When I first met my new client, he was walking with a limp. “What’s going on there?” I asked him, and he replied that he had some hip and lower back pain from playing tennis the day before. On further inquiry, I found out that he was an avid golfer and tennis player, but was always in some level of discomfort either during or after the game (and sometimes both). In addition, his regular day-to-day involved much sitting on airplanes, sitting in meetings, sitting in a car (you get the picture!) and all that sitting was setting his low back up for a pretty big shock when he went out to play a few rounds with his friends.

With a targeted program to both strengthen the core and relieve lower back pain, my client began to experience immediate relief and the limp all but disappeared. One of the first poses that I got him working on was the Revolved Abdominal Pose, which I’ve posted below, and which can also be found in the Yoga Tune Up® 5 Minute Quick Fix Lower Back video. This yoga therapy exercise strengthens and stretches both the muscles of the lower back and the obliques and transverse abdominals.

This pose, along with the full spectrum of poses from the Quick Fix Lower Back Video, will give you a vocabulary of safe and healthy movements that strengthen the biomechanics of the low back and keep you in great condition, so that you don’t have to give up anything you love!

Learn about our Therapy Balls Program for your lower back.

Check out our Post athletic stretch DVD

Discover how to strengthen your core.

Sarah Court

Sarah Court is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Yoga Tune Up® Teacher Trainer, and the creator of Quantum Leap. She teaches public workshops, anatomy for yoga teacher trainings, and trains Yoga Tune Up® teachers worldwide. She developed and teaches her Quantum Leap continuing education program to make sophisticated movement science easy for movement teachers to understand and apply to their teaching. Sarah received her doctorate in Physical Therapy from Mount St. Mary’s University. She brings significant clinical experience to her teaching, attracting clients and students with a desire to move intelligently, regain mobility, or manage chronic conditions. Sarah is an award-winning graduate of Princeton University, and edited the Yoga Tune Up® blog for 5 years. She has been featured on exercise.com and The New York Times. Find her Yoga Tune Up® schedule here or go to her full website.

Leave a Reply

50 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
45 Comment authors
Alyssa P

It’s funny – nobody wants to hear about strengthening their core when they’re in back pain – but with years of managing an L4/L5 herniation it’s 100% true. Every time I slack on core work (and I don’t mean sit ups – I mean work 😉 I can feel it the next day. Thanks for the video post too, I love a good visual.

Laurel Crane

I have seen this commonly in many people. Love the suggestion for jithara parivartonasana!


This poses and a whole lot of rolling out with the therapy balls makes for a healthy back! I wish I had know about Yoga Tune Up shortly after having 3 kids in five years! My low back was a huge source of pain and I did yoga but no particular postures and movements to help. The ‘Quick Fix Lower Back’ video would have done the trick when I needed it most!

Linda Webster

Your client could have easily been an earlier version of me. I love tennis and golf, anything to be on the outside. I plan on doing sidewinder and all the exercises that I learned in Jill’s yoga tune up teacher training.
I have learned many of my body’s weaknesses and areas that I have over stretched. I can’t wait to teach so many new ways of looking at the body to my students


As another one of the many who have been experiencing lower back pain recently, I gave this pose a try. I have been working on creating balance in my core and back for some time and considered it to be well balanced. However, what this pose emphasized for me was not only the strengthening for support-and that i am imbalanced still, but the active stretch and lengthening of the QL and obliques. The comb of strength and length within the posture make it most effective for me. Its so wonderful to hear your client improved, as well as all those… Read more »

Andrea Penagos

I find that much of my low back pain is due to weakness in the abdominal muscles and quadratus lumborum, all of which are strengthened by revolved abdominal pose and other core-targeting YTU exercises like side-winder, double apanasana and double bicycle. Great to hear your client found a new normal for his body!

Janet Berkowitz

interesting article, Sarah!
– My neighbor actually tore her hamstring tendon when she rejoined her high school or college (forget which) team mates for a soccer game.

– I actually used sidewinder pose last night when I taught a class because one of the students was complaining about low back pain.
My mistake was not using that pose towards the beginning of class instead of using it in the middle, but I used it as a remedy when she was complaining about her low back pain.. Great pose to use in the beginning of class!

