How To Do & Muscles Worked

supine spinal twist pose
(Supta Matsyendrasana)

Spine twist exercises are a great way to promote more rotation and movement deep within the spine itself which is often stiff from lack of movement. Twists also do a great job at opening up the lower back Quadratus Lumborum (QL) muscles and hip muscles.

  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Challenging

Which Muscles Are Worked?

Diagram of primary and secondary muscles worked from Supine spinal twist pose

Primary Muscles

Lower Back Side Abs

Secondary Muscles


Exercise Type

Yoga icon

How to do supine spinal twist pose (Supta Matsyendrasana) Properly

Step by Step Guide

Begin lying on your back with the legs straight and arms straight at your sides.

Raise one bent leg into the air and then slowly allow it to cross midline and lower down toward the ground on the opposite side. Use your closest hand to press down on that knee and deepen the twisting stretch.

Hold for about 30-seconds.

Relax and repeat on the other side.

Common Mistakes

A common mistake is not keeping the shoulders both on the mat - allowing one to raise which then lets the upper back (thoracic spine) achieve the twisting motion. Instead, keep the shoulders down so the stretch can be isolated to that lower back (lumbar spine) region and hip region.


Animation of how to do Supine spinal twist pose