Nothing is as frustrating as being told you can’t exercise on account of an injury, and back pain is one ailment that’s particularly limiting. It’s a challenge to comfortably sit at your desk when you’re dealing with aches and pains in your back—let alone hop on a spin bike. But certain types of exercise actually work to prevent back pain, such as yoga. In this video, Retox founder Lauren Imparato shows us the best yoga moves for back pain.
A weak core can sometimes be a cause of back pain, so the Balancing Table Knee-to-Nose pose in this video is a great way to build strength in your abs. Another potential culprit? Tension in the lower back. Practice moves like the Spinal Release to Bound Angle pose to help stretch tense muscles in the lower back.
Finally, when the front body is tight, your back may overcompensate and end up feeling strained. A move like Head-to-Knee Forward Bend to Wild Thing can help elongate the entire body and work to soothe annoying aches.
Balancing Table Knee-to-Nose: From table position (when you’re on all fours), lift your right leg out straight behind you. Drive the knee towards the nose as you bring the leg and head toward the center of the body at once, crunching the abdomen as you do so. Extend the leg and head back to starting position and repeat this knee-to-nose movement ten times. Switch to the other leg.
Spinal Release to Bound Angle: Sit tall on a mat with the legs bent in a diamond shape in front of you, bottoms of the feet pressing together. Place fingertips on the floor behind your back, then press into them as you lift the hips and legs off the floor, with the feet staying glued down. Return hips and legs to floor, then fold the upper body down towards the ground, grabbing for the feet with the hands. Return to sitting and repeat combination ten times.
Head-to-Knee Forward Bend to Wild Thing: Start in a seated straddle, then bend the right leg in, placing the bottom of the foot against the left inner thigh. Fold the upper body over the left leg, then swiftly rise up into Wild Thing pose, bending the body back so deeply that the arm extends straight behind your head and the left leg and right thigh rise off the ground. Keep the right shin and left foot planted for support. Reverse the back bend, coming back down to fold over the leg. Repeat ten times, then switch to the other side.