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Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: camel stretch. 

In yoga, backbends can be intimidating. We’re not used to trusting ourselves to fall backwards – especially as our default position tends to be benched and rounded. But that desk-working posture is exactly why we need to safely include backbends in our practice. 

Camel pose is a great introduction to spinal extension poses, giving you all the benefits of backbends but with some extra support and stability. 

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What is camel stretch?

A camel stretch is a gentle backend that is performed on your knees, stabilising your body with your heels. 

This exercise is great because:

It stretches the front of your body: areas like the hip flexors and chest can get tight from long periods of sitting, so it’s important to stretch them out. 

It can improve stability: you need to remain strong and well balanced while performing the move, pharmacys in gainesville particularly through the back of the body. 

It can help you de-stress: backbends create space through the ribs and chest – called the ‘heart centre’ in yoga – which can help you connect and slow your breathing. 

What muscles do backbends work?

The backbend can work the whole body, including:

  • Pecs
  • Anterior delts 
  • Hip flexors 
  • Quads 
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes 
  • Back
  • Posterior delts 
  • Traps 
  • Neck

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    How to do a camel stretch         

    1. Begin in a tall kneeling position, with your thighs lifted away from your calves and feet. 
    2. Tuck your toes under your, squeeze your glutes and tuck your tailbone to limit arching through the lower back.
    3. Reach your hands behind you to grab the back of your heels. 
    4. Let your chest open and your neck slowly roll back as you push your pubic bone forwards.

    Images: Stylist

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