Hey plpatton, good question! Classifying a given variation of a given exercise really depends on how you will use it. Generally though, bridges should be thought of as mobility exercises. Mobility is strength through a range of motion, so you need to be both strong and flexible.
For getting more strength gains out of bridges, you can do bridge push ups, which are a fine exercise, however this will focus more on the arms and shoulders, which is great, but the most unique aspect of bridges is the lower back activation, and ultimately this will lead you to…the stand to stand bridge!
Here is a video I posted:
Be forewarned, this is a very advanced exercise and the risk of injury can be high if you aren’t ready for it. However, if you get it down it is awesome. In my opinion, if I had to do just 1 exercise for the rest of my life it would probably be that one because of how awesome it is for the lower back. Take it slowly though, even Al has a really tough time with this one (his stand to stand bridges aren’t as good as mine, but he’s stronger than I in pretty much everything else haha), which shows that it isn’t all strength; there’s tons of specific coordination and mobility involved in this one. Of course, it takes a good deal of strength too. I like doing sets of 10-12 either in work outs, as a warm up/cool down, or just sporadically.
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