Gari Kylberg

It is such a simple routine to do, it is going to travel with me together with the Tune Up Ball 😉


After 4 days with Jill, Trina and Sarah I thought I would sleep in on the fifth day and relax, but no, I found myself awake and alert and excited to start a morning practice. I was shocked! this was before breakfast, before coffee and tea and my usual morning lethargy the core work was my weakest area now Revolved Abdominal pose is one of my favorites. Its been about 3 months that I have been practicing core the Yoga Tune Up way and my core feels engaged even when I’m not engaging it. This is so much fun.

mariana m

core work is essential, when I felt stronger in my core even my neck and upper back pain seemed to vanished.

Janet Berkowitz

This pose really has a profound affect on the low back! It’s so important the we use our tubular core to stabilize when we rotate in this position and both the rotation AND the engagement of the core will help ease the low back pain.
Great that your client found relief through you, Sarah!

Peggy Sue Honeyman-Scott

This is such a simple exercise to incorporate into our lives, with amazing results. You also get an added bonus of hip massage : )


This pose is always an integrity check for me. As in, I really need to do more to strengthen my core. I skated by for years in more traditional yoga classes by hiding behind my above average flexibility and tolerance for pain. Having to keep my hips and knees/feet perfectly stacked in revolved abdominals means I can’t cheat because there are obvious external signs if I do. Yay. Sigh. Thankfully, the relief I experience in the rest of my body due to stronger abs makes up for the harder work.

Christina Cruz

I’m definitely going to incorporate this pose when teaching privates. It’s a great pose to give someone as “homework” to do on their own and feelexperience the wonderful benefits of learning to care for their bodies. Thank you!! 🙂


I recently did this move for the first time in a Yoga Tune Up class and found it challenging but fun, The trick is to keep the knees together, especially when you are rotating your legs to the side. Great lower back and abs workout.

Erika O

In our society sitting is what we spend so much of our time doing. Therefore more and more people are needing this kind of treatment. This was really helpful for me as a new teacher to know how to help my future clients with the same problem (and I’m betting there’s going to be a lot of them). This posting was so educational for me! Thank You!

Tracy Crooks

Strengthening transverse abdominals, rectus, internal and external obliques is an amzing benefit to not only assisting those weekend warriors to enjoy favorite activites but resonate in all the yoga poses we practice in class. Revolved abdominal pose offers strengthening in the entire core as well as an amazing stretch of the lower back

Sherry Matwe

This minivini also strenthens the lower back – so healthy! I love the detox of the twist – the strenthening of the obliques, and strenthening of the lower back – which is good for half moon and poses where pelvis stability and alignment matter – also balance which is good for all sport as suggested by so many other comments – love this particualar yoga tune up excersize I practise it and teach almost daily.

Eva Berswick

Having a pronounced lumbar lordosis, I deal with lower back pain on daily basis. Since I started practicing yoga, both the frequency and the intensity has diminished greatly. I tried the Revolved Abdominal Pose, and I will incorporate it into my new daily routine to strengthen the core muscles. Thanks.


My pilates clients love this movement. As an aspiring new yogi, I will refer to this movement as Revolved Abdominal Pose. Not only is it safe and healthy for almost everyone, it seems like it would be a great neutralizing movement for the body and spine following Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose).


Plank and forearm plank are great core strenghteners. Work up to 1 min hold. You can also lift one leg at a time slightly off the floor for extra challenge. Just remember to hold navel to spine to fully recruit all the abdominal muscles

Sarah Court

Hi Lynn,

It’s always hard to say what exactly is causing imbalances in the body via message board :-), but it sounds like the tightness you are experiencing in your left lower back is not allowing the rotation to occur, and instead the spine is being ‘turned’ instead of rotated (if that makes sense). Perhaps Sidewinder pose will be useful to release the lower back and see if that brings a more even experience?


OK, this combined with not crossing my legs and lets see if my lower back becomes a more friendly back,

thank you.

Lynn M

I love this exercise! It helped ease my discomfort in my low back immediately. For at least 10 years, I have had dull pain in the left side of my lower back. When I did this exercise, my sides were dramatically different. When I bring my knees to the left, my shoulders remained on the ground. When I bring my knees to the right, my shoulder lifts completely off the floor. Is this tightening in my shoulder or back? Should I also work on releasing my shoulder as well as my low back? Help! Thanks:)


I do a version of this every morning before I start my Mysore practice…. It helps relieve the tension in the low back. Then when I begin my practice my lower back is open allowing me to engage my core muscles. It has to be a constant reminder in my yoga practice but without it I have a tendency to over extend in my lower back.
Thanks so much for posting!

