Strengthen Your Back & Core
The cobra pose helps stretch and strengthen the muscles of the abs and back. The trapezius muscle at the upper back; the erector spinae, which runs down the length of your spine; and the deep transverse abdominus, which supports your internal organs, are all activated with the prone cobra.
Begin in a forward-lying position on a yoga or exercise mat. Place your hands under your shoulders, with your fingers facing the front edge of the mat. Lengthen your legs and point your toes so the tops of the feet press into the mat. Inhale and straighten your arms until your chest lifts off the floor. Keep your legs and pubic bone pressed firmly into the floor. Go only as high as you can – if your legs or pubic bone disconnect from the mat, you’ve gone too far. Tuck your tailbone slightly.
Hold the pose 15 seconds or longer. Pull your shoulders down and away from your ears as you hold. Cease immediately if you feel pain in your lower back.
Lower your chest back down to the mat slowly to complete the exercise.
If you have a history of back problems or are new to exercise, consult your physician before adding this move to your routine.
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