In this article, you will learn how to do/perform cat cow stretch correctly, what muscles does cat cow stretch & cat cow stretch benefits with VIDEO.
The Cat-Cow Stretch involves moving the spine from a rounded position (flexion) to an arched position (extension) or from an arched position (extension) to rounded one (flexion).
Targets Muscles: Spine and Abdominals
The Cat-Cow Stretch pose is a great exercise to prevent back pain.
Cat Cow Stretch Benefits
- If you spend a lot of time sitting then flexing & extending your spine can help improve circulation in the discs in your back.
- It’s a basic motion, but is very beneficial in maintaining a healthy spine.
- Furthermore, it’s a great move to support your back and ease back pain.
- Cat cow stretching helps improve your posture and balance.
- It is also believed to be a good stress-reliever because it focuses on linking movements with your breathing.
How To Do/Perform Cat Cow Stretch Correctly, Using Proper Form & Correct Technique?
Place your hands and knees on a mat or carpeted floor. Align your knees directly under your hips and the wrists directly under your shoulders. Balance your weight evenly between all these four points. Visualize your spine as a straight line connecting your hips to the shoulders. Keep your neck long, looking down with your back flat and spine in neutral position. This is your starting position.
(i) Inhale And Arch for Cow Pose (Move into Cow Pose): As you inhale, tilt your pelvic back so that your tailbone sticks up. Initiate this pose from your tailbone, and let it ripple up your spine so that your neck is the last thing to move by raising your chin and gently tilting your head back without over extending your neck. During this movement arch your back, let your belly drops down and draw your naval in.
(ii) Exhale And Round For Cat Pose: As you exhale, gently initiate this pose by tipping your pelvic forward & tucking in your tailbone. Again let this action ripples up your spine and allow your spine to round outward naturally towards ceiling. During this movement draw your navel towards your spine, drop your head gently and let your chin to tuck into your chest naturally. Don’t force your chin down to the chest, just be relaxed.
(iii) Keep your arms straight so that the movements are with your spine and not using your arms and elbows.
(iv) Maintain your shoulders relaxed and don’t draw them up toward your ears.
(v) Continue flowing back and forth from cat to cow. Don’t rush the movements. Keep breathing deeply, matching the movement to your own breath.
(vi) Perform for 5 to 7 rounds. After your last exhale, come back to the starting position with neutral spine.
Note: If the positions hurt your wrists, try placing your forearms on the floor while performing it. In case of knees discomfort, place padding under your knees.
Precautions & Safety
The pose of cow & cat should always be pain-free. If you experience any pain in any pose, gently back out of that pose.
If you are already suffering back pain, speak to your doctor before doing this exercise to ascertain that these movements are ok for your condition.
And if you have a neck injury, make sure to maintain your head in line with your torso and don’t tilt your head back or forward.
Watch this video to learn how to perform Cat Cow Stretch Using Its Proper Form & the Correct Technique: