The Cat Stretch – a great way to loosen up a tight or painful back

Start in a four point kneeling position, hands flat on the floor and arm straight. Hands should be in line with your chest. Your knees should be flat on the floor, and bent at a 90 degree angle. Now imagine you are a table- we are looking for your starting position to have a flat back. Ensure that your hips are in line and neck straight so that you are facing the floor.

 

The movement comes from the pelvis. We are now going to posteriorly tilt the pelvis outwards allowing the lower back to arch inwards (pushing out your bottom) and then holding for 2-3 seconds. Then anteriorly tilt the pelvis in wards (tucking your tail in) and allowing the back to flex and raise up so there is a curve in the lower back and spine. Again hold for 2-3 seconds and then return to your starting position, or flat table if you will.

 

Now incorporate breathing into this exercise. Inhale during the first phase and squeeze through the pelvic floor and then exhale tensing the diaphragm whilst you curve the spine.

 

Think about the alignment as you do this- not only feel the stretch but also think about re aligning at the end of each repetition. This will not only improve the flexibility in this area but also train your body to realise perfect alignment and maintain it during the day more effortlessly, therefore reducing the amount of time your back is in the incorrect position during your seated times.

 

If you need any advice then just ask or Joe Reemer at reception…I’m always here to help with exercise advice.

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