It’s hard to say one muscle is more important than another. But let me make the argument for your back.
Your back is easy to ignore. You can’t see it, and it’s easy to take for granted. But most people put a lot of stress on their back over the course of a lifetime. If it’s not strong enough, you can run into trouble.
Backs are also prone to pain. And it’s not even necessarily due to injury or movement. There is just so much going on back there that if one area of the body is affected, it’s likely going to impact your back in one way or another.
Just think about it. Your neck, hips, chest, and shoulders are all linked to your back. With so many moving and interconnected parts, it’s a wonder why it’s so quickly taken for granted.
A strong back can help limit the risk for injury, improve mobility, and reduce pain. Bridges are a simple movement to help you build a stronger back.
They work the gluteus maximus muscles in the lower back. They play an essential role in mobility and supporting your back, so keeping them healthy can have multiple benefits.
Lie on the ground with your knees bent about 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart—arms at your side. The back of your head should be touching the ground, so you’re looking towards the ceiling.
Press your feet into the floor, leaving your arms by your sides.
Slowly raise your buttocks off the floor until there is a straight line from the shoulders to the knees. Knees should remain bent about 90 degrees.
Squeeze (contract) your buttocks with your shoulders remaining on the floor. Your neck and head should be straight, with the back of your head touching the floor and eyes towards the ceiling.
Slowly lower your buttocks back to the ground, rest for a few seconds, then repeat. Perform the bridge 15 times before resting for about a minute, then do another set. Repeat three times.
If you have experienced a back injury or suffer from mobility problems, talk to your doctor before performing this exercise.