The Cats and Dogs Exercise is a great way to promote proper spinal mobility and posture. It helps to prevent low back pain, and helps with a stiff neck and shoulders.
It works your spine, hips and shoulders in coordinated flexion and extension and gets rid of excessive tension, loosening up your stiff back, neck and shoulders.
The Cats and Dogs Exercise forms part of the Golf Mobility series of innovative and dynamic exercises that will help to improve your joint and muscle mobility, improving your range of motion while increasing functional strength within the entire range of that motion – thus helping to prevent injuries and building the foundation for a consistent, accurate, and powerful golf swing.
- Get down on all fours with your weight evenly distributed.
- Start with your knees under your hips. Your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Arms slightly bent. Your hands, shoulders, hips, knees and feet on each side of your body in a line. Your head and neck in a straight line with your spine.
- In one fluid movement, round your back up as high as you can, pull your belly button to your spine, and bring your hips forwards. Tuck your chin into your chest and inhale, breathing deeply.
- Hold this position for one second and feel the stretch across all your back.
- Now lift your head until you’re looking forwards. Exhale, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and relax your stomach, arching your lower back down toward the floor as you do so.
- Hold this position for one second and feel the front of your body stretching.
- Return to your starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Don’t bend your elbows or rock forwards or backwards during this exercise.
After a few repetitions, you will feel very limber and energized.
How Will It Benefit Your Golf Swing?
Cats and dogs is a great exercise to help promote proper spinal mobility and posture.
Many amateur golfers have a lack of mobility in the spine and pelvis, resulting in them appearing to be slumped and rounded forwards in the shoulders and lower back, and making it difficult to adopt the correct “flat-back” posture at setup — see Golf Swing 101 – Setup: Basic Posture.
Poor spinal posture affects your golf swing much more than you would think. When your spine is not able to move forward (flexion) and backward (extension) easily, this has a negative influence on the mobility of your shoulder blades and pelvis through the muscle connections between your spine and these body areas. When your hips and pelvis become limited in their range of motion, your potential for injury is greatly increased, and the likelihood of improving your swing technique is greatly reduced.
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