Building Up to the High Bridge

Dream of doing the Wheel once again? While this nostalgic pose might not be for every body, the playful, powerful journey toward achieving it certainly is.

By Grace Hurry • Edited by Amanda Altman


MY CLIENTS OFTEN ASK ME SOMETHING ALONG THE LINES OF, WHY CAN I NO LONGER “POP UP” INTO A WHEEL, WHEN I USED TO DO IT ALL THE TIME AS A CHILD? Of course, there are many factors that may contribute to why an adult no longer feels able to perform such a movement, and more often than not, working toward an advanced posture such as Wheel—or High Bridge as we call it in Pilates—might not always be appropriate for every body.

However, making the High Bridge happen is a formidable goal to have, and developing the skills necessary to achieve it makes for a really functional workout plan for many of my clients. More importantly, I believe that with some creative use of the Wunda Chair we can empower our clients, and ourselves, to find our inner child again and again!

When performed after a warm-up, the following routine makes for a comprehensive workout plan, increasing strength, stability and mobility throughout the entire body. Or feel free to add a few of these exercises to your current regimen, as many days a week as possible.

Whether or not you end up achieving that Instagram-perfect pose, I hope you find the path toward it equals parts playful and powerful. Because sometimes the journey is more monumental than the goal itself. PS


A sneak peak of the exercises: 

PELVIC CURL
How it will help your High Bridge
• Increases strength in the hip extensors and adductors.
• Promotes spinal mobility.
• Enhances scapula control.

START Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet parallel, arches wrapped around the pedal. Press the pedal all the way down, with your palms down at your sides.

MOVE Articulate your spine, starting from your tailbone, until you arrive at the Bridge position, favoring a posterior tilt of your pelvis. Articulate back down through your spine, keeping the pedal down throughout. Do 5–8 reps.

MODIFICATION Decrease the spring tension.
ADVANCED Do the exercise with the pedal floating, keeping it still throughout.

* From the BASI Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Training Program


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