The cat-cow is a popular yoga move that can help you stretch and strengthen your back. If you spend a lot of time sitting throughout the day, you may be interested in trying this exercise as it can help release tension in a stiff back.
How to do it
- Position yourself on your hands and knees on an exercise or yoga mat, or soft-carpeted floor. Align your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees directly underneath your hips. Your spine should be parallel to the floor. Keep your head up, but maintain a forward gaze to avoid straining your neck.
- Slowly contract your ab muscles and push your spine up toward the ceiling to create an arch. Your pelvis should tilt forward and bring your gaze down to your belly button.
- Hold for 10-15 seconds, and then release and relax your muscles and spine. Your belly should lower toward the floor and create a small, downward arch in your lower back. Hold for an additional 10-15 seconds.
- Return to the start position.
- Repeat 5 times.
- Your back (not your arms) should be doing the work when performing this move. Try to keep your arms straight and stiff.
- Make this move a relaxing activity by integrating the power of breathing. As you perform the cat pose, exhale, and as you perform the cow pose, inhale.
- You can also perform this move seated in a chair. It is a great way to de-stress and work.
Always talk to your doctor prior to beginning a new workout routine and only perform exercises appropriate for your health and fitness level.