- Feb 18, 2018
Same story if you're in a bridge (fl or ex) and you don't have enough movement in your t-spine that stress/compression has to go somewhere
it most often winds up in the lower c-spine and that's where people get in trouble. Not doing the work needed to have t-spine rom.
Flexion is often LESS dangerous re: bridge simply because most folks have much more t-spine usable flexion than extension
again this is the Ray Peat forum so as always "context" wins.
if you have the prepatory movement in your t-spine you have no problem with bridge whatsoever.
without it its problematic.
The reason most teachers, trainers, etc... advise against it is because a. most can't do it b. their job to a degree is to not hurt their people
and if they can't do it themselves and they don't know how to do it properly then the likelihood of their people getting hurt is high. Its not bad
that most "experts" avoid this movement, they don't know how to do it properly conceptually and they can't do it personally so they're right to stay away from it.
What's bad is they can't admit the real problem is their lack of understanding of basic load anatomy/physiology and they blame a useful movement instead
of their own ignorance.
My best advice is develop your hand bridge first
a. that will develop more t-spine extension even without specific t-spine work
b. you can use the hand/shoulder strength to modulate the load on your neck when you decide to load your neck bridge
c. developing your hand bridge, eventually you'll have developed most of the trunk movement involved in the head bridge and you'll have prepared your head/neck
with hand support and then loading your head/neck will be simple and easy.
Essentially the neck bridge is a sort of advanced hand bridge.
The real issue is most folks simply skip the hand bridge part so they don't have the prerequisites for the neck bridge.
Neck bridge is a full body shape its not "lets load our neck with all out body weight"
hand bridge will develop your handstand work as well if you're after that.
Makes sense, if you watch the ATHLEAN-X video he wasn’t anywhere close to the full bridge and performing the loaded head movement, so in that case I can see where the c spine would be placed into too far of an extension.
Holding off on the supine wrestlers bridge until full hand bridge can be attained makes most sense. I also wouldn’t be surprised if sheer volume could account for problems as well. I don’t see why one would want to perform 1000s of reps of this movement.
I did a prone wrestlers bridge with gently pushing my neck into flexion and it actually felt really good.
I’m still going to be cautious with the amount of flexion and especially extending I do while in the loaded position, but if the c spine is in a neutral or slightly flexed position and loaded, I can’t rationally see how that movement if properly loaded is anymore dangerous than a squat....