June 20, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

This shoulder bridge is perfect to strengthen and stretch your glutes, hamstrings, obliques, hip flexors, and pectoral major. For this exercise, you will need small handweights (or something of an equivalent weight, like a half-gallon milk carton filled with water).

Setup & Starting Position

  1. Get into bridge position with your pelvis and spine neutral, holding the weights in your hand.20130515_bs_6156_clip_Web
  2. Leave your left foot on the floor and keep your hips extended as you raise your right leg, pointing your toes to the ceiling.

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Exercise

  1. Inhale through your nose.
  2. Exhale as you lower your right leg, reaching your arms out to your sides (palms facing up).20130515_bs_6163_clip_Web
  3. Inhale as you raise your right leg and your arms to the ceiling once more.20130515_bs_6168_clip_Web
  4. Repeat 5 times and switch sides.

Wendy Andersen is co-owner and lead instructor/trainer at Pilates Center of Omaha and is a Fully Certified STOTT PILATES® Instructor. For more information, visit pilatescenterofomaha.com.