Camel Pose Exercise Guide

Reviewed by Valerie Zeller Valerie Zeller Printable version

Camel Pose is a heart-opening backbend that stretches the chest and extends the shoulder joints. Perform this advanced pose near the end of a yoga practice when muscles are warmed up and limber.

Camel Pose

How to do Camel Pose


Start in a kneeling position with your knees at hip width distance and your shins parallel. Rise up to a high kneeling position so your hips are above your knees and bring your hands onto your hips. Press your knees downwards into the floor activating the legs, lengthen your coccyx (tailbone) towards your heels to lengthen your lower back and pull your belly button to spine to activate your core. Keeping everything active, lift the crown of your head up to the ceiling and then start to backbend. Either keep your hands on your hips or transfer them to your heels if you can easily reach without feeling any pressure on the lower back. Hold in the pose for a few breaths, lifting your chest to the sky. Then when ready, use your belly to lift back up and sit back to kneeling.

A common mistake is to allow the back to bend at the lower spine behind the belly button. Instead put more effort into pulling your belly button to the spine so the lower back is supported and backbend from your thoracic spine, between the shoulder blades.


  • Hard backbends like Camel Pose are not advised for mothers-to-be due to discomfort of the abdomen and over-stretching of the abdominal muscles.

  • Unless you have narrow curves, don't move into the complete description of the picture. Place your hands on your lower back for protection, and make sure your knees remain hip-width apart.

  • When you have heavy knees, stop the complete intensity of the posture and place your hands on your lower back.

  • For a smoother look, move your hands toward your calves.

  • With bad knees, place the knees on a pillow or towel and hold them hip-width apart.

  • When you can't touch your feet, tuck your toes under and your knees are raised or using blocks put on the outside of your ankles. Place a block between the thighs to hold the thighs focused in and out.

Exercise Benefits

  • Back Stretch

  • Full Body Stretch

  • Chest Stretch

Illustrated Guide

Learn how to do camel pose from this step-by-step illustrations:

Camel Pose 1
Camel Pose 2
Camel Pose 3
Camel Pose 4
Camel Pose 5
Camel Pose 6

Muscles Worked

The muscles used for camel pose may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for camel pose are:

Primary Muscles

  • Abs
  • Quadriceps

Synergyst Muscles

  • Pecs

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does Camel Pose work?
Camel Pose works abs, quadriceps.
What is Camel Pose good for?
Camel Pose is beneficial for conditioning, for stretching and to strengthen. It works the best for core, hips, legs, lower body, upper legs and waist, as it works abs, quadriceps. Camel Pose is a great bodyweight exercise for men and women.
Is Camel Pose a good exercise?
Camel Pose is a popular bodyweight exercise for abs, quadriceps.

Training, Progressions and Regressions

Interested in how to improve your Camel Pose faster?

Camel Pose Training and Progressions

Standards and Averages

Wonder how do others perform in Camel Pose and how should you?

Camel Pose Standards and Averages


Wonder how to work the same muscles with other exercises?

Camel Pose Alternatives


Wonder how to make Camel Pose either easier or more challenging?

Camel Pose Variations

Discover more


Type(s) Bodyweight, Calisthenic, Strength
Muscles Worked Abdominals, Quadriceps, Pectorals
Difficulty Level(s) Basic, Challenging, Easy, Hard
Equipment No Equipment
Location At Gym, At Home, Outdoor

Muscles Worked

Target muscle(s) Abs, Quadriceps
Synergyst muscle(s) Pecs

Related exercises

Discover more