I began doing backbends by folding backwards into my lower back. I didn’t know any different. Eventually lower back pain taught me that my flexible lower back wasn’t healthy doing all the bending while my chest, shoulders, and hip flexors stayed mostly static.
I used to think about backbends as…well…bending my back. But now I focus on opening all along the front side of my body and stabilising my pelvis with engaged glutes.
This is a nice way to build the strength, flexibility, and proprioception to go backwards into backbends. You can apply this to a camel variation on the knees, or dropping back to wheel from your feet.
Make sure to:
☝️ engage the glutes .
☝️ lift the chest UP .
☝️ press the hips forward .
☝️ keep your centre of gravity over your foundation for control .
Keep lifting up with the chest as you start to lengthen the arms back behind you. Think LENGTH .
Do this several times but ☝️only go back to a point where you can still come back up the way you came, slowly and with control. Don’t worry about going all the way back to your hands; it’s just about building the mobility . .
This is great for opening and strengthening the hip flexors and quads which will help in all of your backbends .
Also: stretch your forearms. This helps massively in many backbends!