How To Do Windshield Wiper Pose

By: Chris Freytag, CPT


Chloe Freytag demonstrating Windshield Wiper Pose in a black tank top and yoga pants

 

Windshield wiper pose is a favorite amongst many who practice yoga. Aside from the many benefits it provides, it is a pose that just feels good! In fact it is an excellent pose to do every day before you even get out of bed. It stretches your back after a long night’s sleep and slowly begins to energize you and help you wake up.

Windshield wiper pose is an excellent stretch for the lower back. By slowly rotating your legs to the side of your body you get a gentle twist and stretch in the muscles that surround your lower back. This movement also creates more flexibility in your spine, which will help prevent back injuries. Too often people become rigid in their spine by only moving it in a forward motion. In order to remain healthy, you must practice moving your spine in many directions in a controlled setting.

A further benefit to windshield wiper pose is the strengthening of the oblique and transverse abdominus muscles in your core. The side rotation you make involves lowering and lifting the weight of your legs from side to side. This activity is done by pulling in the transverse abdominus – or lower abs – and engaging the oblique muscles that run along the sides of your core.

According to Harvard Medical School, yoga has been shown to decrease pain and depression that accompany back problems including a lowering of pain medication by those suffering from such issues. Poses such as the windshield wiper in yoga, offer people relief from the pain and limitations of lower back injuries as well as an opportunity to prevent back pain before it occurs. This pose is a must!

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    How To Do Windshield Wiper Pose

    1) Begin on your back with knees bent, feet flat on floor and arms stretched out to the sides.

    2) Gently lower your knees to the left side of your body and place on the floor. Gaze right and breathe.

    3) Engage your abdominals and slowly pull your knees back to the start position.

    4) Gently lower your knees to the right side of your body and place on the floor. Gaze left and breathe.

    5) Repeat a few more times as desired or needed.

    [adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”kIKuBhcn” upload-date=”2019-02-22T18:32:38.000Z” name=”Windshield Wiper Pose” description=”1) Begin on your back with knees bent, feet flat on floor and arms stretched out to the sides.

    2) Gently lower your knees to the left side of your body and place on the floor. Gaze right and breathe.

    3) Engage your abdominals and slowly pull your knees back to the start position.

    4) Gently lower your knees to the right side of your body and place on the floor. Gaze left and breathe.

    5) Repeat a few more times as desired or needed.”]

    What Muscles Does Windshield Wiper Work?

    Windshield wiper is an exercise that strengthens your core muscles, especially the low abs and obliques. This move also stretches the lower back.

    Benefits of Windshield Wiper

    There are many reasons you should incorporate windshield wipers into your workouts. Here are just a few:

    Stretches the Low Back

    When done in a slow, controlled motion the windshield wiper is an amazing stretch for your lower back muscles. By slowly lowering your legs to the right, the left side of the back is gently released and visa versa. Just be sure to go slow!

    Strengthens Core Muscles & Obliques

    Let’s face it, your legs are a heavy part of your body. Windshield wiper pose relies on your abdominal muscles, especially your obliques, to move your legs from side to side. The core muscles need to help control and stabilize the body while the weight of the legs is shifting. This is an excellent way to build core strength.

    Calms and Relaxes You

    Windshield wiper pose is one of many yoga poses that helps you focus and calm your brain. Using a slow steady inhale and exhale, your brain and body are calmed down by the repetitive and gentle flow of the breath.

    How Many Calories Does Windshield Wiper Burn?

    People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts. Most exercises will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working at moderate to high intensity. The windshield wiper is a slow moving yoga pose, not meant to be a big calorie burn by itself. However, in the context of a yoga practice, the rule above applies! Yoga can be a great way to burn calories.

    Other Exercises Similar to Windshield Wiper

    If you like windshield wiper and the results you are getting, here are a few more yoga poses you might want to try.

    1. How To Do Yogi Squat Pose
    2. How To Do Side Plank Pose
    3. How To Do Chair Pose With Twist

    Incorporating Windshield Wipers Into Your Workouts

    Windshield wiper is a great exercise all on its own! However, you could also incorporate windshield wiper into other workouts to mix them up. Here are some ideas to get you started.

    Use Windshield Wipers As Part of a Core Strength Workout

    When it’s time to do ab work, many people think about going straight to crunches or planks. However, windshield wiper is a great core exercise that tackles the lower abs and the obliques in a gentle, effective motion. Check out this short at-home ab workout that includes windshield wipers:

    At Home Ab Workout: This bodyweight-only workout requires only a mat or soft surface and 10 minutes!

    Do each of the following moves as directed.

    Oblique Burner – 1 minute

    Side Plank Lift and Lower Right Side – 30 seconds

    Side Plank Lift and Lower Left Side – 30 seconds

    Windshield Wiper – 1 minute

    Side Plank Scoop Right – 30 seconds

    Side Plank Scoop Left – 30 seconds

    Swimming – 1 minute

    Ab Reverse Curl – 1 minute

    Full Body Roll Up– 1 minute

    Mid-Back Extension – 1 minute

    Bird Dog Crunch R/L – 30 seconds

    Bird Dog Crunch L/R – 30 seconds

    Bicycle – 1 minute

    Use Windshield Wipers in a Yoga Workout

    Yoga is known for building strength and calm as well as stretching your muscles and connective tissue. Windshield wipers are an amazing pose to incorporate into your yoga practice. Check it out in our Day Starter Yoga Workout:

    Day Starter Yoga Workout To Do At Home: This invigorating yoga sequence is a great way to wake up and start the day! All you need is a mat or a little space to move.

    Start by standing in mountain pose with your eyes closed and take 5 deep breaths. Then flow between mountain and yogi squat 5 times.

    Mountain Pose

    Yogi Squat

    Then step wide and go down into Sun God and lift up 5 times with deep breaths.

    Sun God

    Move back to Mountain Pose and flow through the following 5 times:

    Mountain Pose

    Monkey Pose

    Plank Pose

    Chaturanga

    Up Dog

    Downward Dog

    Step your feet through and sit down and do each of the following for 3-5 breaths:

    Yogi Squat

    Boat Pose

    Reverse Table Top

    Seated Forward Fold

    Windshield Wiper

    Happy Baby

    Now go and enjoy a day full of energy!!!!

    Use Windshield Wipers in a Strength Workout

    Windshield wipera can be used in a strengthening workout. In fact, by placing windshield wiper at the end of a strength workout – like this one – you finish with ab work and a stretch all at the same time!

    At Home Strength Challenge: Grab a medium pair of dumbbells and go from one move directly to the next

    Arnold Press – 10 reps

    Tricep Dips – 12 reps

    Shoulder Tap Push Ups – 12 reps

    Squat Thruster– 12 Reps (alternating)

    Yogi Squat with Bicep Curl – 12 Reps

    Overhead Shoulder Press – 12 Reps

    Overhead Pulls – 12 Reps

    Renegade Rows – 12 Reps (alternating)

    Windshield Wiper – 12 Reps alternating side to side

    Here are 3 more workouts that incorporate windshield wipers:

    4-Minute Yoga Flow For a Bad Low Back

    10 Yoga Poses You Should Do Every Day

    10 Minute Yoga Morning Flow



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