Back Pain? Try this 10-Minute Yoga Trapeze® Flow

Article by Lucas Rockwood

While chronic lower back pain can start off as a nuisance, over time it can begin to affect your movement patterns and your quality of life. If you’re suffering with chronic lower back pain, this four-pronged approach to healing using the Yoga Trapeze® could help you.

Healing is a journey that you need to take responsibility for. Hopefully this 10-minute mini flow, where we’ll look at strength, flexibility, balance, and traction, will help you on your way.

First, let’s take a look at what could be causing your pain and how the Yoga Trapeze® can help.

Why use the Yoga Trapeze®?

Statistics show that 80% of the population will have a back pain issue at some point in their life. Dozens of activities can cause back pain, but the root problem is almost always the same: compression. When your vertebrae are squished into one another, it often irritates or pinches a nerve.

Your lumbar discs 4 and 5 are typical hot spots for injury. In an ideal world, you’d have a healthy, shock-absorbing disc between each vertebra. But with age, inactivity, overuse, and imbalances from modern life, most adults have some degree of disc degeneration (osteoarthritis). So, with each passing year, spinal care becomes increasingly important.

You can massage, sauna, and medicate yourself all day long, but you need to create more space in your vertebral column to relieve that pressure. This is where spinal traction using the Yoga Trapeze® can help.

Traction is a term used by orthopaedic and chiropractic doctors to describe any treatment that pulls or lengthens the spine apart (as opposed to squishing it together). Strength and flexibility training are a crucial part of this process, but nothing is as immediate and obvious as hanging upside down.

If you release that compression, even just a millimeter, it can have a huge effect on reducing pain. Every body is different, of course, but a yoga practice or exercise routine that integrates the Yoga Trapeze®, even if just once or twice per week, includes pushing, pulling, holding, twists, backbends, forward bends, hip opening and so much more.

If you don’t already own a Yoga Trapeze®, you can get one here. Alternatively, check our YouTube channel, where you’ll find plenty of free, mat-based videos to help with spinal care.

10-Minute Yoga Trapeze® Mini-Flow

These are what we might call corrective exercises. We’re working on re-establishing strength, flexibility, and balance in your spine. The routine takes around 10 minutes.

Download PDF pose chart

Passive Hang (strength & traction)

  • Stand in front of the trapeze, step your feet hip-width apart and grab the high handles with a parallel grip (knuckles facing).
  • Bend your knees to squat down, lift onto your tip toes and straighten your arms.
  • Hang from your arms with as much weight as you feel comfortable. Use your legs to lower the intensity.
  • Gently push forward, roll back, lengthen forward and back.
  • If you feel comfortable make a small clockwise circle, then a counterclockwise circle.
  • Lift all the way up, release your hands, shake it out and repeat once more.

Standing Rows (strength)

  • With the trapeze in front of you, grab the high handles with a parallel grip and with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Lean back like a plank, straighten your arms, gaze up at the ceiling and pause here.
  • Pull your elbows in and down and push your chest up.
  • Lower back down, pull your chest down.
  • Keep your legs straight throughout and repeat five times.

Seated Fold (flexibility)

  • On the floor in a seated position with main sling behind your head, extend
  • your legs out in front of you, feet a little bit wider than hip-width apart.
  • Grab the long handles with a spread fingers grip. Lengthen forward with your arms and drop your head.
  • If you feel any discomfort in your lower back bend your knees up towards your chest. If it’s too much to drop your head, keep your neck long with your ears in line with your arms. Straighten your legs when comfortable.
  • Breathe in and out through your nose for 5 breaths.

Glute Bridge (strength)

  • Lie on your back with the trapeze handles in line with your hips.
  • Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Grab the lowest handles with a parallel grip and bend your elbows down toward the ground as you lift your hips up toward the ceiling until your body is in a diagonal line. Push down into the ground into the heels, engage your glutes and squeeze your elbows
  • Hold for the count of five, lower down and repeat three times.
  • If you feel any compression in your lower back don’t raise your hips so high.

Cliffhanger (traction)

  • With the trapeze behind you, get onto your knees on the mat, toes touching behind you and sit back.
  • Grab the lowest handles with a spread-fingers grip, lean forward and stretch your arms out as far as they go.
  • Drop your head, hand breathe slow and steady through your nose for 10 deep breaths.

Dancer (balance)

  • Start with the trapeze at your back. Turn to look at the trapeze, bend one leg, and hook your ankle behind you.
  • From here, reach up and take a spread fingers grip on the highest handles.
  • Slowly, kick back and extend your back leg as you simultaneously lean forward, straightening both arms.
  • Hold for the count of five. Release your leg and switch sides.

Traction Jackson (traction)

  • Open the main sling, butterfly your hands behind your back, grab the edge of the main sling and push up to sit in the sling.
  • Slide the black clips down, bicycle your legs, take your thumbs behind you to wiggle the main sling fabric lower to find your seat.
  • Grab the long straps and separate your legs wide like the letter ‘V’ and lean all the way back.
  • Look at your toes, bend your knees, double cross your feet around the trapeze fabric to lock them in place.
  • Release your upper body and grab your elbows above your head.
  • Relax your upper body, legs and glutes and hang here as freely as possible for a minute.
  • To release, grab the long straps, look up at your toes, spread your legs wide in the V shape, walk your hands up the straps, wrap your arms around the rig, put your forehead on your forearms and rest here for a few seconds.

Corrective Exercises and Pain

These poses are gentle by design; don’t make the mistake of pushing too far, too fast. Remember, pain is the mitigating factor here, so if you feel pain during any of these poses please back off, modify, or skip the pose altogether.

If you have a major back problem, if you can’t get up and down from the ground, if you are feeling nauseous, please see a doctor. Please do not use this video to diagnose or treat a severe injury.