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  1. #1
    jetronin is offline Senior Member
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    Default Back bridging finer points.....Experienced guys...?

    Hello people.
    A little advice from experienced bridge guys and girls if you can help.
    2 things..
    First, I've been bridging for some time now, and have been doing so on flat feet, but Karl Gotch taught (and by extension Matt Furey) trainees to bridge on the toes. Any thought? Good points, bad points. A curiosity really.

    Second I notice that my own bridge is far from perfect, but in experienced guys there seems a much greater degree of "backwards bend" in the mid-back...if you get my meaning. Is this just the result of plenty practice or is it the kind of thing that only a small number can achieve? Spinal hypermobility maybe. Just asking as my bridging, although it is slowly but surely getting better, there seems a gaping chasm of difference between a great, perfect bridge, and mine.

    Any tips from those further down the road than me would be greatly appreciated.

    Pleusa? Mr Kavadlo? Anyone who knows bridging well?
    Cheers guys.
    David
    "Strength does not come from physical capacity.
    It comes from an indomitable will"-Mohandas K. Gandhi.

  2. #2
    Al_Kavadlo is offline Senior Member
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    Hey David - It seems like you're on the right track. The thoracic region can take a long time to loosen up enough to allow for a full bridge, especially in guys who are carrying a decent amount of muscle mass in the upper body. Keep working at it and be patient. The bridge is a very unique move that must be approached with humility.

    As for the heels vs. toes thing, there are definitely pros and cons to both methods. I'm going to keep you in suspense a bit for now, as the bridge is one of the main exercises I'll be addressing in my next book and I don't want to give away all my tips for free.

    Having said that, check out this article I wrote for Sherdog.com about bridge training. http://www.sherdog.com/training/Back...d-Beyond-42367

  3. #3
    JasonL.Ac. is offline Senior Member
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    One point about flat feet versus toes. In grappling arts, including wrestling, a bridge, while it may or may not be used as general strength training, is always a means to an end. That is, it's the first step in several (though not all) ways of escaping when someone is on top of you. Bridging on your toes is going to be the superior method for this most of the time, for technical reasons.

    When done for general strength training, this is not an issue, and going on your toes makes arching easier, hence flat feet make them harder. Also, if you're training to do something like support a person standing on you while you bridge, flat feet will give you a more solid foundation.

    So it depends what you want out of your bridges. This also applies to repetitions vs static holds, explosiveness, etc. For now, my interest in bridges is primarily as part of my judo and bjj practice, so I bridge in a way that supports getting better at the techniques for which its useful, which include doing many many variations that are not going to be seen in CC etc. I do do wall walks a bit (forget which CC step that is), but for other reasons; doesn't help my grappling.
    Jason Ginsberg, RKC2, LAc
    [url]http://www.dragondoor.com/instructor/1706[/url]

  4. #4
    Karl F. Vorwerk is offline Senior Member
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    If you're not doing it stretch your shoulders also.

  5. #5
    jetronin is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for the replies lads.
    Al, cheers, it's good to know I'm on the right track.
    Jason, I hadn't thought of the combat application but it makes a lot of sense, and answers the static/dynamic bridging question I was just about to ask.
    Karl, I work shoulder mobility a few times a week as part of my regular programming. Thanks.
    Appreciate the help.

    David
    "Strength does not come from physical capacity.
    It comes from an indomitable will"-Mohandas K. Gandhi.

  6. #6
    JasonL.Ac. is offline Senior Member
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    David,

    Just to make it even murkier, consider this: take four popular grappling arts as examples: judo, Brazilian jiu jitsu, sambo, and wrestling (apologies wrestlers, I know "wrestling" is really too vague a term, but bear with me).

    Judo and sambo are done using the gi/jacket, wrestling is not. Most serious bjj competitors do both (the jacket makes a huge difference in technique, athletic qualities in demand, etc).

    In judo and wrestling, a pin is a win, although in judo it has to be for about 30 seconds, whereas wrestling is for 3. In bjj, you can't win directly with a pin, but only score points (after 3 seconds). In sambo, you can both score points and potentially win. But wait, there's more, what constitutes a "pin" differs in all 4 sports; e.g. the "guard" position, an attacking position for judo and bjj that an opponent gets points for passing, is a pin in wrestling and sambo.

    Everything but wrestling allows submissions. But, which submissions are legal varies between judo, bjj, and sambo (no chokes in sport sambo, no leg locks in judo, leg locks only at higher levels in bjj (a rule I'm heartily in favor of)).

    None of them allow striking, except there's sport sambo and combat sambo; combat sambo allows strikes (it's basically mma in a gi) and hurtful language (ok, I made that last part up just to see if people were still reading).

    There's a lot more differences between the 4 sports that I haven't gone into (such as legal and illegal throws and grips, round and match length, ranking, etc), but all of the above are DIRECTLY RELEVANT to the application of bridging in the particular sport. It's "sport-specific" on a level you wouldn't believe. Competing in two and a half of the above, and still dabbling in other combat sports, is enough to sometimes make my head spin.

    This is part of why Andrew Read's articles on how he trains bjj'ers make so much sense, and why it's so sad that everyone pretty much does the opposite of that : (
    Jason Ginsberg, RKC2, LAc
    [url]http://www.dragondoor.com/instructor/1706[/url]

  7. #7
    jetronin is offline Senior Member
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    Jason, have you a link to Andrew Reads' article? Oh, and I thought harsh language was part of the game ;-)
    "Strength does not come from physical capacity.
    It comes from an indomitable will"-Mohandas K. Gandhi.

  8. #8
    Striker is offline Senior Member
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    Al,

    I'm curious to know if you have an opinion on frequency of bridging for both isometric hold and dynamic bridging. Thank you.

  9. #9
    Al_Kavadlo is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striker View Post
    Al,

    I'm curious to know if you have an opinion on frequency of bridging for both isometric hold and dynamic bridging. Thank you.
    For a beginner, 2-3x a week of either is plenty. From there, you can eventually build to daily practice. It's like anything else really.

  10. #10
    Striker is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al_Kavadlo View Post
    For a beginner, 2-3x a week of either is plenty. From there, you can eventually build to daily practice. It's like anything else really.
    Thanks Al, can't wait for your book including bridging to be released. Count me in.

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