How To Do Cobra

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chloe Freytag demonstrating Cobra pose in a blue tank top and yoga pants

Cobra pose is a yoga pose that strengthens the muscles of the upper back and stretches the chest and abdominals. Cobra pose is a panacea to the constant forward bending that our body is under. Sitting over a computer, sitting over a steering wheel, hunching over a phone – all of these activities promote a tight chest, weak upper back and bad posture.

If you learn how to do Cobra you can promote better posture and strengthen your upper back while stretching the front of your body.

Cobra is a great pose to do on its own or as a part of a yoga practice. Cobra is part of the vinyasa flow series that many know from practicing yoga. If you’ve never tried this flow, try it here!

No matter how you practice Cobra, however, you will notice a change in your posture and you will stand taller and more confident with a stretch through your chest and stronger upper back muscles.

A few things to think about when you try performing Cobra Pose. First, make sure you don’t let your head completely fall back. Look upward and lift from the front of your chest rather than from your chin. Next, press through your arms to open the front of your body as much as you would like. Low Cobra has a bend in your elbows while Cobra has long arms and more of the front of the body exposed.

No matter whether you practice yoga or not, Cobra pose is something you should use for a stronger back and better posture. Use this pose in conjunction with our workout 12 Yoga Poses To Help Alleviate Back Pain.


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    Here are the steps for performing Cobra pose:

    1) Begin lying face down on your mat with head slightly lifted and hand sitting directly under shoulders.

    2) Point your toes so the tops of you feet are on the mat.

    3) As you exhale, press arms straight and lift upper body and front of hips off the mat.

    4) Keep your legs and feet relaxed and on the ground.

    5) Keep your abdominals contracted and breathe slowly.

    (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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