Backbend, Neutral Spine, Standing
Legs, Quads, Shoulders, Spine
Setup and Key Actions
Stand with your feet together or inner hip-width apart (about four to six inches) and parallel. Bend your knees and sit back like you're sitting in a chair. Keep your hips low as you stretch your arms up overhead. Lift your shoulder blades and rib cage along with your arms as you reach up. Keep your knees pointing straight ahead. Glance down for a moment and make sure that you can see your toes (meaning your knees aren’t going past them); if not, shift a little more weight into your heels. Narrow your “hip points” (anterior/superior iliac spines) toward each other (as though you were cinching a drawstring) and sit back a little deeper. At the same time, lift your low belly—engage between your pubic bone and your navel—to avoid collapsing your belly forward onto your thighs. Spin your pinky fingers in toward each other to externally rotate your upper arms and broaden your upper shoulder blades.
Practice with your back against the wall for stability. Be sure to maintain a neutral pelvis/spine so that there is a small space between your lower back and the wall, and draw your front ribs back, gently pressing your middle back toward the wall. For this variation, stack your knees directly over your heels. If they come past your heels, walk your feet more forward. Keep your hips at or above knee level.