back·​bend ˈbak-ˌbend How to pronounce backbend (audio)
: a movement (as in gymnastics) in which from a standing position with the knees straight the body is arched backward until the hands touch the floor over the head
: a posture or pose (as in yoga) that extends the front of the body and bends the spine backwards
… this action supports your lower back and generates a strong lift of the belly out of the pelvis to help release the spine into a deep backbend.Barbara Benagh

Examples of backbend in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Callahan, 13, contorts herself into a backbend as 7-year-old Hudson fiddles with a balloon and 10-year-old Keegan plays the piano. Heather Hollingsworth, Fortune, 25 Sep. 2023 Here's how to do a mobilization backbend: Start in a split stance, with one foot slightly behind you and the heel slightly raised. Jacqueline Andriakos, Health, 18 Aug. 2023 Goldie Hawn said farewell to a vacation by the Aegean Sea with a standing backbend furthered by the stunning natural scenery. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 25 June 2023 Stretch your arms back, finding a slight backbend. Kristine Thomason, Men's Health, 26 Dec. 2022 Another popular backbend, this pose can help improve posture and also relieve lower back pain. Good Housekeeping, 6 Jan. 2023 The two traded soaring vocals before Judd finally asserted her singular pipes, and Pearce gave her proper due with an awestruck backbend. Nancy Kruh,, 14 June 2022 That athleticism is on display when Richlen performs what most simply call the backbend, a move that involves an extreme, limbo-style backwards lean. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 Sep. 2021 Toward the finish of the number, the oddball spun around to reveal a second face on the back of her head before offering up one final backbend. Stephen Daw, Billboard, 31 May 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'backbend.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1911, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of backbend was in 1911

Dictionary Entries Near backbend

Cite this Entry

“Backbend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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