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Practice with Clara

Anatomy of Backbends (52-min) Lecture with Dr. Paul Ochoa

Learn about the anatomy of the spine to support your backbends with Dr. Paul Ochoa.

Paul joined us to share his myth-busters for backbends and the ways to strengthen and support the spine to enhance your overall mobility and health.

10 things you will learn in this lecture:

  1. The anatomy of the spine with the bones, muscles, and joints.
  2. Why and how compensation/compensatory mechanisms can be good for your body and brain.
  3. The myth of low back pain and how to resolve low back issues.
  4. The 4 planes of movement of the spine, where/how the spine achieves maximum mobility,
  5. Simple exercises with resistance training aid mobility, flexibility, and spine strength.
  6. Why we care about the extension of the spine and how it supports the range of motion.
  7. How to prepare for a backbend practice with anterior AND posterior strengthening.
  8. The need for overhead movement and how it aids heart-opening postures.
  9. How lack of extension of the spine affects shoulder function, hip mobility, and abdominal strength.
  10. How spinal extension helps with back pain and strengthens the low back.


  1. In an upward facing dog, should we or shouldn’t we drop the head back in an Ashtanga Yoga practice?
  2. What are the poses to lessen low back pain?
  3. How to improve the flexibility of the spine?
  4. What should one do for chronic neck pain?
  5. How to do a backbend when recovering from a herniated disk?
  6. Why do we want our feet parallel in wheel pose?

Resources to aid your learning:

If you have any further questions for Paul, you can reach him at Paul@f2pt.com

His website is F Squared Physical Therapy.

More About Paul Ochoa:

Dr. Ochoa is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT) with a specialty in Orthopaedic injuries (OCS) and a Certified Orthopedic Manipulative Therapist (COMT) with an extensive background in massage therapy. As a native New Yorker, he founded F Squared in 2011 and has maintained its unique one-on-one treatment model, ensuring the highest quality of care. He is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the North American Institute of Manual Therapy (NAIOMT). He has been an active Trapeze Flyer at the Trapeze School of New York (TSNY) and has a passion since 2016 and has worked with local and international Dance companies and professional circus performers. His passion for working with runners has been fueled by his studies with research giants like Chris Johnson and Bryan Heiderscheit.