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Pilates: Cat Stretch

Pilates: Cat Stretch

The cat stretch is fabulous for warming up and invigorating your spine ready for Pilates. This Pilates video is the perfect for when your back feels a little stiff. Learn to do the cat stretch!

Step 1: To prepare

Kneel down on your mat, with your knees directly under your hips, hands under your shoulders and weight equally distributed between both points. Avoid overextending your elbows and neck.

Step 2: Slow stretch

First, we'll do the slower version of the exercise.

Inhale through your nose to prepare, then as you exhale pull your navel up towards your spine and sequentially curve the back up to the ceiling finishing by relaxing your neck down in an 'angry cat' position.

Inhale deeply here then as you exhale reverse the movement, articulating back down through the centre of the spine to return to a neutral spine.

Repeat this twice more, remembering to draw the shoulders down the back every time you reverse the movement.

Step 3: Pick the speed up

Now for the faster and more invigorating version.

Inhale and curve the back up to the ceiling, dropping the head to finish. Exhale and articulate back through the spine to neutral.

Also repeat this twice more and when you finish sit back on your knees and relax your upper back over your legs.