How to keep calves out of a shoulder bridge
Ever tried to do a shoulder bridge? They are relatively easy: You are on your back, knees bent, and you are lifting your hips in the air. However, if you don’t pay attention, you can just use your quads to do the lifting. When you work with me you know that you should be driving through the heels to get your glutes and hamstrings to work.
What if you are having difficulty (we don’t say CAN’T) getting your glutes and hamstrings to work?
What if you can only primarily feel your calves?
This was driving me bananas the other day, and I had several clients try beating their quads into submission to get the hamstrings to engage like this:
In this case, notice that the right foot is particularly cattywampus, which is easy for me to see, but hard for my sweet client Kristin to see or particularly feel. It feels normal. Worse than that, I wasn’t convinced her calves were staying out of the exercise that was primarily targeting her hamstrings.
So we flipped her like a pancake on over to her back like this:
Now she could press her calves into the roller, press out against the stretchy band, and lift her hips up to focus on those glutes and hammys. Once she and I were both satisfied we had our target muscles working, we upped the difficulty by putting the soles of the feet on the roller like this:
So, we created the neural pathway and made the conditions tough for compensation to take place…and then once the right muscles were working, we added in a bigger movement to really get those hammies strong.
Give this exercise progression a whirl (and don’t even worry about the stretchy band) and let me know how much your hamstrings in particular love you afterword in the comments below or on social media. We need the world to know there are solutions! 🙂