24 gifts – day 2: In how many ways can you guide a spine curl aka bridging?

Have you ever considered in which way you guide an exercise?

It is one of my favourite topics to explore and play around with.

We will be looking at this topic or concept by using a widely used exercise from the pilates repertoire, known in Body Control Pilates as spine curl, but probably better known as bridging.

In how many ways can you guide a spine curl

What is the exercise about?

Well, this is an interesting question because this topic is not so much about the exercise but from which perspective of the body are you guiding from or performing this exercise. So the heading should maybe be more like “what is this concept about?”.

Overall, it is about finding different perspectives from which you can cue/guide/perform an exercise or movement.

In the video, I have chosen 3 focus areas or perspectives:

  • the hip joint
  • the tailbone
  • the thoracolumbar fascia

and I am guiding them in different ways. Looking at the video, you might not detect any changes in the way I perform the exercise but bodywise or embodied (yes, we have arrived at The Franklin Method ;o)) it feels very different.

Without having been trained in The Franklin Method, I would never have become consciously aware of all the different ways and perspectives you can guide movement, or use imagery. So this is basically what I am doing: Using different types of imagery:

  • kinestetic
  • metaphoric
  • anatomic
  • motivational
  • and a happy mix of them.


I’ll include a link to The Franklin Method. There are currently more online live webinars with Eric Franklin than normal due to Corona. So I highly encourage you to check them out.


What do I like about it?

To start with the exercise as such:

  • I find the spine curl/bridging to be such a versatile exercise. Perform it slowly and with both feet on the floor, and to me it becomes a more mobilising exercise and there is more focus on letting go. Performed faster and e.g. with 1 leg lifted in knee fold, it becomes more challenging and there is more a muscle and strengthening aspect to it.

Looking at the concept behind it:

  • Depending on the perspective the exercise feels different. Sometimes you can physically see the difference, other times it is just an internal feeling.
  • Using different types of imagery gives yourself or your client more options. I am sure you have all experienced that a client somehow just doesn’t get an exercise. You say it in a different way (= use a different kind of imagery) and it clicks.
  • It gives you tools to create variations on well-known themes to keep your brain and that of your clients alert. This way you can make an exercise you or your clients have done a million times seem fresh and new again.


What prop do you need?

None – but if you like you could add a redondo ball between the knees or a band around the thighs for some additional proprioception.



Which course/workshop is the exercise from?


This is a workshop in which I combine pilates with The Franklin Method. This means I am bringing the idea of dynamic imagery from The Franklin Method into a pilates environment.


And here is the video …

Video length: 5:24 minutes


  1. Karina Bo Skovmand on 2. December 2020 at 7:20

    Tusind Tak for eminent undervisning Birthe.
    Jeg glæder mig til hver eneste julekalenderdag

    • Birthe Brosolat on 2. December 2020 at 11:14

      Det er jeg glad for at høre.

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