How to do the Cat Cow Exercise
How to Do the Cat / Cow Exercise
The cat cow stretch is a staple in yoga classes everywhere. It helps to soothe a stiff back and neck, while opening up the hip flexors and engaging the core. It also increases flexibility in the shoulders, spine and neck.
The first position – cat – allows for a stretch that is as open as you like, with the back rounded just a bit or high into the air while the tailbone is tucked in. The second position – cow – pulls the abdominals in and lets the back muscles relax. Synchronized with rhythmic breathing, cat / cow is an effective way to strengthen your core, reduce back pain and rest your mind.
Also Known As
- Cat / Cow Pose
- Cat and Cow Stretch
Back, torso and neck
Step by Step Instructions
- Start in tabletop position (on all fours with hands aligned with shoulders and knees aligned with hips.)
- Shift until your knees are hip width apart and your fingers are pointing forwards.
- Centre your neck and head in a neutral position and soften your gaze, relaxing your jaw.
- Exhale, bring your belly to your spine and arch your back as high as you like.
- Inhale, lower your spine to a neutral position and drop your belly.
- As you drop your belly, lift your chest and chin, looking up at the ceiling, moving your shoulders away from your ears.
- Repeat 5-10 times.
- If your wrists are sensitive, you can do this stretch with forearms on the floor
- Place a folded blanket or towel under your knees
- Keep your shoulders away from your ears to protect your neck as you move through cat / cow
- Coordinate your breath with the movements. Your body should feel like a wave as you inhale and exhale through the poses.
And that’s how you do the Cat Cow Exercise.