Backbending Experiment: Winged Victory


backbending experiment: winged victoryLook at the picture to the left and ask yourself what the muscles of the lower back should be doing. Then try it and see what happens when you do in the same pose.

Backbending is supposed to contract the muscles along the spine and the muscles of the front of the body should shorten to facilitate the extension of the back. Most people that I watch unconsciously lift their chest up off the floor compressing the lower back muscles and vertebra.

There is a difference between contracting and crunching.

Unfortunately it is easier to do the pose badly even though you are not accomplishing much. Stepping back to do it correctly will make the pose harder but your lower back happier. I refer to this pose as Winged Victory.

  • Lie on your stomach.  Interlace your fingers behind your back.  Lengthen the back of your neck looking straight down.
  • Draw the belly in lift your trunk up off the floor in one piece, lifting the rib cage up evenly.
  •  Keep your chin soft. The head, neck, and chest want to move together.

What does your back do in backbends?  The muscles of the back body should work together with the muscles of the front body to find extension.

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3 Comments
  1. To practice getting this right, I train my clients first to sit on big physio ball facing the wall..Foam roller on wall. Leaning into the wall, back straight…placing the arms straight on the roll, neck in alignment with TX spine, keeping the abs thoroughly connected so back ( lumbar) doesn’t hyper extend..Then slowly roll the roll up keeping arms straight…and lengthen, drawing the abs in….I can then place my hands on client’s back and on their ribcage and guide her/him through the action.. as I talk them through this exercise….When client gets this right, ( and it can take a long time) then we’ll try this in prone….

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