You’ll likely know the locust pose (salabhasana) as ‘superman’ as part of your warm-up, arch to hollow for example. Did you know that this pose is also a brilliant way to build strength in the back with a view to preparing the body for the deadlift, one of the fundamental lifts of CrossFit?
At first glance, the pose looks quite simple, but don’t be fooled – correct alignment and muscular engagement are key, and this takes practice. Locust pose opens the chest, shoulders and neck while also working the abs and promoting mobility in the lumbar spine, the lower back.
Now, back to the deadlift – in this lift, the hips extend under load while maintaining the integrity of the spine. To achieve this, the spinal erectors and the quadratus lumborum (among others) have to get to work. To perform this movement safely, the curve of the lumbar spine needs to be maintained. Failure to do so is a common reason for injury resulting from incorrectly performed deadlifts.
In the locust pose, we practice the action of lifting the upper back without creating strain in the lower back, which will help lengthen and strengthen the muscles involved in this movement and also improve your awareness of targeted muscular engagement in these areas. There are a number of variations to the locust pose, including some that will help promote overhead mobility – something most of us struggle with! My Yoga for Sports classes are suitable for all levels, complete beginners welcome. Check my schedule for class times and locations, see ya on the mat!