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Pilates Move Of The Week: Try The Cat-Cow

Pilates Move Of The Week: Practice Your Animal Sounds With The Cat-Cow

I’ve been quoted many times over the years saying, ‘It’s all about intensity!’ but sometimes it’s important to relax, open up the body and stretch.

The cat-cow is a simple exercise that goes between a back stretch and a back extension. It can decrease lower back pain and is a great tool in pilates to help find neutral spine.

Starting position:

Start in a four point kneeling position, with your shoulders over your hands and your hips over your knees. Your toes can either be curled under or over depending on comfort. Your back should be flat.

Exercise Execution:

  1. Engage your abdominals by lifting your belly button up to support your spine.
  2. Slowly roll your back to the ceiling whilst pulling your abdominals in and dropping your head and tailbone to the floor to go into cat stretch. Hold for 2-5 secs.
  3. From here reverse the curve of the spine by bringing your belly button down to the floor, lifting the head up and sticking your butt back going into spinal extension or cow pose. Support your neck and don’t let your head drop back. Hold for 2-5 secs
  4. Go from cat to cow as desired. The mid range between the two movements will put you in neutral spine.

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Breathing:

Inhale to prepare. Exhale as you go into cat, getting all the air out of your lungs. Inhale as you go into cow poking the chest out and filling the lungs up with as much air as you can. Nice full deep breaths.

Reps:

Start out with 10-20 repetitions and adjust to your desire.

Advancements

In Cat stretch take it further by imagining your head connecting to your pelvis creating a big circle.

KX Tip: 

A great stretch to do with kids with an optional ‘meow’ at the top of the movement in cat and optional ‘moo’ at the bottom of the movement in cow.

Aaron Smith is the CEO & Founder – KX Group. KX is a boutique fitness company with 17 studios across Melbourne and Sydney, offering dynamic pilates, barre and yoga. KX also run international retreats to Vanuatu and Bali.

Model: Pia Muehlenbeck

More pilates moves of the week…

Pilates Move Of The Week: Tighten Up Your Booty With The Bridge

Pilates Move Of The Week: Get Those Abs Rock Solid With The Shoulder Stand

Pilates Move Of The Week: Lose Those Love Handles With The Corkscrew

Have you tried the pilates move of the week? Tell us below!…

Written by Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith is The Carousel’s resident pilates expert and Founder/Owner of Australia’s first high performance pilates group, KX Pilates. In 2009 he returned from living abroad with a vision to bring a new way of fitness training to Australia. “I loved the style and concept behind dynamic pilates, but I could see some areas for improvement, where I could add my own touch. I returned to Australia in 2009 and opened my first studio, in Melbourne, in 2010″, Smith said. Smith is now an award winning entrepreneur and franchisor, with 17 KX studios across Melbourne and Sydney, re-branding as the ‘KX Group’ and expanding the service offer to include; high performance pilates, assisted yoga, barre and international fitness retreats.

Smith holds a Bachelor of Science (double major in exercise physiology/pharmacology), trained in advanced STOTT reformer pilates and is a KX Pilates Master Trainer.

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