If you want to strengthen your back muscles, you have a lot of alternatives available, with yoga standing at the top of the list. Yoga is one of best ways to develop and strengthen weak muscles, not to mention it has an amazing effect on a person’s mental strength. By practicing the following yoga moves on a regular basis, you will be able to strengthen your back muscles and, at the same time, you will enjoy enhanced overall flexibility and better balance. All you need is a yoga mat and a quiet spot in which to practice.
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#1 Chair pose
The chair pose is one of the best yoga moves to try out, especially if you include the arm rotation into the process. Begin by squatting, so that you get into the actual chair pose. Make sure that the feet are kept together and that the arms are located above the head. Maintain your knees in a flexed position, circling your arms in the backward direction. The torso should be thus brought forward until the fingertips touch the ground. For the final part, return to the standing position, with the arms maintained above your head. This particular pose can be useful for those who suffer from different types of arthritis, increasing overall flexibility.
#2 Chair pose, alternative
If you consider the chair pose to be an easy yoga move to perform, then you should try this alternative as well. Begin by squatting, following the above-mentioned recommendations. The feet should be kept together and the arms a little bit flexed, with the palms touching one another (prayer position). What you want to do is take deep breaths, as if you were trying to draw the navel into the spine. Then, twist your arm, so that the right elbow is brought outside the opposing knee. Perform the pose for both sides of the body. If you have arthritis joint pain, you can give this yoga pose a try, as it will bring the much-desired pain relief and increase your range of motion.
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#3 Side plank (alternating)
The initial position for this particular yoga move is the high plank. Once you position yourself, make sure your left handed is lifted and roll your body, until you reach the right side plank. Maintain the position for a little bit and then return to the high plank. Alternate sides, lifting your right hand and rolling your body, until you reach the left side plank. Return to the initial position and repeat several times.
#4 Cat stretch
The cat stretch is an excellent yoga move, allowing you to strengthen and stretch your back muscles at the same time. You can begin the cat stretch on all fours, making sure that your spine is maintained in a neutral position (tabletop position). For the next step, exhale and try to draw your navel into the spine; if you execute this step correctly, your back should become rounded. It might also be useful to draw the chin towards the chest, as this will contribute to the stretch. Last, but not least, take a deep breath in and arch your back; try to look up, as you stretch your neck muscles as well.
#5 Crunch pose
The crunch pose is more than recommended for strengthening back muscles, even if you do not have too much experience in performing such moves. You can begin the crunch pose on all fours, in a similar position as the one for the cat stretch. Keep in mind that the spine should be maintained in a neutral position. The right leg and the left arm should be kept in an extended position, while the weight of the body rests on the remaining limbs. For the next step, crunch your left elbow, so that it reaches the right knee. Repeat several times and switch sides.
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#6 Cobra pose
If you are looking for a yoga move that extends the spinal muscles, this is the one you should try. The cobra pose is easy to perform, having a wonderful toning effect on the deep intrinsic muscles of the back. You can begin this yoga move, with the face down and the arms lying on the lateral sides of the body. As you inhale, raise your body; you should try to look up, so that you extend your entire spine. Also, your elbows should be kept in a perfectly extended position and the hips slightly away from the mattress. Return to the original position and repeat several times.
#7 Child’s pose
This yoga move is recommended to those who are looking to increase their overall spinal flexion. You can begin with the face down, head kept between the arms (these are completely extended). As you bring your chin towards your chest, your pelvis should fall between the flexed legs. Perform the transition slowly, so that the spinal muscles lengthen on a gradual basis. Do not forget to inhale and exhale, drawing your navel towards the spine. Repeat several times, returning each time to the original position.
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These are some of the best yoga moves recommended for those who want to strengthen their spinal muscles and, thus, enjoy a stronger back. These are not difficult to perform and they have countless benefits to offer in return, not only with regard to muscle strengthening, but also to balance, flexibility and improved breathing capacity. Keep in mind that these yoga moves are recommended for those who suffer from limiting conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.