Bridge Your Way To Strong Hips

If your hips aren’t strong enough to stabilize your pelvis while walking, running or playing sports, your knees and back will suffer.

Strong Hips = Strong Knees.  Weak Hips = Weak Knees.

Bridging is an exercise often used by physical therapists to help strengthen hips and it can be done anywhere with no equipment.

Here’s some tips to performing a variety of different bridging exercises. Perform these exercises 2-3 days per week on alternating days.


Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.  Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles and slowly lift your hips off the floor. Slowly roll up until your hips are high in a comfortably position and your body weight is resting on the top of your shoulder blades. Keep your hips square to the ceiling. Try to avoid letting your pelvis rotate. Hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly release down. Perform 10-20 reps.

  • As a simple variation to this exercise, adjust the speed of the movement. Try 5 counts up, 5 counts down. Try 1 count up, 5 counts down. Try 1 count up, 1 count day. Adjusting the speed of movement will stimulate the muscles differently.
  • Another simple variation is to hold the bridge in the high position and allow the knees to move in and out laterally while staying within comfortable positions.
  • Another simple variation is to start with the bridge in the high position and then allow one hip to drop/tilt down while the other lifts high. Tilt side to side.
  • bridgedA more advanced option is to progress to 1 Leg Bridging – Lay on your back with 1 leg bent, foot on the floor and the other leg lifted straight up to the ceiling.  With your arms at your side, slowly lift your hips and buttocks up towards the ceiling while contracting your glutes (buttocks) and hamstrings (back of thigh) until your body weight is resting comfortably on your shoulder blades.  Throughout the entire exercise, be sure to keep your hips square to the ceiling and your abdominals contracted.  Be sure not to tilt to one side while doing these 1-leg lifts.  Slowly lift up and down 8-20x for 1-2 sets.
  • hamstringcurl1a hamstringcurl1bOnce your hips become strong, another more advanced progression is to use a stability ball. Place your feet on the stability ball and then perform the bridge for an intense recruitment of your hips and hamstring muscles.








Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Note:  As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.


Couve Run 2017

Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA. Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.


Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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