Ultimate Upper Back Exercises

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The ultimate upper back exercises all comprise a few key techniques performed in just the right way. Learn about ultimate upper back exercises with help from a certified yoga teacher and healer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Yoga Exercises
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Lola from Yoga Lola Studios, and I'm here with Dash today. And we are going to show you a very important exercise for your upper back strength that really helps release tension and stress from the upper back. And it strengthens it enormously. It's called cat cow. And in this exercise you want to make sure before you start that you are down on your hands and knees. You'll notice that right here Dash's knees are aligned with his hips. And over on the other side his wrist is aligned with his elbow which is aligned with his shoulder. His fingers are down flat on the mat. And the fingers are spread. That really helps you to keep the weight off of the wrists. So we'll start the exercise with cow. And to do cow you always begin at the pelvis so Dash will drop his waist down like someone is sitting on his back. Raise his head up. His eyes are rolled up towards his crown. He's doing that on the inhale. On the exhale again starting from the pelvis he'll begin to curve up. And the last thing that will come under is his head. That's what's called cat. Inhaling up, dropping down to the spine. Coming all the way up, exhaling. Pulling the navel in, arching the back and bringing the chin to the chest. Now one more time. Inhaling deep, moving through the entire spine. Exhaling arching up, really arching up that upper back getting a nice deep stretch. And then to end just coming down bringing the back back into a flat position. And keeping the head level. We have completed our cat cow. This exercise is called baby stretch pose. And it really works through the spine but especially right up through the upper back. And it's a very gentle but effective exercise. You start in the position by sitting back on your heels. And notice how nice and straight his back and his head are. His fingers are right in front of his knees. His hands are right in front of his knees and his fingers are stretched out nice and deep. The elbows are nice and strong. So inhaling in this position arching up through the chin, bringing the head back. Exhaling down softing those elbows. Slowly allowing the breath to come out, bringing the forehead to the floor. Inhaling up. This is such a nice exercise. Exhaling down just relaxing. It's very restorative, very gentle but very, very effective for the upper back. And last time, inhaling up aching all the way back. Bringing the chin back, the head back. Exhaling down bringing the forehead to the floor. And then to finish the position bringing the body up starting again with the back nice and straight. And the head level. Here's an exercise that is wonderful for strengthening the upper back, releasing tension. And also really opening up the shoulders, it's called yoga mudra. You'll notice that he is sitting on his heels. His sit bones are on his heels. His back is straight. His head is completely level so the spine is very, very straight. Inhaling in this position, exhaling he begins to move down he's going to rest his stomach on his thighs. His forehead is going to go to the floor. And then with his fingers interlaced he's going to bring his arms up in the back. Straightening out the elbows as he goes up really opening up that upper back. Exhaling, arms down allowing them to rest back. And then inhaling up. Rolling up one vertebrae at the time. And that is yoga mudra for strengthening the upper back. Hi we are here today to do an upper spine flex and working with this upper spine flex really strengthens all the muscles here in the upper back. It opens up the chest. And it is just so, so good for opening the lungs. So you'll notice that Dash is sitting in a cross-legged position. And he has his hands deep over his knees. And his fingers are curled under the knees. His elbow is straight and strong. His back is nice and straight and his chin is in alignment with the hollow in his neck. On the inhale he's going to lift from the ribs pushing the chest out. On the exhale he's going to straighten back out. Inhaling really lifting up opening those lungs, opening that chest, exhaling. One more time. Inhaling deep. Lifting from the ribs really letting the body get nice and strong through the upper back. And exhaling down. And then inhale, exhale. And release. I wanted to say thank you for joining us today for the ultimate back exercise workout. Doing these four exercises will liberate that upper back make you super strong, super limber and really, really relaxed. So thank you again from Lola at Yoga Lola Studios and I look forward to joining you here again some time very soon. Sadhana.

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