Skin the Cat Workout: Everything you need to know

Do you want to work with your own bodyweight to lose fat, build muscle, get stronger and recover from injuries? If you have nodded in a yes, then you are about to live your best life with skin the cat exercise. Yes, you read that extremely right. It is an oddly named CrossFit exercise that promotes back and core strength and shoulder mobility. Skin the cat is highly transferable to a skill as it looks a bit tricky to perform but is surely possible to execute.

With a little bit of training and practicing skin the cat workout, you can improve faster for a list of good reasons. The first time you see someone performing this exercise, you will probably go like, “Oh, that’s what it is?” Wondering why because you must have probably done this exercise as a kid. Doing a full skin the cat involves an entire 360-degree rotation on the bard or rings. It is indeed a great upper body stretching workout, especially if your goal is to achieve a full range of movement in the shoulders.

You may find it hard to believe that something you enjoy doing as a kid is actually a good exercise in and out of itself. Due to its functionality, you can call skin the cat workout as a flexibility exercise. Simply because it looks easy and fun at first, but it can be hard on the shoulder girdle if your upper is not flexible enough. If you are still thinking about whether or not to include this exercise in your daily workout routine, then make sure to read the article through to its end. With the basics covered up, let’s dive straight in!

Benefits of the Skin the Cat Workout

If you already train at a gym, then you would have good knowledge about skin the cat workout. But if you are just starting out your fitness journey, then it is vital for you to know that this exercise is often used as a fundamental gymnastic move in order to learn the isometric strength holds.

It requires an incredible degree of strength, but it is a good exercise which you can add up to your routine. Whether you are commencing your fitness journey, or you are a sports person, a fitness freak, skin the cat workout will provide you multiple benefits in order to ace your game. Here is a quick list of some advantages of skin the cat workout that will motivate you to master this skill:

Perfect for the entire upper body

As and when you rotate your entire body and stretch out with each repetition of skin the cat exercise, you will feel a stretch through your full upper body. There are only a few exercises that are able to fully stretch the upper half of the body. So, instead of performing a variety of isolated stretches, you can be efficient and work on the skin the cat workout.

Involves full shoulder range of motion

Skin the cat exercise is simply fantastic to add up in your daily gym chart as it mobilizes the upper body and makes the warm-up session even more perfect. The rotation involved during the exercise will have the full range of motion of your shoulder. As mentioned earlier, it provides excellent stretch that will ultimately prepare and push you for any pulling or pressing upper body moves.

Builds the core strength

During the entire time, you perform skin the cat workout, the abdominal and lower back regions remain tight to keep the physique right and compact. When the knees are bent, and kegs are hanging straight, it makes up for a great deal for building the core strength of the body. The range of motion needed in skin the cat workout ensures that the abdominal region also receives an intense workout along with the shoulders.

Is Skin the Cat bad for Your Shoulders?

While we cannot say whether or not this exercise is bad for your shoulders, you should make sure to perform it with caution. The exercise requires a lot of flexibility in your shoulders so it is recommended that you stretch them well before attempting this workout.

Equipment Required For Skin the Cat Workout

All the above-stated benefits are enough to believe that skin the cat workout is one such exercise that can help you pay attention to almost every part of the body. It is one of the basic calisthenics techniques which you can learn and master easily with time. In order to perform this workout efficiently and effectively, you don’t require anything more than gymnastic rings or a pull-up bar. You can easily find these pieces of equipment in any fitness center.

skin the cat using gymnastic rings

What Muscles Worked With Skin the Cat Workout?

Once you learn the basic form of skin the cat workout, you can add variations to it. The exercise allows you to master several muscles, but it mainly includes the shoulders. With the involvement of chest and anterior deltoids, which keep you hoisted back to the inverted position, your chest, back, and abdominal muscles become secondary to shoulders. In addition to that, a lot of muscles in the upper body (front and back) are involved in skin the cat workout. It includes rhomboids, traps, part of the pecs, etc.

How to Perform Skin the Cat Workout?

If you are a newbie to perform a skin the cat workout, then you might find it hard to execute it perfectly. Thus, in order to nail this workout, you are required to follow the below-listed instructions:

  1. Place your hand on the rings and hang with your legs together and straight.
  2. Tuck your knees up into the chest and try to lean back while rotating the legs around.
  3. Hang with your shoulders and keep the legs hanging together in the downward direction.
  4. Now, lift your hips into an inverted position.
  5. Let them drop back again. It will allow you to hang in with shoulder extension with legs still hanging together in the downward direction.
  6. Repeat the lifting of the hips and drop them back down for another repetition.
  7. Repeat it if you want to achieve a set number of repetitions.

It is essential to remember that you should be in no hurry whatsoever while performing a skin the cat workout. So, make sure that you do this exercise slowly in order to achieve great efficiency.

How Difficult Is Skin the Cat?

When it is about the difficulty level of skin the cat workout, it lies between intermediate to hard. Since it is a more advanced gymnastic movement, you need to be extra careful while performing it. It can be quite simple to flip over into the skin the cat position as it requires strength to perform this exercise.

Without moving strength in a controlled way, you will end up dumping the weight of your body into an extreme range of position. It can ultimately be dangerous for the shoulders. Thus, ensure to have good mobility in your shoulders before you try to attempt skin the cat workout. Furthermore, if you are just starting out, it will be better to execute the exercise under the supervision of a trained person.

Skin the Cat with DFX CrossFit

If you would like to learn more exercises like skin the cat that involves using many muscle groups and building your physique over time, come check out DFX CrossFit in Raleigh NC. Here at DFX, we have the facility and equipment needed to perform many different kinds of CrossFit exercises including skin the cat. If you would like to learn more about any of the training programs that we offer here at DFX or would just like to know more about CrossFit in general, please fill out the contact form below with any questions that you may have.

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