yoga Archives - Medshield Movement

5 Yoga Poses To Build Back Strength

When exercising, we often focus on parts of our body, like “leg day” or “arm day” or even abs, but building back strength is crucial for good posture and will support all your other sports. With these yoga moves, you won’t need any gym equipment and you can build your back strength from the comfort of your lounge or garden

Pose 1: Bridge Pose
Strengthens: Lower back and glutes and quads

How: Lie on your back and bend your knees, bringing your ankles close to your bum, hip-width apart. Place the arms alongside the body with the palms facing down. Exhale and tilt your tailbone towards your pubic bone to flatten your low back. Inhale and lift your hips up, then your lower back and then your upper back all off the mat. Use your core and quads to hold your pose. Stay in Bridge pose for 5 breaths and slowly lower back down to the mat. Repeat 3 times. 

Pose 2: Cobra

Strengthens: muscles supporting the spine as well as the glutes and opens up the shoulders, neck and collar bones. 

How: Lie down on your stomach with your legs and feet together. Place your forehead on the floor and your hands next to your chest with fingers spread wide. Inhale, and lift the head and chest without putting any pressure on the hands. Lift the hands an inch off the floor to further challenge back strength. Hold for 5 breaths and slowly lower back down to the mat. Repeat 3 times.

Advanced – add this variation:
Place your chin on the floor and interlock your fingers behind your back, resting the hands on the buttocks. As you inhale, lift your head and chest, raising your arms and stretching them behind you. Hold for 3-5 breaths and slowly lower back down to the mat. Repeat 3 times.

Pose 3: Half Locust
Strengthens: Mid to lower back and into the glutes.
How: Lie on your stomach and interlock your fingers underneath your pelvis (this might feel uncomfortable if you’re not used to it). Straighten your arms and place the chin on the ground. Inhale and slowly raise one leg, making sure not to twist the pelvis. Exhale and slowly lower, then switch legs. Repeat these movements several times on each side, moving slowly and holding for your leg as it’s raised for 3 breaths. 

Pose 4: Chair Pose
Strengthens: Mid back, shoulders, core and into your quads.
How: Standing up straight, lift your arms above your head, palms facing each other. Sit down, as if to sit in a chair, bending your knees, but keeping your back straight and arms up. Aim to get your knees close to a 90-degree angle. Hold for 5 breaths and slowly lower back down to the mat. Repeat 3 times. 

Pose 5: Cat & Cow Pose
Strengthens: spine, shoulders and upper and lower back, while releasing tension.
How: Kneel on the floor and place your hands beneath your shoulders in a Table Top position. Inhale deeply while lifting your head up, dropping your belly and tilting your pelvis up like a “cow”. Exhale deeply and bring your abdomen in, arching your spine and bringing your head and pelvis down like a “cat”. Repeat 10 times, moving slowly with intention. 


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Easy Yoga Moves For Back Care

It’s Back Care Awareness Week from 2-6 October and to support this initiative, we have a list of beginner-friendly yoga poses that can aid in caring for your back – reducing pain, building strength and creating stretching out tightness.

Most of us have experienced some degree of back pain in our lives. Whether it’s from stress, injury, poor form and posture or other reasons, back care is something all of us can relate to. These moves are easy to perform at home, in the evenings as you wind down from the day. All you need is a flat comfortable surface.

If you’re new to yoga or have any specific back issues, it’s a good idea to consult with a yoga instructor or healthcare professional before starting a new practice. They can provide personalised guidance and modifications based on your needs.

Yoga Poses For Back Care

Remember to breathe deeply and focus on relaxing into each pose.

1/ Child’s Pose

Start on your hands and knees. Sit back on your heels, reaching your arms forward. Rest your forehead on the mat and relax your back.

2/ Child’s Pose Twist

From Child’s Pose, place your right hand under your left arm. Gently twist your torso to the left, stretching the right side of your back. Repeat on the other side.

3/ Cat-Cow Pose

Begin on your hands and knees in a Table Top position. Inhale, arch your back and lift your head for Cow Pose. Exhale, round your back and tuck your chin for Cat Pose. Flow between these two positions for a gentle spine warm-up for about 1-2 minutes.

4/ Thread the Needle

Begin on your hands and knees in a Table Top position. Thread your right arm under your left arm, lowering your right shoulder and ear to the mat. Hold for a few breaths and switch sides.

5/ Downward Facing Dog

Start in a push-up position. Lift your hips up and back, forming an inverted V shape. Press your heels toward the ground while extending your spine.

6/ Cobra Pose

Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders. Inhale, press your palms into the mat, and lift your chest. Keep your lower body on the ground and gaze forward. Hold for 10 seconds and release.

7/ Legs Up the Wall

Sit with your side against a wall. Swing your legs up the wall and lie on your back (your sit bones should be pressing into the wall). This pose is excellent for relieving lower back tension.

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Yoga For Better Sleep

A gentle yoga routine in the evenings can help promote relaxation, reduce stress and prepare your body and mind for better sleep. Try this simple yoga routine to start getting better sleep today!

