As discussed in the post covering Spinal Stenosis, stretching and mobilizing the lower back is vital to maintaining agility, strength, and circulation. This week, we’re sharing another stretch that targets the lower back region. With my back fusions, my back no longer arches in this manner, but it is a great stretch, nonetheless. As always, please speak to your provider before starting a new exercise regimen to avoid injury.
Cat Stretch is a two- part stretch- see the image and guide below:
1 Come onto your fours, forming a tabletop position.
2 Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor with your hands directly under your shoulders and flat on the ground; your knees are hip-width apart.
3 Look straight ahead.
4 As you inhale, raise your chin and tilt your head back, push your navel downwards, and raise your tailbone. Compress your buttocks.
5 Hold the pose and take long, deep breaths.
6 Follow this by a countermovement: as you exhale, drop your chin to your chest and arch your back up as much as you can, assuming the position of a cat.
7 Relax your buttocks.
8 Hold the pose for a few breaths before you return to the initial position.
9 Continue for five or six rounds.
Image and step-by-step guide provided by theartofliving.org