Today’s video will show you how to do the Cobra Pose exercise correctly. This stretch is perfect because it “Reverses” what we do so much in our daily lives. Watch the video below:
Cobra Pose Stretch Video:
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Today, I wanted to show you one of the best stretches for your low back pain. It is the half cobra pose for beginners – as well as the full cobra pose, so it’s a progression. You would start with the half and eventually progress into the full cobra pose. And the reason why this stretch is so good for you is because it reverses what you do so much in your daily life. So, what do you do most of the day? You get into this flexed position where you’re bending your spine forward like this, yeah? You’re working away on your desk, yeah?
Now, what else do you do? You also pick things up like this a lot of times. You round your back, which you’re not supposed to do. It’s not good for your spine. Yeah. So, you spend a lot of time in this hunched position, yes? And that puts a lot of pressure on the front part of your spine. It compresses your vertebras quite a lot and that’s what can lead to herniated discs and bulging discs, yes?
So, what the stretch today is going to do is actually reverse that, OK? So we’re going to actually going to get into spine extension, and so we’re basically reversing what we’re doing on a daily life. So it’s going to take some pressure off that front part of your spine and hopefully give you some relief.
So let’s get into it right now. OK, let’s get started. So we’re going to start with the half cobra position and I recommend you do this one first because, you know, most people can’t even do the full cobra position. So, unless you’re able to do this one correctly, you don’t even need to go beyond it. So let’s spend some time on this, make sure you do it correctly, then you can progress into the full cobra position.
So, first thing you want to do is I recommend bringing your arms slightly in front of your body and they’re tucked in a little bit, kind of 90-degree angle with your forearm. And what you want to do is you want to bring yourself all the way down and then you’re just going to use your hands to prop yourself up. OK? So this is it right here. So you’re getting a nice extension in your low back. You want to look straight ahead. You can also stretch your neck a little bit, getting some chest and abdominal extension as well, which again, we get so crunched up, you know, when we sit all day. So this is nice to stretch all of the abs and it also stretches your hip flexors a little bit as well and, again, it’s also taking that pressure off the front part of your spine.
So what you want to do here is hang out for about 30 seconds. So you can do 30-second holds, 3 sets, OK? So, again, you’re going to come down and then stretch up. Check that you have 90-degree. Make sure your hips are still on the floor, yeah. And then look straight ahead.
Now, if you’re just starting out, you can even—and you’re having a lot of back pain, you can even hang out here for a few minutes, OK? You can even watch TV like this, you know, for a few minutes, OK? So an incorrect way of doing it is if your hips come off the floor. So if you’re doing this, OK, that’s not going to have the same effect, OK? So keep this connected to the floor and you’re just extending, you’re pushing off the floor as you’re doing it. So, make sure you keep this on the floor.
If your shoulders are going up like this, you know, when you’re doing it, that’s also wrong. Yeah? So you want to push your shoulders down. So press into the floor and stretch up from it, OK? And then you can extend up through the neck as well. And then you want to hold it. Now, I already feel a lot of pressure on my back here and this is a great stretch for me.
Now, if you want to progress, you could also come into a full cobra position. So most people who are not that flexible and who don’t have great flexibility in their lower back, the half cobra position will be enough, in my opinion. Now, if you want to take it further, what you want to do is bring your arms a little bit more in and then you can extend up all the way up into a full cobra position. And then you can hold that again 30 seconds and then down. OK?
So, for the—if you want to make it more complicated, just bring your arms in more towards where your chest is and then this is going to definitely be a lot more difficult. I can’t even do it that much. So I’m going to bring my arms a little more forward. If I want to do the full cobra position, this is where my arms are going to be and again making sure that your hips stay connected to the floor. So if you’re doing this, that’s not going to do much, OK? You’re not going to get the effect that we’re looking for. You want to keep your arms straight, keep your shoulders down. So if your shoulders are going up like this, again, that’s probably too much for you.
So, again, either bring your arms a little more forward or go back to the half cobra stretch. Yeah? Because the whole point is if you can’t do the exercise correctly, why do all this crazy extension and stretching if you’re not even doing it right? Yeah. So most people, I would say, this would be totally enough of a stretch for them first and then eventually you can progress into the full cobra position once you get that half.
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Written by: Leon Turetsky
Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM-CES), Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), Professional dancer
As a long time back sufferer Leon found unique methods to alleviate his pain using natural methods including self massage, exercise/stretching and postural habits. He founded Backintelligence.com to empower others to ease their back pain from their homes.