Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) A move so easy your grandmother could do it -- right? That may be the case, but even something this simple can put unnecessary pressure on your back. "Many people maintain straight legs when they do this pose, which locks your pelvis and makes it harder to rotate forward," says Rothenberg. "That means that all of the force of your flexing movement comes into your low back, compressing the area as you bend."
To correct this, lightly bend your knees and focus on rotating your body forward from your pelvis. Keep the stretch feeling balanced through your hip, hamstring, and lower back. "This releases the intense strain on your back and allows for a more even and safe extension of your body," she says. Be sure that you keep the natural curve of the spine as well. If you're completely rounded, it's a sign that your core hasn't joined the party.
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