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Stretch of the Week – Cobra

Target Benefits – Increases spinal flexibility, works the back muscles and pectorals, stretches the thoracic region and expands the rib cage.

Cobra - Pro:Kinesis Personal Training, High Wycombe

Cobra (Bhujangasana)

Lie with the front of your body on the floor, body in a straight line. Bring your feet together, toes pointing back away from you. Bring your hands by your sides, fingers spread wide and straight ahead. Keep your arms close to the side of the body, elbows bent pointing towards your feet, and forehead to the floor. Breathe in and raise head, shoulders and front of the body up off the floor (keeping pubic bone in contact with the floor). Breathe out, push palms down into the floor and raise body up as high as possible. Take shoulders back and slowly ease your head back and look upwards, keeping your arms slightly bent. Relax your leg muscles and buttocks, feeling your spine extend and flex back. You should end up as shown.

Hold the pose for 30 seconds, breathing normally, then release and repeat.

Points to note:

– Use the arms to push the body up, don’t roll the body up into position.

– Elbows should not be straight, and shoulders shouldn’t be tensed.

– Push equally with both arms preventing the body twisting.

– Keep your pelvis on the ground.