Relaxation two person back exercise

Partner Back Exercise

With Pim van den Broek and Angela Menzel

Back problems account for a large proportion of health injuries today and are one of the main causes of absenteeism from work in the western world. Much of this is due to our increasingly sedentary lifestyle and reduced exercise patterns. It is often difficult to find the enthusiasm to do enough exercise on your own even if you knew what movements would be helpful to you. Here two European instructors have got together to provide a simple little routine you can do with a friend or partner and even have some fun whilst doing it.

This simple little partner back exercise routine works gently to open the upper and lower back. Making tentative contact through each other’s back you should work to establish a clear connection and, once achieved, the movements can begin. Start with small rotations, gradually becoming bigger, as you deepen your contact to each other, and develop the confidence to move more freely. Working sensitively with spontaneity you will become more aware of each other’s tight spots and limitations, which you can help to alleviate through regular practice. Try to be mindful of each other’s breathing patterns, regularly watching for signs of ‘holding’ or variations in its flow. By working in this way you will become attuned to each other’s needs and gradually increasing opening and closing this part of your respective bodies.

Pim van dem Broek is based in Amsterdam and is Co-Founder of North Sea Tai Chi, an annual tai chi meeting held in the Netherlands. He can be contacted at

Angela Menzel is based in based in Gottingen, Germany where she runs her Tai Chi Schule. She regularly teaches at major German and European conferences.

Video “Back Exercise”

This short film was recorded at the International Push Hands meeting, held annually in Hannover, Germany.

Author: Ronnie Robinson

Images: Ronnie Robinson