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8 Best Stretches to Improve Lower Back Flexibility

All poses are demonstrated by Sapphire Ng, guitarist, dancer, model and pioneer of Contortion Guitar.

8 Best Stretches to Improve Lower Back Flexibility

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1. Wheel Pose


Prerequisite skills

Extended Puppy Pose, Sphinx Pose, Cobra Pose, Camel Pose, Bridge Pose, Head Bridge, Wall Bridge

Target muscles

Upper Back, Lower Back, Abdominals, Chest, Shoulders, Arms, Wrists, Glutes, Hip Flexors, Quadriceps

How to get into the pose


From Standing

Stretch straight arms upwards and backwards, bending the lower back to the maximum possible

Bend from the hips, and reach straight arms towards the ground

Bend the legs as needed until the hands touch the ground


From Reverse Plank Bridge

Place hand of the supporting arm facing away from body

Maintaining the position of the feet and arching the back, the leading hand makes a circular motion from the supporting arm, going into wheel pose

Realign palms


From Lying Back-To-Floor

Bend the legs, rotate shoulders upwards, and place each palm on each side of the body flat on the ground

Push with the legs and arms to lift hips off the ground

Push into full wheel pose

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2. Elbow Bridge / Forearm Wheel Pose


Prerequisite skills

Extended Puppy Pose on Elbows, Chair Triceps Stretch, Wheel Pose, Narrow Wheel Pose

Target muscles

Upper Back, Lower Back, Abdominals, Chest, Shoulders, Arms, Wrists, Glutes, Hip Flexors, Quadriceps

How to get into the pose

From wheel pose, lift each palm off the ground and replace with each elbow

Lean chest forwards to reach the maximum stretch

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3. Front Splits Wheel Pose


Prerequisite skills

Front Splits, Wheel Pose, Half Splits Wheel Pose

Target muscles

Upper Back, Lower Back, Abdominals, Chest, Shoulders, Arms, Wrists, Glutes, Hip Flexors, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves

How to get into the pose

From wheel pose, walk feet closer to hands (or walk hands closer to feet) to make a narrower wheel

Position supporting leg to form a triangle with both hands

Lift other leg off the ground and extend into a full split

King Pigeon Pose

4. King Pigeon Pose


Prerequisite skills

Chair Triceps Stretch, Pigeon Pose, Mermaid Pose, King Cobra Pose

Target muscles

Upper Back, Lower Back, Abdominals, Chest, Shoulders, Hip Flexors

How to get into the pose

From a forward lunge position, lower into pigeon pose

Bend back leg, and grab back foot with same side hand

Rotate the arm until elbow faces the front

Stabilize the body with the other hand as needed, and drop head backwards

Touch foot with the head, and lift the remaining hand to grab the foot

Advanced Camel Pose 2

5. Advanced Camel Pose


Prerequisite skills

Camel Pose, Wheel Pose

Target muscles

Upper Back, Lower Back, Abdominals, Chest, Shoulders, Arms, Wrists, Glutes, Hip Flexors, Quadriceps

How to get into the pose

In a kneeling position with knees apart, raise straight arms upwards and backwards until both hands touch the ground

Walk the hands to grab the ankles

Push arms against the ankles to reach the maximum stretch

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6. Closed Straight Legs Wheel Pose


Prerequisite skills

Chair Triceps Stretch, Wheel Pose

Target muscles

Upper Back, Lower Back, Abdominals, Chest, Shoulders, Arms, Wrists, Glutes, Hip Flexors, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves

How to get into the pose

From wheel pose, place legs together and straighten legs

Lean chest forwards to reach the maximum stretch

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7. Closed Straight Legs Elbow Bridge / Forearm Wheel Pose


Prerequisite skills

Chair Triceps Stretch, Wheel Pose, Elbow Bridge / Forearm Wheel Pose, Closed Straight Legs Wheel Pose

Target muscles

Upper Back, Lower Back, Abdominals, Chest, Shoulders, Arms, Wrists, Glutes, Hip Flexors, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves

How to get into the pose

From elbow bridge / forearm wheel pose, place legs together and straighten legs

Lean chest forwards to reach the maximum stretch

8. Cobra Pose


Prerequisite skills

Sphinx Pose

Target muscles

Upper Back, Lower Back, Abdominals, Chest, Shoulders, Arms, Wrists, Hip Flexors

How to get into the pose

From chest-to-floor lying position, place each hand on each side of the hip

Push and straighten the arms

Drop head backwards


Sapphire Ng

Sapphire Ng is a guitarist, dancer, model and pioneer of Contortion Guitar, an original and distinctive performance act which unites acrobatics and contortion with guitar playing.

She is also a 2-time scholarship winner, having graduated with a second class honours with upper division for her Bachelor of Laws, Law LLB at Queen Mary University of London in the UK, and also with a Summa Cum Laude for her Bachelor of Music in Music Business and Management degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, USA.

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