When most of us hear "inversion," though, we think headstands and handstands—and then immediately fear toppling down to the ground and getting hurt. But you don't need to master an Instagram-worthy handstand to get the health benefits and peace of mind that come with it (phew!). Legs-up-the-wall is a terrific inversion that's doable for everybody, even if you're inactive, inflexible, hypertensive or just scared silly to go upside down. Set aside three to five minutes every day to safely assume this posture and feel revitalised. It's also a great recovery move if you're a regular runner or exerciser.
How To Do Legs-Up-The-Wall:
- Find a very sturdy barrier, such as a wall, beam or the back of a couch. Begin by lying down on the ground, belly facing up, with knees bent and feet planted on the floor very close to the wall.
- One leg at a time, lift your legs up the wall. Once in place, use your arms to help scoot your buttocks closer to the wall. Eventually, you want your hamstrings to touch all the way to the wall in a perfect right (90˚) angle, but if you're just getting started, you can stop with your rear still a few inches away from the wall (it's easier on the hamstrings). If you suffer from lower back discomfort, place a soft pillow underneath your buttocks and lower back. Hold here.
- After three minutes of holding the inversion, slowly lower your legs back to the floor. Take your time raising your torso to seated position, then assist yourself up to standing and take a deep breath.