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Andrew

Proper form in back bend

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Andrew

Hello all, I have a question about back bending.

When wrestling, I was taught to squat low and then back arch into a bridge with the weight on the balls of the feet and the knees well forward of the plane of the toes.

My friend the yoga teacher insists when back bending the weight should be kept in the heels, with the shins vertical, sparing strain on the knees.

When wall walking or otherwise back arching, what is the "correct" method.

Thank you.

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Blairbob

There is very little strain in the knees in a backbend, so I'd tell your yoga teacher to get off the knees over heels line.

I coach backbend as follows:

Start reaching for the floor from the fingertips. Don't break line by sticking your head out.

Counterbalance reaching back by pushing the knees over the toes, hips forward, chest forward, chin up.

Basically like doing the limbo. While it reaches backward, it counterbalances forward so you just fall hard on the wrists, that's not fun.

You could also drill bend back from sitting on the knees ( japanese style ) to a bridge, but this takes a lot of back and shoulder flexibility from the start. Less scary though.

It's helpful to do a backbend by standing at the bottom of a wedge cheese mat and backbending onto the incline of the cheese mat. This is the step after being able to walk down into a bridge from a backbend near a wall.

Btw, if you're flexible and strong enough in the core, you can end up doing what I call a no handed bridge matrix style. Pretty fun. This really takes counterbalancing through the knees and hips over the heels, unless you want to fall on your bum.

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Andrew

Thanks for the information Blairbob.

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