The prone cobra, or locust pose, is a favourite of most yogi's and fitness professionals when they're developing a clients core strength. The only thing is, depending on the person, it may be causing more harm than good.
With the traditional prone cobra, there's a large amount of stress put on the lumbar spine (lower spine) due to most people hinging from that area during the movement. This may cause pain for those with existing back pain or even those without pain.
Many people have issues when they hyper extend through the spine, this is why I hardly ever program the prone cobra for clients. However, I do prescribe what I like to call the "Iron Cobra".
The Iron Cobra focuses on the thoracic spine (mid back) and flattens the lower back avoiding the stress that's placed on it from the prone cobra. The thoracic musculature is an area I find lacking in many clients.
This usually shows up in the form of bad posture - rounded shoulders & hunching of the mid back. The Iron Cobra helps develop the strength of those dormant thoracic muscles, improves your posture, and it avoids hyper extension.
Watch the YouTube video to learn how to perform the Iron Cobra.