Strengthen your back muscles with this sequence.
The back muscles are quite often ignored in our daily workouts and yoga routines. Strength training is oftentimes solely focused on arms, legs and abs, but your back is the second half of the core and deserves some attention, too! A strong core is very essential in any yoga practice, so having a strong back is important when mastering more complicated poses like backbends and arm balances. Not to mention, a strong back also helps you to maintain good posture in the more simple standing poses. Having better posture all around doesn’t hurt, either!
Try these five beginner yoga poses to build a strong back.
By Tega at SocialHermit
Begin by lying face down on your mat. Bring your palms forward and place them directly under your shoulders. Using your back muscles, push away from the floor slightly, while lifting your head and chest. Slowly place your forearms on the floor, one at a time, with your elbows now directly under your shoulders. Relax your shoulders and legs, while pulling your chest forward.
Begin by lying face down on your mat. Bring your palms to rest on the floor directly below your shoulders, while also resting your chin on the floor. Using your back muscles, slowly lift your upper body from the mat, and press the floor away. Come up as far as comfortable, don’t worry about having straight arms. Shift your right hand inward to rest on the floor in front of your midline. Twisting to the left, reach your left arm back to rest on the inside of your left thigh, and look over your left shoulder.
Seated Forward Fold
Begin in a seated position with your legs stretched out in front of you. On an inhale, reach your arms strongly up towards the ceiling, to lengthen your spine. On an exhale, hinge forward at your hips, slide you’re the middle and index finger of both hands on the inside of your big toes and grab your big toes. On another inhale, lengthen your spine and create a flat back, then slowly draw your chest towards your legs on your exhale. Once you’ve reached as far as is comfortable, let your head hang, but do not strain your head towards the legs. All reaching should be done from the chest.
Begin by lying face down on your mat. Rest your chin on the floor and interlace your fingers behind you. On an inhale, reach your arms strongly towards the back wall, while lifting your chest and head with your back muscles. Keep your hands lifted from your body, and your shoulders relaxed down your back and away from your ears. Keep your neck relaxed, with your gaze straight ahead.
Begin by lying face down on your mat. Rest your chin on the floor and interlace your fingers under your body. On an inhale, activate the muscles in your lower back to lift your left leg. Make sure your left hip stays level with the right hip. To come out, slowly lower your leg on an exhale.
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All images courtesy of SocialHermit.