#1. You’re Asking Your Lower Back to Do Everything
Most yoga students constantly jump into their lower back. A true backbend should involve your entire spine including your pelvis and your neck, but unless you’ve trained this way, you’ll unknowingly hinge at L4/L5 (the two lowest vertebrae in the lumbar spine) and will likely experience pain. Your challenge? Take your backbends out of your lower back and distribute them throughout your entire spine.
#2. Your Butt is Sticking Out
Modern shoes have elevated heels that force your pelvis to tilt forward. It’s called an anterior pelvic tilt. This protruding-butt posture becomes a habit, and your lower back is constantly suffering because of it. And when you do backbends? Even worse. You’ll need to work on pulling your pelvis back (posterior tilt at the pelvis) to take the pressure off your lower back.
#3. You Have “Text Neck”
The average person spends three to four hours per day hunched over their phone either texting, scrolling through news feeds, browsing web pages, the list goes on. This neck-forward, shoulders-hunched position leads to “text neck,” and it keeps your thoracic spine stiff and stuck. The solution? You need to counterbalance all that flexion and protraction with extension and retraction.
Spinal Health Requires a 3-Pronged Approach
STRENGTH (supports the bones) – The key areas that need to be strengthened are the core muscles, the posterior chain muscles, the pelvic floor muscles, and the muscles of the neck and shoulders.
FLEXIBILITY (allows for pain-free range of motion) – There is almost always lots of movement in the lower back already, so a healthy spine requires focus on pelvic rotation, thoracic spine mobility (mid-back), and shoulder opening (retracting of shoulder blades).
BALANCE (keeps the right and left sides equalized) – If you’re right-handed, your right shoulder is probably stronger and tighter than your left. If you cross your legs right on top, your right hip is probably more open than your left. Asymmetrical training is the key to identifying and correcting the imbalances that develop in all of us.
“That was a challenge!”
Throughout this entire challenge, I didn’t have any back pain and I’m able to lift and swing my kids around! It feels great getting my mobility and strength back! Thank you, Lucas!
“This was great!”
Love being up on Wheel pose and definitely need more front core strengthening to get up into Lolasana. Is the core challenge next? 🙂 Thanks, Lucas!
I returned to handstand training yesterday after a long break and dreaded the backbend exercises that my coach usually put me through. I’ve always found them really challenging and hard. But to my surprise, they were so much easier this time. Thanks to this challenge.
“Now have lots to work on.”
Thanks for the course, got me out of a rut and made me do lots of stuff I hate!
Two rounds of practice today & it’s just so nice before bedtime.
“Loving the gravity yoga stretches. My shoulders need it.”
“Lots of improvement.”
I’ve never timed my handstands so that was really good for me to do! Wasn’t sure I could hold for 30 secs, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought!
14-Day Backbend Challenge
Online Course with Lucas Rockwood
ABOUT LUCAS ROCKWOOD
I’m a yoga teacher, teacher trainer, studio owner, podcaster, and all-around yoga nerd. When I started practicing yoga, I couldn’t touch my toes, but within a very short period of time, I completely transformed my body and my life.
Since I’m not naturally athletic or flexible, the question of what is the best way to make progress has always been my focus. Over time, I’ve uncovered some very simple yet powerful truths that I know will make a huge difference for you.
Join my 14-Day Backbend Challenge where I’ll coach you during simple 15-minute daily sessions on how to strengthen, lengthen, and balance your spine using the 3-pronged approach.