Improving bridge?

Does anyone have tips for improving my bridge for jiujitsu? I'm talking about the one where I bridge over my shoulder. This is different from a wreslters bridge right? I always see wrestlers bridging like Matt Furey where they want their noses touching. Isn't this much different from bridging over your shoulder (for example, upa escapes)? Thanks

I've been having someone get me in side control, and then practice bridging over in 3 sets of 7 reps.


Yes, there are 3 ways to bridge. You can bridge on your hands, like a gymnast--this doesn't have any BJJ correlation, except for the flexibility factor. You can bridge on your neck, which is the one Matt Furey is showing. That helps develop the muscles in the neck as well as the back and legs. I do not recommend doing that one with any kind of weights or a partner, as you can easily overdo it and injure your neck. When done solo, it's not a bad way to loosen up your neck and back, but start slowly and build up.

The other method of bridging is on the back of your shoulders. This can be done straight upwards, or at an angle (up&left, or up&right). When you finish a submission (of any kind), you usually arch your back straight backwards (armlock, guillotine, rnc, etc. etc). When you escape, you often need to bridge at an angle (upa under the mount, bridge and roll from headlock, side mount, kesa, etc). It's good to practice both. Here are some ways:

1) First, practice the movement by yourself. Try to raise your hips as HIGH as you can, then turn over one shoulder, high step over with the far leg, and come to your knees. This should feel like Upa from under the mount. Do this repeatedly until you feel smooth and strong.

2) You can practice bridging up or up and sideways with a medicine ball or weight squeezed between your knees. This will replicate the feeling of an armlock or other submissions. Do this for many reps, to build strength and endurance in the muscles of the back and legs. Don't worry, you won't drop the weight! (Especially if you position it over your groin: this is an extra incentive not to drop it)

3) You can also have a partner sit on your stomach (legs out in front of them, by your shoulders). They can hold your pants for balance. Bridge them straight up into the air and hold at the top. Repeat for reps.

4) Lastly, you can drill techniques that involve bridging. For example, mikus is referring to a specific application of the bridge for escaping. You can drill those techniques for reps. These are another great way to build strength in your bridge.

Have fun!



Thank you for all that! I will practice each drill you listed. I'm working on the half guard sweep where you bridge so this is going to be great. Thanks again!

My pleasure, bro. That's what this forum is for ;-)