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This simple exercise is a great way to get an active start of the day by mobilizing the spine, and activating key spinal stabilizing muscles. The Cat and Camel exercise also improves flexibility, reduces inflammation, increases blood, oxygen and nutrient exchange to the spine and entire posterior chain.

Start the movement on all fours better known as the quadruped position: wrists are placed directly under the shoulders and knees directly under hips with arms and knees shoulder width apart, hands are flat on the ground with fingers spaced apart, neutral spine and feet in a plantar flexion position. If your wrists are bothersome in this position, make a fist 👊🏼 rather than laying hands flat and keep your thumb out and pushed on the floor to support the wrist more so.

Take a deep breath in through your nose. Try not to shrug towards your ears as you breathe in, begin the movement by slowly bringing your head and pelvis towards each other, effectively rounding your back. Be mindful and think about lightly pushing straight down with your knees (your hamstrings will activate), and pushing through your shoulder by protracting your shoulder blades. (Think about spreading your shoulder blades apart from each other). As you exhale, slowly raise your head and push your hips backwards, creating a downward arch in your back. Be sure to extend as far as is comfortable for you and your range of motion.

The goal is not to force an extreme range of motion, but rather to get blood and oxygen flowing through the spine and to prepare the spine and back for more work.

Credit: Lindsay Taylor

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