For some reason, I can only get myself to do the cat-cow maneuver when I’m on a bike. Maybe because that’s when I’m most likely to feel overwhelmed by back and shoulder tightness?
On one recent ride, I blew through the first seven miles, determined to push hard on telephone pole intervals and then amazing myself with speeds in the 18-22 mph range — until I realized that it had all come with the help of the wind at my back. When I turned around to head home, I could barely coax my speedometer into the double digits.
I hunkered down, knowing this would take a while. And then, like any good multi-tasker, I figured I might as well de-sproing my back.
Cat-cow was the first thing that came to mind, and it works great on a bike. In a nutshell: Just arch your back like a kitty cat, then do the exact opposite, pushing your belly down like a cow. Oh yeah, and breathe.
Better yet: Watch this video, which will give you some of the finer points I might’ve glossed over. Then just transfer that same mindset to your bike, the next time you’re going nowhere fast.