So many of our daily activities — walking, driving, emailing, cycling, holding children — are all forward-facing, which means our body is constantly rounded that way. These forward movements pull on your backside muscles, which can cause poor posture, leading to low-back pain. We asked MYX yoga experts Donna and Kristin about the best way to prevent the pain caused by these everyday movements. Kristin recommends yoga. “Yoga is all about creating balance and alignment in your mind and body.”
Donna agrees, saying yoga offers a slew of poses to counter forward movements and help you find “anatomical neutrality.” Anatomical neutrality simply means your joints are vertically aligned, while “our natural curves are honored,” Donna says. Yoga for lower back pain is powerful, because it can shift your body back to center.
Whether you’re on your bike or on your mat, you’ll hear the same postural cues from MYX trainers: long spine, elbows tucked in, and hips and butt pressing back. Following their cues can improve your posture. It can also help you build upper body strength, which helps power your legs during a ride. After a bike session, the following yoga poses can help counteract the forward direction of your body by re-opening your hips and lower back.
Yoga is great for cyclists because many poses simultaneously open your frontside while strengthening the back. Kristin prefers Locust Pose, because it “reverses the work on the quadricep muscles, opens your chest, and engages the glutes and backside.”
- Lie on your belly, forehead down, arms alongside your body.
- Bring your big toes to touch, squeeze your belly into your spine. Engage your shoulder blades toward each other.
- Lift your whole front side up from the bottom of your ribs to your quadriceps and inhale as you lift.
- Use the entire exhale to lower back to the ground.
- Repeat five times, feeling your back work with each lift.
Donna suggests “a wall dog to get that flat back and neutrality.”
- Place your palms on a wall in front of you, then lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor.
- Lengthen your spine by pressing your hips backward, reaching the top of your head forward, pulling your shoulders away from your ears and squeezing your lower belly up and in.
- Actively press your palms into the wall and your heels into the ground (keeping a microbend in your knees if hamstrings are tight).
- Stay for five full breaths, filling up and emptying your lungs as you inhale and exhale.
Lower back relief isn’t the only perk yoga offers, but these stretches are a great complement to your MYX rides. Give ‘em a go and tag MYX on social with #YogaMYX, #MYXfitness, or #MYXitup to let us know how you feel after adding yoga to your post-bike workout routine.