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Back Workout (8) – Cat-Cow Stretch

November 15th, 2010 · 3 Comments ·
 
 

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Cat stretch or cat-cow stretch is one of the exercise in yoga and pilates classes. I also incorporate in my after workout stretching, especially, after I do my crunches.

Why it has such name as “cat-cow”? We will see…

Benefits of Cat-Cow Stretching:

  • Cat-cow stretch is good for flexibility in the spinal chord, neck and shoulder. If you do it right, you release the tension you are holding onto in your shoulders and upper back.
  • In fact, while doing cat-cow, you are balancing yourself on all fours, so your muscles have to work harder to keep you in good alignment.


Steps:

  1. Kneel on all fours, knees under hips and hands under shoulders.
  2. Spread the fingers out on the floor with palms flat.
  3. Contract the abs to bring the head, neck and back in alignment. Inhale and tip the hip bones towards the ceiling while drawing the shoulders back and down away from your ears.
  4. Hold the raised position for a few seconds.
  5. Then, slowly exhale and reverse the movement. Repeat for 6 to 10 times and increase your range of motion with each repetition.

Tips:

  • Practice this with as slow breathing as possible
  • If performed too forcibly, this exercise can do more harm than good. Never bounce into the end positions.

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Category: Back


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3 responses so far ↓
  • Ninja // Nov 15, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    Never heard of this technique, but it will be a great addition to a fitness program!

  • dl238_5 // Nov 18, 2010 at 8:32 AM

    I used to do this exercise and funnily enough, it was when my abs looked their best. Maybe I need to start doing it again!

  • Tony // Nov 19, 2010 at 12:38 AM

    I do this just about every time I finish a workout! Another good way to relieve tension and stretch the back is to do a normal hamstring stretch where you are standing and touching your toes, then using your hands to “climb” up the back of your legs until your back arches. Lock your hands behind your knees when your back is arched, and then breath deeply.

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