Performing a Side Bridge Exercise Has its Advantages

The side bridge exercise is a stellar movement targeting the oblique muscles, commonly referred to as the “outer abs”. The various layers of oblique muscles are just one of the 29 muscles that make up your “core”. The muscle group plays a vital role in posture, core stabilization, activities of daily living and athletic performance. The exercise reveals its true potential, though, by the many secondary muscles it activates while “holding” the position. In addition to the obliques, other muscles like the gluteus medius and gluteus maximus, are engaged to help stabilize the hips. Finally, your shoulder stabilizers work in concert to keep you aligned as well. 

What are the Benefits of the Side Bridge Exercise?

Aside from all the benefits it provides for your body, the side bridge also brings plenty of convenience to the table. It is a terrific bodyweight exercise, all you need to do a side bridge is a mat and a few minutes. The power of the side bridge extends well beyond just your obliques. The side bridge influences every muscle that the obliques touch or are related to. Here are just a few of the benefits of performing the exercise:

  • Side bridge activates as much as 40 percent of the upper and lower back muscles. This is more than many common back exercises.
  • Not only does it work your obliques exceptionally well (about 50 percent of their maximum), it recruits your rectus abdominals too (about 34 percent of its maximum). This amount of muscle activation is similar to performing a crunch or front bridge exercise (aka plank).
  • The side bridge is an ideal exercise to train the back muscles, especially the deep muscle, known as the quadratus lumborum. The QL is an important muscle for providing spine stability.
  • Performing the side bridge exercise is one of the best ways to work your hip abductor and glute muscles. The hip abductor muscles work at about 74 percent of their maximum capacity during the side bridge. That number, by the way, doubles the work of the muscle often prescribed for hip muscle weakness, the side-lying leg raise (aka hip abduction).

How to Modify a Side Bridge Exercise

You can do a traditional side bridge or change things up to make the movement easier or harder.

Lift Your Top Leg Up – This increases the stress on the side of the body closest to the ground.

Flex the Hip of the Bottom Leg – This puts all of the weight on your top leg and is the excellent way to train your inner thighs (e.g. your hip adductor muscles). This is a great exercise for any hockey players.

Change Your Point of Support – Rather than supporting yourself from your forearms or feet, you can support yourself from your knees (easier) or from your extended arm (easier on the muscles but harder to balance).

Why is This So Important?

Developing core strength is important for not only posture but every day activities as well. In addition, if you are a runner, triathlete, cyclist or swimmer, then the side bridge should be part of your conditioning program. The side bridge exercise is typically done three times per week, holding the position for 3-10 seconds. Hold the position for a desired time and then roll back. Keep repeating this until you can’t maintain your form. You can also try doing straight sets on one side before switching sides.

The simplest rationale for the side bridge exercise is it builds your muscle capacity providing better hip and trunk stability. The muscles that get strengthened over time, help keep your pelvis level (neutral). This is not only important to prevent back and hip pain but is also very important in preventing knee injuries. One important aspect of knee pain is hip stability and hip abductor and glute medius weakness. The side bridge is ideal for improving stability about the hips and thus preventing or treating knee pain that has been known to cause hip dysfunction.

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Trunk Muscles

In addition to providing a great workout for the obliques, transversus abdominis, and rectus abdominis, side bridges work many muscles of the core or trunk. This exercise engages the glutes as synergists, or muscles that help other muscles complete a movement. Side bridges focus on the hips, engaging other synergists such as the quadratus lumborum, psoas major and hip adductors. In addition, additional back muscles such as the iliocostalis and the latissimus dorsi are also activated with side bridges.

Additional Muscles

Side bridges don’t stop at the abs and trunk. Upper-thigh muscles, including the tensor fasciae late, gracious and pectineus act as synergists, as do the deltoids, supraspinatus, and trapezius of the shoulders and upper back. Likewise, the pectoralis muscles of the chest and levator scapulae of the upper shoulders serve as stabilizers, or muscles that help other muscles maintain a certain position during exercise.

