Yoga for cyclists: Cobra pose by Total Women's Cycling a Road Cycling video by Total Women's Cycling

The Cobra pose has the same benefits as the Sphinx pose. It strengthens the back muscles and provides a strong backbend to the spine, opening the chest, shoulders and abdomen which all tend to get closed during cycling.

How to do the pose:

  • Start by lying on your front
  • Bring the hands just forwards of the shoulders, elbows in towards the side ribs
  • Strengthen the legs and press the tailbone down towards the floor
  • As you inhale press into the hands and lift the upper chest and ribs away from the floor, extending the chest forwards
  • Continue pressing into the hands until the abdomen comes away from the floor, keep the hips down
  • Draw the heart and lungs forwards and soften your shoulders down away from the ears
  • Keep the lower belly slightly firm. Stay for 5 breaths then slowly release back down
  • Repeat 3 or 4 times.

Variations:

  • To get more into the upper back try pushing back into Childs pose from Cat Pose.

What to watch out for:

  • It's really tempting to lift the shoulders up to get the arms to straighten - try to avoid doing this and be happy to have the elbows slightly bent
  • Pay attention to how the body feels doing this pose and if you feel any pinching or pain then release off straight away.

Our instructor is Polly Clark; yoga teacher and founder of Mountain Yoga Breaks who offer weekends combining mountain biking and yoga in the beautiful Welsh countryside.