Back Stretch – Cat/Cow
Cat/Cow is a great stretch for the back, spine, hips, and core muscles. Borrowed from a traditional yoga movement, this stretch can improve spine flexibility and help with back soreness and pain.
The Cat/Cow stretch is great to perform in your exercise warmup, cooldown, as you rise in the morning, or any other time you feel is necessary. This is a great movement to incorporate for anyone experiencing back (especially lower back) stiffness, soreness, discomfort, or pain.
How To: Cat/Cow Stretch
- Begin on all fours, creating a nice rectangle between your palms to your knees
- Drop your hips to the floor, creating a nice curve in your back
- Draw in a large breath as you begin to round your spine
- Drop your gaze to your naval as you pull your naval towards your spine
- Exhale as you pull your spine and head back to the starting position
- Repeat for as many times as needed – a set of 10 is a great starting place
Modifications and Variations
If you are experiencing wrist pain during this movement, you can drop to your forearms and perform the exercise.
If you’re experiencing knee pain during this movement, you can place a towel underneath your knees to relieve some of the pressure.
If you have back pain (especially lower back), be careful with your range of motion. You can round and curve your back as much as you would like to during your poses, but be mindful of any pain or discomfort. Feel free to adjust the pose by shortening your range of motion if needed.
Written by Sophie DeHenzel
Back Stretch – Cat/Cow
Hi, I’m Sophie. I’m Co-Owner of DeHenzel Training Systems, Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certified, Certified Personal Trainer and Pre/Post Natal Specialist. I’m also a wife, mom, tennis beginner and ice cream lover.
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