How to Do Cat-Like Stretching
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Published by TOP4 Team
One of the first ways stress shows itself in our bodies is through stiff, knotted muscles that eventually stop us moving freely. Stretching is a simple way to release the tension. It’s a good way to start the morning or follow a foot-to-head relaxation and is valuable before and after exercise. Just watch a cat enjoying a long, all-body stretch – tension never gets a look-in.
When you’re stretching, never make fast or jerky movements, bounce, or try to force a stretch too far. You can stretch more by breathing out as you make the effort, breathing in and then gently learning a little further into it as you breathe out again.
All these stretches are done standing up – straight but not stiff or arching the back – unless otherwise specified. Hold each one for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat a few times. When you’ve stretched one side or limb, do the other too.
- Do some big waking-up stretches – arms up over your head and out to the side as far back as they’ll go, stretching out to your fingertips. You can do this lying down too, stretching your legs out and down as far as they’ll go.
- Tilt your head sideways till your ear is near your left shoulder, then do the same with the other side, then let your chin sink onto your chest.
- Stretch arms out in front, interlacing fingers and turning palms outwards. Raise above head and back as far as they comfortably go.
- Roll both shoulders backwards in big circles.
- Keeping your spine straight and hips still, put both hands on your left hip and turn your whole body from the waist to look over your left shoulder, pushing gently with your hands.
- On hands and knees, hump your back as high as you can, head down, then stretch with back straight line up to the skull. (Don’t do this if you suffer from epilepsy.)
- Sit on the floor with your legs splayed out, knees soft – don’t try to push the legs down flat or lock the knees. Lean towards your right ankle, trying to keep your spine straight and learning up out of the hips.
- Rotate and flex your feet, then wiggle your toes.
- Standing on one leg, pull the other foot up to your buttocks, being extra-careful not to arch your back.
- Take a short step forward then bend your knees as it curtsying, but keeping heels on the ground.
- Standing straight with feet shoulder-width apart, relax the spine by bending forward and letting the head hang down, with legs slightly bent, arms dangling. Straighten up slowly, vertebra by vertebra, unrolling from the bottom of your spine very gradually up to the top. If you lose your balance, you can try this leaning against a wall, or with the help of a friend, but if you experience dizziness, leave this exercise out.
You can learn a lot of things just by observing. For more fitness tips, consult the top fitness professionals in Australia.