Exercise of the Week – The Shoulder Bridge

Maintaining regular exercise is essential to get the most benefit from Pilates.  If you are away on business or holiday, a simple exercise to practice in your hotel room or at home is THE SHOULDER BRIDGE.  Below is a description to increase the challenge and make this an advanced exercise:


  • Lying down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat, hip-distance apart, lift your buttocks up.  Support your hips with your hands, and keep your elbows and upper arms on the mat. Avoid arching the back.
  • Roll down back to floor/mat through each segment of the spine.
  • Advance
  • Repeat as above, then Inhale and extend/straighten your right leg up, pointing your toe.  Aim to fully extend the leg pointing directly above your body.  Exhale and lower the leg with a flexed foot, returning to knee position.
  • Repeat 3 times, then change to the other leg.
  • If you have an acute or chronic back condition, stay with the basic exercise or modify to simply tilt the pelvis off the floor and do not add the leg extension.


Celia Carron
Director, Little Venice Pilates