Sarah Court

Hi Pat,

I like this pose a lot too, and I often teach it (as well as other variations of it) at the beginning of class to get people connected to their core. I use it as a warm up so yes, it’s safe to do first!


I like doing this exercise a lot. You can literally feel tension land pain melting off the lower back. Twists are awesome!Is it safe to practice this without warming up?

T Lyn

Its kinda funny an sad how most people understand their ‘normal’ to be. Being used to pain and relegating yourself to believing thats your lot, thats your body and how it behaves – the end. But when you point it out,like in the blog above, any reader connected to their own body would say “well maybe I should stretch before I go play 18 rounds after sitting in meeting and planes all week. Maybe that would prepare and cool down my back – so Im not in agonizing pain ” Its so simple when its presented to you, but really… Read more »

Wade Carpenter

Awesome. It is a very simple exercise. But, i can see how it can strengthen and and stretches the core. Writing that one down.


I love this twist and do it ALOT, now I know WHY ! Thank you.


This exercise helps my low back!


This feels great!

Teresa Heit-Murray

My husband and I both watched this video together. He though out his back while biking supper fast one night after sitting day after day in front of a computer or tv. He said he recognized the pose from the cardio class he attends weekly with a straight leg variation.

Kim Currier

Supine Twist is a great back neutralizer and so imporatant to practice! I also golf and I do this pose after a day on the course and it feels like putting my back right back into place. I want to get the video exercises to learn more about quick fixes.

lisa Moontague

This could describe myself and my husband. We like to exercise but aren’t as good at stretching the muscles. I’m going to take a look at all the video exercises. Thank you


We learned this when owen came in the anatomy training. this is very insightful.


I love supine twists and this feels amazing on the lower back! Twist are also great on our digestive system and give our internal organs a nice massage. Strengthening our obliques & transversus abdominus muscles are important for stabilizing and strengthening other poses in our practice. I work with kids and stand for most of the day, so this is something I enjoy doing at the end of the day.

Aura Carr

It is such a relief to hear that we are better off doing some essential poses a day that are short and quick rather than put the pressure on ourselves to do a full-fledged practice on a daily basis. It is so important to cherry pick the best poses your your personal body type and issues and do them consistently. I have just arrived at the point of understanding that it is best to do a little of something daily and on the days that I can, do a more lengthy practice. My new favorite pose is pose (as of… Read more »

Bonnie Zammarieh

I also loved the way changing the breath cycle impacted this entire sequence.

Aura Carr

The Revolved Abdominal Pose has made a significant improvement in the overall health of my back.


This one could be very helpful for my husband, who sounds a lot like the description here, and sometimes suffers from low back pain.

Nui K

Having a solid core & engaging rectus abdominis, internal obliques, external olliques and transversus abdominus, create a foundation for all activities.

Karen K

Core work is so important in yoga especially in protecting the lowback. I like that this yoga therapy exercise strengthens and stretches both the muscles of the lower back and the obliques and transverse abdominals


The core is commonly referred to in yoga class, but it’s easy to understand how these muscles in our trunk (rectus abdominis, internal obliques, external olliques and transversus abdominus) are the gateway to so much other action in our bodies. This is a great exercise to awaken the light inside us that will spill into other parts our asana practice!


Core work is always hard for me. Engaging the obliques, transverse abdominus while keeping the lower back neutral and stress free by supporting the spine on the floor is genius.


Loved doing this in class, and not only will it be a great core strengthener moving forward, but the friendly massage of the lower back is an added bonus. It was also revelatory to witness how changing the breath cycle made a drastic difference. Definitely easier to exhale when bringing the legs back to center!


I have lots of lower back pain myself–have since I was a teenager. I’ll start trying this new exercise–thank you!


This exemplifies yoga’s “core values”; thanks.

Yoga Tune Up Blog » Weekend Warrior: Glory Days

[…] Yoga Tune Up® Blog « Weekend Warriors: Core Strength Will Protect Your Back […]

Yoga Tune Up Blog » Weekend Warriors: Stop Wreaking Havoc on Your Lower Back!

[…] Tune Up® Blog « Beginners, Pace Yourself! Weekend Warriors: Core Strength Will Protect Your Back […]