Stand To Stand Bridge

This special post is for anyone who is towards the end of their bridging journey. It contains my tips to master the stand-to-stand bridge. It goes into much detail regarding the preparatory exercises, form cues and techniques.


I learnt the stand-to-stand bridge on my own and can say that it looks scarier than it is. If the strength is built safely and progressively, it is within the reach of everybody. You just need to believe in your capabilities.

The first step in mastering the stand to stand bridge is getting better at wall walking bridges. It can be done with your hands on the wall like this or also with legs on the wall like this I have tried both and can say that the latter requires more strength whereas the former requires more flexibility.

Start with the hands-on-the-wall variant as it is easier to get in and out of if any mishaps happen. Once you can hold a handstand against a wall for some time, try the second variant. I haven't reached the point where I can do a free-standing handstand to bridge to handstand. But this is the link to the handstand to bridge to handstand variant. 

Don't rush through the movement, instead do lesser reps of higher quality. Staying about arm's length from the wall is a good distance to start with wall walking. The nearer you are to the wall, the easier it is to wall walk down and back up. Gradually as you get better, try to get further away from the wall. Try to barely touch the wall with your fingertips as you start mastering it. Try to get 100s of reps before attempting any new thing. As always, walking down the wall is far easier than walking back up.

Once you have done that, this video will help a lot.

There is a lot of nonsense talking in the video but essentially your hips should be in front of your ankles. You should form an excessive arch by bringing your feet and hands closer. You should be able to transfer the weight of your entire body to the ankles. There is a subtle difference between a full bridge and hip dominated bridge. But it makes a difference.

One exercise that helps a lot with weight transfer is the single-arm bridge pushup. Something like this This variant forces you to use your lower body to do the majority of the work. But it is not a safe exercise for beginners. It is risky. One small error in balance and you fall on your head and break it. So, start with the one-leg bridge pushup first, something like this This variant isolates the lower back and emphasizes the single leg's glutes and quadriceps muscles. Make sure to tense the glutes to maintain tension while performing the movement. It is also safer than the previously mentioned bridge type. If it is hard to balance, let alone to do a pushup, start with holds. Do a bridge and remove one leg on the top, hold that position for a few seconds and repeat on the other side. I recommend doing no more than 5 bridge pushups in a row before switching sides. To learn how to properly balance, use the assistance of a wall, do something like this This technique can be later used to learn the gecko bridge( one arm one leg bridge.)

There are two ways to do the stand-to-stand bridge. Firstly is Hampton's way which is doing a stand-to-stand bridge by bringing one arm down first; and then there is the other, in which you bring both arms down together. The latter one has extreme demands on flexibility. Hampton's variant looks like this And the variant I am talking about looks something like this

Learn both variants but start with the first one.

Also, do a lot of bridge pushups, level 6 in Hampton's routine. I did over 1000 reps before I thought of attempting any standing variant. Believe me, There is no bridge variant more productive than the full bridge. Milk this version to the fullest. Once you can do a full stand-to-stand bridge, keep this exercise as a warm-up.

After performing single arm, single leg or gecko bridge, you might have a slight headache. It is common. It is a sign that you are activating the muscles on the back of the body. It is also a sign that you are applying too much pressure and tensing each muscle of the head. It leads to unwanted tension that causes pain. If that is the case, it is advised to take longer rests to reduce the pain before starting with the next set. When starting with my gecko bridge journey, I had headaches after each set of holds. I remained calm, lowered my hold times and gradually improved my time. It took an entire month of daily practice, after which I was able to control the tension in my head.

I like to put stand to stand bridge in the mobility and flexibility category. It can be done by people who have achieved the full bridge. It is not any more strength demanding when compared to the full bridge. It requires exceptional proprioception and grit. It can also be a limbo trick if needed.

But there are a lot of ways by which we can make the full bridge harder, not harder on mobility, but more demanding on strength. One way to make them harder is by the use of a chair. Something like this. This makes the exercise harder on the arms and the shoulders. It forces the performer to press through the arms, forming a straight line. The glutes should be tensed and the back should be arched. This exercise can be performed in front of a staircase. Using a staircase ensures that you will have a linear progression in this exercise. When performing this exercise using a chair or stool, be sure to keep the object secured, so that it doesn't rock. Pushing oneself up into a bridge with legs atop the chair is a difficult and risky move. I suggest starting on the ground, outstretching one leg and mounting it on the chair and gradually pushing into a fully feet elevated bridge. 

A modification can be done to this exercise, which further pushes the centre of gravity, and emphasizes the elbows and wrists. To perform that move, you have to actively push through the feet. If you have been performing a lot of wheel poses, and full bridges, this exercise will feel the same. 

But as a word of caution, please perform, each exercise within your limits. Inversion exercises like the bridge, require a calm and focused mind. If you don't feel your optimum, don't push too hard. It is risky. You have a lifetime to achieve it, live for the ups and downs.

Reading this you might have understood my love for this exercise. I have spent countless hours researching and videotaping myself to reach the epitome. I hope I could help you! Looking forward to seeing your ideas in the comments below.