Muscle Activation

The side bridge not only excels in the quantity of muscles it engages, it also offers quality activation. Physiotherapist and chiropractor Greg Lehman notes that this exercise engages your upper and lower back muscles at 40 percent of their maximum, a figure far greater than typical back exercises. Lehman also says that the obliques and rectus abdominal experience engagement of 50 percent and 34 percent respectively, making for abdominal engagement roughly on par with crunches. The hips get the biggest benefit, however, at about 74 percent engagement. That’s twice the engagement of the common side-lying leg raise.

Low Back Pain

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by the University of Virginia, reveals further benefits of the side bridge exercise for those who suffer from recurrent low-back pain (LBP). The study found that those with recurrent low-back pain experience the same level of muscle activation, or efficient muscle contraction, as those who did not suffer from LBP when performing side bridges. The news is doubly good, as the same study notes that a weak transverse abdominous may actually be part of the cause of LBP.

Use Jefit to Plan & Track Your Workouts

The Jefit app was named best app for 2021 by PC Magazine and Men’s Health. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit.

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Android Update Version 9.0 Released!

Hello All,

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve updated our Android Application.

This is a MAJOR update that contains a complete re-design to the UI using the new Android Material Design style, improved User Experience, new features, changes to current features, bug fixes, performance enhancements and more.

 

What Is New

1.) NEW Redesigned UI using Android Material Design Style

We have completely redesigned the application to match the style of the new Android Material Design style that Google has released.

All pages and features of the application have taken advantage of this new design style making the flow and look of the application cleaner, modern and accessible.

JEFIT Android Version 9.0 Update  JEFIT Android Version 9.0 Update

 

 

2.) IMPROVED User Experience

Using the Android Material Design style, we have utilized this to improve the overall user experience.

This means less clicking and navigating to access many of the main features and functions.

We also improved placement of buttons and utilization of the screen to place features/buttons so that the user has a better overall experience.

For example on the exercise detail screen we have made it easier to access the add to routine, logs, notes, progress charts and record logs buttons while also changing the scan through exercise arrows next to the exercise name.

JEFIT Android Version 9.0 Update

 

3.) IMPROVED JEFIT Team and User Shared Workout Routine Layout and Loading

We have improved the layout of how the JEFIT Team and User Shared workout routines are displayed on the “Workout Plans” page.

Routines are also loaded at a  faster rate and you are able to view more routines on the download page than in previous updates

JEFIT Android Version 9.0 Update   JEFIT Android Version 9.0 Update

 

 

4.) IMPROVED Workout Routine Day List

On the workout routine day page, we have improved the layout of how each day is displayed.

The exercise day information is contained within its own individual tile displaying :

  • Day Name
  • Amount of exercises in the day
  • Estimated time it takes to perform the workout day
  • Last time that you have performed each day

JEFIT Android Version 9.0 Update

 

 

5.) IMPROVED Planned Exercise Day List

For the planned exercise day list we improved the ability for the users to be able to reorder the exercises in their list, delete an exercise and edit the reps/sets and timer of each exercise within the day.

JEFIT Android Version 9.0 Update

 

6.) IMPROVED Exercise Database Layout

The exercise database has also been improved using Android Material Design

  • Custom Exercises

We have removed the button to access the custom exercise database and instead added an additional 5th tab labeled “Custom Exercises”.

Here you will be able to view all of the custom exercises that you have created using the create custom exercise button on the top right corner of the screen.

JEFIT Android Version 9.0 Update

 

 

  • Workout on the Fly

The workout on the fly option has been switched from workout routines page to the exercise database page.

By clicking on the dumbbell play icon at the bottom right of the screen of the page, you will initiate the workout on the fly functionality and be able to record your logs instantly.

JEFIT Android Version 9.0 Update      JEFIT Android Version 9.0 Update

 

 

  • Simple Body Part Switch

Instead of having to back out to the body part selection page, by clicking the drop down menu at the top left corner of the screen you will be easily able to select the body part for exercises you would like to view.

