Okay so I’m & I want to learn how to do a backbend from a standing position. It seems simple and all, just standing there leaning backwards into a bridge form, but my back/spince seems to tense up.. Almost like every vertebrae is crunching together or something.. Does this mean I’m unflexible & need to work more on flexibility before I try? Or should I just avoid trying to do this stretch? I have to add that I have mild back pain once in a while.
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Try these, if you aren’t flexible naturally, you have to work on it.
a) Stand in front of a blank wall or closed door, face away from the wall and lean back until you can touch the wall. Slowly start to walk your hands down the wall (if you need to adjust how far you are from the wall, now would be a good time). DO NOT try to go all the way the first time, you will hurt yourself unless you already have a flexible back. Each time you do it try to get a little farther and once you reach the ground start to hold the position before coming back up. This is the bridge or backbend position you are achieving. http://kittyscott.shutterfly.com/ (yes that is me)
b) You can also try to reach a backbend by lying on your back and pushing up into it. Once you have learned how to get into the position, hold it for longer and longer periods of time.
c) As you feel more comfortable you can attempt to fall into the backbend from a standing position; USE A SPOTTER for the first few times or until you feel confident enough to try without one. Lean back with your upper body as far as you can, but do not put your arms out yet. As you go back try to spot the ground, as you spot it or just before you can see it reach back with your arms to help you finish getting to the ground. Either collapse to the ground or try to stand back up from it.
d) Once you get good at doing that you can progress to a back walkover by raising a leg slightly as you go back and kicking over quickly after hitting the backbend to finish standing up.
) Basket or bird’s nest stretch—Lie on your stomach and grab your feet behind you. Pull up towards your head and the ceiling. Your goal is to get your legs as close to your head as you can.
) Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Rock back so that you lie on your back, while keeping your legs straight stick your legs up vertically so you are on your shoulders with your legs in the air. Hold it as long as you can. Keep your arms either on your back for support or if you feel that you can do it put your hands on the ground next to you. Either come out of it by rolling back into the sitting position or try to touch your legs on the ground beyond your head. Hold it and then release going all the way back to the sitting position with a stop at the vertical leg position if you want to.
) Standing and sitting pike stretch, cobra, kick your legs up while lying on your stomach, just lean back while standing up, lean forward until you have a flat back and then lean back as far as you can.
) One last stretch which will help your splits (and your arabesque penchee). You will need to find a blank spot on a wall and grab a chair. Now facing away from the wall and holding onto the chair for support, take a leg and slide it up the wall like you are going into splits. Hold it for as long as possible then switch legs. Try to keep your legs straight. As you work the stretch move the chair closer to the wall until you are touching the wall in a vertical split.