Cow Stretch (Modified Cat-Cow)


Cow stretch is a weight-bearing exercise that promotes spinal mobility, upper body strength, and good posture. It is a modification of the cat-cow exercise to be safe for people with osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Set up

Begin on your hands and knees with a neutral spine, meaning your spine is parallel to the floor and not arched back or rounded forward.


Inhale as you extend your spine, lifting your head and sit bones towards the ceiling as you allow your belly to sink towards the floor. Hold for a couple seconds. Then exhale as you gently return to neutral spine position.

Continue to flow slowly between the cow position and the neutral position, allowing your breath to guide the movement.

Be aware that excessive extension is not good for anyone with osteoporosis, so avoid extreme extension or over-arching and move in a smaller range of motion.


  • Do not excessively arch your spine.
  • Do not bend your elbows or shift your weight forwards or backwards.
  • The movement should be subtle, not extreme at either end.
  • Stay in a pain-free range of movement.
  • Move slowly between positions.
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