Sore Back Yoga Exercises

By Josh Baum
"Downward Facing Dog" is one yoga pose that stretches back muscles.
"Downward Facing Dog" is one yoga pose that stretches back muscles.

Golfing requires lots of repetitive action and can put the spine under stress. As a result, it's not uncommon to experience soreness and tenderness in the back muscles and spine after a long day on the links. Daily practice of a few yoga exercises that target the back may help soothe the soreness. Consult your physician before attempting these, and if you're given approval, try them in the morning, right before golfing and right before going to bed.

The Cobra Pose

Assume a plank position on your yoga mat. The plank position looks just like the "up" position when doing push-ups. Your palms should be flat on the mat, your elbows should be locked and your arms should be perpendicular to the floor all the way up to your shoulders. Your toes should be on the floor, but the rest of your feet should be off the floor. Your legs, hips, torso and neck should be held perfectly straight and in alignment. Once you assume this pose, inhale deeply.

Exhale deeply as you slowly bend your arms and lower yourself onto your stomach and chest. Keep your palms on the mat. Point your toes so that the tops of your feet are touching the floor.

Inhale deeply as you lift your chest off the floor, arching your back backwards. Keep your stomach on the floor and hold your breath as you hold the pose for a few seconds.

Exhale deeply as you slowly lower your chest and resume the position described in step 2.

Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 five more times.

The Downward Facing Dog Pose

Get on your hands and knees on the yoga mat. Make sure your knees are positioned directly below your hips and that your hands are positioned just a few inches in front of your shoulders. Spread your fingers apart.

Exhale deeply as you lift your knees and point your buttocks toward the ceiling. Gradually straighten your legs, tightening your leg muscles from your ankles to your thighs.

Exhale again as you push slightly backward with your arms, straightening your knees and planting your heels flat on the floor.

Tighten your arms and keep them straight with your palms flat on the floor. Continue pushing backward slightly so that your thighs bear more weight than your arms. Don't let your head hang straight down toward the floor; instead, keep your neck aligned with your spine.

Hold this pose, breathing deeply, for up to two minutes.

The Cat Cow Pose

Get on your hands and knees on the yoga mat. Position your knees directly below your hips and your hands directly below your shoulders. Keep your back straight and align your neck with your spine. Point your toes so that the tops of your feet are touching the mat.

Inhale slowly and deeply as you touch your toes to the mat and bend them so that your heels are pointing up. Continue inhaling as you point your buttocks slightly upward, lower your stomach and raise your shoulders. Continue this rolling motion along your spine by slowly raising your head, bending your neck backwards, until you're looking at the ceiling. Hold this pose for a moment.

Exhale slowly and deeply as you move your feet back to the original position, lift the middle of your spine and arch your back. Slowly point your head down and stretch your neck so that you can see your midsection. Your spine should be a complete, even arch from your neck to your tailbone. Hold this pose for a moment.

Inhale slowly and deeply as you return to the original pose, then take a moment to take a few deep, slow breaths.

Repeat the entire process five more times.

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