Cat and Camel Stretch This is by far one of the best global spine exercises. By “global” we mean it impacts every moveable joint within your spine when you perform it correctly. Stuart McGill, professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo (a big cheese in the spinal world!) has recommended this exercise for pretty much everyone. His research has shown that “it is the gentlest way” to mobilise the back since body weight is essentially removed. Although it is gentle please don’t underestimate it’s potential. You will notice considerable improvement in your core strength and a reduction in spinal stiffness if this exercise is incorporated into your daily routine.
Here’s the ‘how to’:
- Get down on your hands and knees on the floor.
- Relax your head, and allow it to droop.
- Round your back up toward the ceiling until you feel a nice stretch in your upper, middle, and lower back.
- Hold this stretch for as long as it feels comfortable, or about 15 to 30 seconds.
- Return to the starting position with a flat back while you are on all fours.
- Let your back sway by pressing your stomach toward the floor. Lift your buttocks toward the ceiling.
- Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Repeat 2 to 4 times.
If you are ever unsure about any of the stretches recommended by Banchory Chiropractic Clinic, just ask Felicity or Laura to demonstrate next time you are in the clinic.