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A bridge to a firmer body

Fitness | GOOD FORM

February 24, 2003|Karen Voight

This exercise, called "banded bridge," helps to tighten your buttocks and hamstrings while also stretching the fronts of your hips and thighs. You can maximize your results by using rubber tubing or a resistance band. This is a great move to do whenever your lower back feels stiff from prolonged sitting.

1 Lie on the ground with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart. Hold the resistance band across your hips, where the fronts of your thighs meet your torso. For more resistance, check to see that the band is stretched over your hips. Inhale.

2 On an exhale, lengthen your spine by pressing your lower back toward the ground; pull your abdominal muscles in toward your spine. Press down into your heels as you squeeze your buttocks and lift your hips away from the ground. Keep your neck in a neutral position as you lift your hips about six to eight inches. Try to make a straight line from your knees to your chest. Hold this position for three seconds. Slowly release and lower your body down. Do 12 to 16 lifts, rest for 20 seconds, then repeat for another set.

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Karen Voight can be reached at kvoightla@aol.com.

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