JEFIT Android Version 9.0 Update

 

7.) IMPROVED Detailed Data on Progress Charts

We have added in summary data at the bottom of the progress charts page where users are able to view the date of when your maximum and minimum 1RM was recorded.

You are also able to view when you first recorded said exercise along with the last time you created logs.

JEFIT Android Version 9.0 Update

 

 

8.) ADDED Ability to Purchase JEFIT Pro through Free App

We have added in the option to purchase JEFIT Pro through the JEFIT Free application

This will be explained further in a future blog post but we will be merging our Free and Pro products into a singular application in which Pro will be accessed through activating your previous purchase through your account.

As stated we will explain this further in an upcoming post.

 

9.) IMPROVED Performance Enhancements and Bug Fixes

10.) IMPROVED News Feed Update and Sync Speed

 

What Is Next

  • iPhone/iOS Update – Following this Android update, we will be returning back to our iPhone/iOS application. On this update we will be working on improving this platform, user experience, fixing various bugs and more.
  • Updates to the JEFIT Website 

 

Reminder

Please send all of your emails, questions, feedback, reviews and suggestions to support@jefit.com or post on the App/Website Questions on the JEFIT Forums, https://www.jefit.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?14-JEFIT-App-and-Website-Questions

 

Stay Connected

JEFIT Facebook

JEFIT Twitter

JEFIT Google Plus

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Don’t forget to like our Facebook Page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, add us on Google+ and send a review to both the iTunes App Store, Amazon and Google Play Stores!

We appreciate all of your support and patience as we work forward on bringing you this new update as well as many new changes and features!

Thank you for your ongoing support!

– JEFIT Team

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JEFIT Free Android Update 5.0228 Released!

Hello All,

We are pleased to announce that we have released the latest update to the JEFIT Free Android Application, version 5.0228, which is a major overhaul to the Free App with a redesigned UI, improved user experience, changes to exercise images, brand new built-in routines in the NEW routine download section and much much more!

    Whats Available in the Latest Update

Redesigned UI – With some of the changes made to the Android Operating System, we have made major UI changes to match Google Standards. With these UI changes, you will notice that Jefit looks much cleaner and organized with the content of the application, fluidity between the pages and overall runs smoother.

Improved User Experience – With the changes to the UI comes an overall improved user experience, with the use of more icons and symbols for a universal understanding of what certain buttons do and perform for the application. The pages become less clumped with text, thus making it much easier to navigate through pages and use the application.

Added Routine Download Functionality with 50+ Built-In JefitTeam Created Routines – Now users are able to download JefitTeam created workouts off of the routine database with the new routine download functionality. This feature is available off of the main routine page, you will notice a button that states “Manage/Download Routines”, you will then click this button and notice two tabs on the top that state “Routine Manager” and “Download More…”, by clicking Download More you will be able to see all of the routines created by the Jefit Development Team.

Fixed, Improved and added Additional Exercise Images – It is necessary for all Jefit users to update their exercise images from the “Preferences” page as we have made changes to many of the exercise images; cleaning them up, adding in new steps for certain exercises and taking new images. We appreciate your support and patience as we make these exercise images as clean and clear as possible for your usage with our application.

Improved Graph Chart (with Zoom In, Zoom Out, etc…) – We have added new changes to our graphing charts where you are now able to zoom and zoom out of the graph to view your data, flip the chart to landscape mode and have better usage viewing your stats.

Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements – We have also made various bug changes and performance enhancements to make the overall usage of JEFIT Free a much easier, enjoyable and fluid experience.

We will be following up the release of this update with the release of updates to both iOS Free and Pro Applications with major UI Redesigns and overhauls. This will be followed by changes to the JEFIT Website.

Thank you all again for your support and your continued usage of the JEFIT Workout Application and Website.

Stay tuned for more details and features that we roll out for your usage!

Thank You!

– JEFIT Development Team

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