Activities Sports & Athletics Bridge Stretch in Gymnastics Share PINTEREST Email Print Ruth Jenkinson / Getty Images Sports & Athletics Gymnastics Lessons Basics Competitions Famous Gymnasts Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Amy Van Deusen Amy Van Deusen is a professional gymnast, coach, and writer who has contributed articles about the sport for espnW and other major channels. our editorial process Amy Van Deusen Updated February 25, 2019 Bridges are an important starting position in gymnastics. They're a great way to stretch and build core muscles that you will need to perform other moves. Bridges may not seem difficult but stretching these muscles can be harder than you think. 01 of 06 Get into the Starting Position for a Bridge © 2009 Paula Tribble Here's the proper position to start a bridge in. Lie on your backBend your knees up and keep your feet flat on the groundPlace your hands by your ears with palms facing the ground 02 of 06 Push Into a Bridge © 2009 Paula Tribble Push your body up until only your hands and feet are touching the ground, and your back is arched. 03 of 06 Get into the Correct Bridge Position © 2009 Paula Tribble Once you're up in a bridge, straighten your arms and legs and push your shoulders over your head. Your wrists to your shoulders should form a straight line to the floor.Keep your fingers and toes lined up with your body, not turned out. Keep your knees together.Remember to work up to this position. Like a split, you probably won't be able to hit the correct position on your first (or your tenth) try. Keep at it! Never push beyond what feels comfortable, and don't hold it so long that you feel pain. 04 of 06 Rock and Roll © 2009 Paula Tribble Slowly lower your body back to the floor, tucking your chin toward your chest as you come down.Now sit up and grab your knees. Rock backward onto your back, then forward back to a sit. Repeat several times. Many gymnasts do this "rock and roll" after a bridge because it makes their back feel good. 05 of 06 Drill: Feet on Mat © 2009 Paula Tribble To target your shoulders even more, place your feet on a mat. If you feel too tight to do a bridge on the floor, this can also help you build up your flexibility so a bridge on the floor is possible. 06 of 06 Elbow Bridge © 2009 Paula Tribble An elbow bridge can also help target shoulder flexibility even more. Don't try this one until you can do a regular bridge easily -- it's a little harder to push into.