How to Do a Backbend (with Pictures)

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About This Article

Monica Morris

Co-authored by:

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

This article was co-authored by Monica Morris. Monica Morris is an ACE (American Council on Exercise) Certified Personal Trainer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. With over 15 years of fitness training experience, Monica started her own physical training practice and gained her ACE Certification in 2017. Her workouts emphasize proper warm-ups, cool-downs, and stretching techniques. This article has been viewed 830,232 times.

Co-authors: 256

Updated: October 9, 2022

Views: 830,232

Article SummaryX

Doing a backbend is a great way to get a deep stretch in your back, but it takes some time and effort to work up to this graceful pose. Before you start, warm up your muscles for a few minutes by doing some light cardio, such as jogging or jumping jacks. Next, do some gentle stretches, making sure to focus on your wrists, ankles, and back. One of the easiest ways to get into a backbend position is to do a bridge. Lie down on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees bent. Place your hands next to your head on either side with your palms flat on the floor. Your fingers should face your shoulders and your elbows should be sticking straight up towards the ceiling. Then, push up through your shoulders to lift your torso off the ground. You might not be able to get very far off the ground at first, but that’s okay. It will get easier with practice. You can also build up to it by just lifting your hips off the floor at first. As you get stronger, move to doing a full-body bridge. Another way to ease into a full back bend is by practicing the bend against a wall. Stand 1 or 2 steps away from a wall, with your back to the wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your palms on your butt and push your hips forward to bend your back. Then, stretch your arms over your head with your palms facing back and lean backwards until you can put your hands on the wall. Walk your hands down the wall as far as you can, breathing deeply and evenly the whole time. Once you’ve reached your comfortable limit, walk your arms back up the wall and slowly straighten up from the hips. Then, gently bend forward and touch your toes to stretch out your back. Keep repeating your wall backbend, getting a little further from the wall each time. Eventually, you should be able to drop into a full backbend without using a wall—but you might want to ask a friend to support you while you do it. Have them put one hand on your lower back and one on your stomach as you go into a backbend from a standing position. Push your hips forward, tilt your chin up, then reach your hands up and back behind your head. Bend backwards until your palms are resting on the floor. Ask your spotter to boost you back up again by placing both hands on your upper back. Keep practicing until you feel ready to do it on your own. To get back up from a back bend, start by gently rocking back and forth on your hands and feet. Tuck your chin against your chest, then thrust up and forward with your chest and rock onto your feet. Carefully push yourself up into a standing position with your hands. You can also get out of the bend by gently lowering yourself toward the ground. As you’re doing a backbend, remember to keep breathing and listen to your body. Always stop if you feel pain—a backbend shouldn’t hurt. For tips on how to stand back up from your back bend, read on!

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