If you’re strong but inflexible or flexible but weak, try these yoga poses to strengthen and lengthen your back.
(Also read: 9 Yoga Poses For A Perkier Butt And Stronger Glutes)
Start by lying flat on the ground on your belly. Contract your core and engage your lower body to lift your legs up. Reach your arms over your head and lift your upper body up. Hold for as long as you can. Repeat five times.
(Also read: 6 Best Bodyweight Exercises to Build Core Strength)
Hollow back holds
This seemingly easy pose requires lots of core and back strength because your arms add extra weight to the position. It’s an effective way to strengthen your upper body and familiarise yourself with the shoulder hunching position required in arm balances.
Lie flat on your back and reach your arms above your head. Point your toes and lift your legs off the ground. Then, lift your shoulders off the ground and keep your upper body up. Use your core to stabilise your body. Hold for as long as you can. Repeat five times.
Known for being a core-focused full-body pose, the plank actually works the back a lot, too. Your entire back has to be engaged to keep your hips lifted and body straight.
Lie on the floor on your belly. Place your elbows under your shoulders and clasp your hands together. Place your feet together and lift your body up so it forms a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Repeat thrice.
Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet below your butt. Place your hands beside your shoulders, fingers facing your feet. Engage your arms, legs, butt, core, and back to lift yourself up. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Repeat thrice.
(Also read: 5 Upper Body Exercises That Every Runner Should Do)
If the wheel pose is too much for you, try this equally effective pose. It seems simpler than a wheel pose, but it isolates the back body which helps you to build strength.
Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. You can point your toes or tuck them in for balance. Place your palms on your lower back for support and slowly lean back. Relax your neck and go as low as you can while breathing normally. Hold for 30 seconds and slowly return to the starting pose. Repeat thrice. If you are comfortable in this pose, try crossing your hands over your chest for added difficulty. Be sure to not go too deep, to avoid straining your back.