Yoga exercises focusing on your back are essential for your yoga backbends, Dancer’s pose, posture, reversing slouching, and a more confident you!
The back of the body is often overlooked, as we mostly focus on core. Strengthening the back is just as important though, because a strong back is essential for good posture, and also helps to alleviate low back pain. And since you use your lower back muscles daily, like lifting things off the floor, having strength in that area will greatly improve your daily mobility. Plus you’ll notice that doing things like back bends in yoga class, Dancer’s pose, or any other pose where your head and tail are closer together, will improve.
Benefits of adding these exercises into your weekly routine:
Supported spine, strong posture muscles, strong muscles to aid in back-bending and poses like Dancer’s pose, reverses slouching.
Best results will come if you do these back exercises 2-3x a week.
1. Pull the lower abs in while you are laying on them to support your lower back and strengthen your core.
2. While you are doing each exercise, breath steadily in and out through the nose. Do not ever hold your breath.
3. Keep your attention on your breath and out of your mind chatter.
4. Soften your shoulders down your back, and pull the lats down the sides of the body.
5. Observe the subtle changes that happen moment to moment, and revel in the sensations you are able to create within yourself.
Let your body connect, and open your heart to new possibilities….
1. Start laying on your stomach, with hands touching, and ankles touching. Soften the shoulders down the back. 2. Lift the arms and legs up at the same time, then pulse the legs and arms up at the same time in a rapid motion (pulling the abs in!) Modification: Open the arms apart, but still keep tension in between the hands. Imagine you are holding a block between your palms (or if you had a block, you could also use one).
2.Mermaid Fin Lifts
1. Start laying down with ankles touching. 2. Reach the arms out at a V, as pictured, and dome your fingers over the floor. Your goal here is to draw the shoulders down the back, and externally rotate the shoulders to keep tension out of the neck. 3. Press the hands into the floor, pull the lower abs in, then squeeze the ankles together as you lift them up. (It does not matter how high they go, just keep the ankles together and belly firm). 4. Pulse the feet and legs up in a rapid motion.
3. Mermaid Lift & Twist
1. Start lying on the floor, with the ankles touching, belly pulled in, and hands behind the head. 2. Keeping the bottom half of the body completely stabilized, lift the upper body without lifting the shoulders up to the ears. Only lift as high as you can, while maintaining relaxed shoulders. 3. Then inhale, and exhale tap your left elbow to the floor (twisting from the navel), then twist and tap the right elbow to the floor, then back to center, then all the way back down to the floor. 4. Continue to do this pattern of movement for the entire 45 seconds.
4. Nemo Swimmers
1. Start lying flat on your stomach. 2. Lift your right arm up as you lift your left leg up. (You’re left arm and right leg should also be hovering over the floor). 3. Quickly switch from right to left, alternating right to left, moving right arm with left leg, and vice versa. 4. Continue to move in this rapid pace for the entire 45 seconds, like you are swimming away from a shark! Modification: Perform the same movements, at a slower pace.