This a way of waking up the joints and muscles in your neck while learning to self-assess possible areas of tightness/restrictions. Something to consider incorporating into your daily routine.
Segmental flexion and extension of the spine is essentially a very slow and controlled CAT COW exercise.
The goal is to promote movement in each individual joint of the spine.
✔️ On your hands and knees (quadruped position) – you will notice my toes are tucked under, if this is uncomfortable you can place your feet flat on the ground.
✔️Spine is in a neutral position.
1️⃣ While on your hands and knees you will START AT YOUR TAILBONE and work to ‘tuck your tail between your legs’ which will begin flexing or rounding your low back.
Slowly try to move the segments of the spine up to the sky until you get to your neck. You are now finished in a rounded position and looking under yourself.
This is HALF of the movement and puts your spinal joints into flexion.
2️⃣ To finish the FULL movement of CAT COW you will now move your joints into extension. Keeping all the joints in flexion, you start by reaching your tailbone to the sky. “stair step” the rest of the way up your spine until you are looking up as high as you can
This completes one full rep.
❗️You want to make sure this movement is done pain free. If there is an area that is causing discomfort, only flex/extend the area in a range where you remain pain free.
Repeat the entire movement again for 2 full reps. Doing this at least once a day will build the awareness of your spinal joints as well as strengthen them