well as that pelvic stability. And if that’s not there, and often this is the case with a lot of injuries whether it’s low back injuries, hip-related issues and knee problems—so a lot of stuff is going on further up in the chain in the foundation as we’ve talk about of course in the other videos—that needs to be corrected first. So we’re going to work at figuring out if you have good stability at that pelvis, can you maintain the alignment, and if you’re not, well, what are the things that are happening and what do we do about it?
Alright, so this is a simple…it’s a bridging test and we’re going to do a single-leg bridge. So the first part of the test is going to be just rising up. So as she lifts up there, we want to see, is she able to maintain alignment of the pelvis? Does the pelvis stay level or does one side drop down? So if this side drops down, we know some of the muscles are not firing in those glutes. So that’s the big one we want to have in mind for this specific exercise. We’re targeting the glutes. And if the glutes are not strong or if there’s not enough stability of the core muscles, you’re going to have your low back muscles, the erector spinae or your hamstrings kicking in to compensate for that movement. So you might feel some cramping or excessive fatigue in the hamstrings or the low back muscles because the glutes are weak and they’re not able to maintain that alignment. So if I had a dollar or a stick or a ruler and I placed it here, this would be nice and level. It would not be tilting to one side or the other.
So what she’s going to do is going to come back down. So now when she lifts up this time, so we’re going to raise up, a little bit lower, so right about there, okay, so that is just stable, so we have to make sure the glutes really tighten up the butt muscles so you’re stabilizing. And now she’s going to lift one leg up. So we want to make sure she can maintain that alignment, the whole side doesn’t dip down when she lifts the leg up. Okay, good. Bring it back down. And she’s going to always compare and check with the other side. So as she lifts up, same thing, and she’s really firing these glutes on this side right now to hold that pelvis stable so it doesn’t drop down on that left side. Good, go ahead and bring it back down and come back down.
So you’re checking to see, one, the alignment of the pelvis, does it stay level; second thing is whether your hamstrings start to work more, they start cramping or tightening up by getting more strain on them, or your low back starts to really feel it, whether there’s a strain or cramping of those muscles, which means that they’re starting to overcompensate and the glutes are not firing to maintain that bridge position, and also to not to work at maintaining the alignment of that pelvis. Then, if that’s the case, then you go back, you’ve got to work on strengthening the glutes, and of course your core muscles too, always, to work on getting that good stability. And that’s important especially when you’re walking, single-leg activity; you need to have muscle stability on that pelvis so it does not drop when you’re walking and running and doing things because otherwise it’ll cause a lot of mechanic problems up and down the chain causing all sorts of issues for you.
So pretty good test, simple test, so test yourself and how long you want to hold it. Let’s see, work at holding for 30 seconds to a minute, see if you can do it for a minute. Can you really hold that position or do you really start shaking all over the place and you start to cramp in the spots that we mentioned trying to compensate because you can’t hold that position? So test yourself, and if you have weakness then you go back and you work on those glutes, and I’ve shown in some of the videos, other videos that I did, working on glute strengthening. So you work on those guys and you come back and retest yourself.
If you have any questions, leave a comment. Make sure you subscribe to the channel. And go check out my site. I have tons of information on at the site and we’ve got a pretty cool program coming up on recovery and injuries, specifically for athletes and runners. So stay tuned and keep checking out the videos. I’m going to keep posting information on how the program’s coming up. I think you guys are going to love it. So if you have any questions, leave a comment. Thanks, guys.
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