Getting enough good-quality sleep means that we perform better at work and in sport, that we are less stressed, anxious or depressed and that we eat healthier. If you’re looking to improve your sleep health or looking for an easy wind-down routine to help you de-stress from the day, try this routine.

Gentle yoga practices offer a variety of health benefits for both the body and mind. These practices typically involve slower movements, longer holds and a focus on relaxation and mindfulness. Benefits include: better sleep, reduced stress, better posture and strength, greater flexibility and improved circulation.

For this routine, all you need is a yoga mat or simply place a towel over a carpeted surface.

1.Child’s Pose
Kneel on the floor with your big toes touching and knees apart. Sit back on your heels and extend your arms forward, lowering your chest toward the ground. Relax your forehead on the mat and take a few deep breaths, focusing on relaxing your back and shoulders. HOld this post for 30 to 60 seconds.

2. Cat and Cow
Come onto your hands and knees, aligning wrists under shoulders and knees under hips in a Table-Top position.
Inhale, arch your back and lift your tailbone and gaze up towards the ceiling (This is Cow Pose).
Exhale, round your back, tuck your chin to your chest, and draw your belly in (This is Cat Pose).
Flow between these poses with your breath, performing at least 10 Cat-Cow stretches.

3.  Seated Forward Fold
Sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. Inhale as you lengthen your spine, and exhale as you fold forward from your hips, reaching towards your feet. You can bend your knees slightly if your hamstrings are tight. Focus on keeping your spine long. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, then sit up before folding over a second time.

4. Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Lie on your back and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees fall out to the sides. Place your hands on your belly or by your sides, close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths. Hold this for 30 to 60 seconds.

5. Legs Up The Wall Pose
Sit next to a wall and swing your legs up so that your heels rest against the wall. Lie on your back and relax your arms by your sides. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. This pose helps improve circulation and promotes relaxation.

6. Corpse Pose
Lie on your back with your arms relaxed at your sides, palms facing up. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Allow your body to sink into the mat and let go of tension. Spend five to 10 minutes in this pose, releasing any lingering stress or thoughts.

Remember to listen to your body and modify the poses as needed. The key is to move gently and mindfully, focusing on your breath and letting go of tension. This routine can help calm your nervous system, reduce stress and create a peaceful transition from your day to a restful night’s sleep.

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Yoga Moves To Ease PMS Symptoms

August is Women’s month! To celebrate, we have some informative articles around women’s health. Read below for some great yoga moves that you can do at home to helo ease PMS symptoms.

Typically, PMS symptoms can include bloating, nausea, headache, irritability, fatigue and swollen, painful breasts as well as back pain. Yoga is a great exercise to do during this time of month because we are often fatigued and experiencing discomfort. Yoga is low-impact and low-intensity, making it an ideal workout.

These yoga moves are easy to perform at home in your own time to help ease PMS symptoms:

Seated Bound-Angle Pose

This is a great hip-opener and allows space for the belly to expand comfortably.

Sit down on a comfortable mat or a carpeted surface and bring the soles of your feet to touch. Place both hands on your feet while straightening your back and pulling your knees down to earth. Hold this pose for a minute, then release the legs out in front of you for 30 seconds before returning to the pose for a further minute. You can also hold the feet with one hand while placing the other hand over your lower belly.

Cat & Cow Pose

These movements gently massage your abdominal muscles while also stretching out your back.
Come down onto all fours in a Table Top position, knees and arms hip-width apart. Inhale as you lift your head to look up and drop your belly. Exhale to round your spine, press the floor with your hands and lower your head so that you’re gazing at your belly button. Do these moves slowly, with intention, focusing on the breath unti you’ve completed 10 to 12 rounds.

Wide-Knee Child’s Pose

This posture is also great for pregnant women and if you’d like to rest in the pose for longer than five minutes, you’re welcome to place a pillow beneath you.
Kneel on a mat or carpet and then open your knees wide before folding your body down onto the floor with your arms stretched out in front of you. Point your toes to touch behind you and extend your sit bones back so that your bum connects with your heels.

Hold for three to five minutes while focusing on your breath.

Reclined Twist

This posture is really relaxing and is great for relieving lower-back pain. It also stretches open your heart area while soothing the abdominal area.

Lie down on a comfortable surface, face-up, with your legs extending out in front of you, arms at your sides.

Bend your right knee and use your hand to guide it over to your left side, finding a gentle stack of the hips, right over left. Place your left hand on your bent right knee to gently deepen the twist. Keep your shoulders square while gazing the opposite way (to the right). Hold for 30 seconds (up to a minute), then release back to centre before doing the stretch on the other side.

Knees-to-Chest Pose

After your reclined twist, end with a simple knees-to-chest pose. This is great for releasing tension in the lower back.

From your position lying down on the floor, bring both knees in towards your chest at the same time. Gently wrap your arms around your shins. Clasp opposite elbows if this feels good. Concentrate on extending the back down onto the mat and elongating the spine. Actively relax your shoulders down the floor. Hold this pose for a minute and then gently begin to rock forwards and backwards, to massage the muscles around your spine.

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