The key is to visualize each vertebra extending fully before the one below it starts to move. Bridge pose is another one of effective thoracic spine stretches. You can also read more about the process we use to build mobility programs here. Unilateral exercises: accessory programming part 5, Lateral movements: accessory programming part 4, Horizontal Pulling Movements – accessory programming part 3, Rotation exercises – crossfit accessory programming part 2, Set up your phone and take a video of yourself performing the test or, Soft tissue prep (switch it up often) – 30 to 60 seconds on each area, 1 to 2 thoracic mobility stretches – Spend no more than 1 min on each, 1 active thoracic mobility drill – 1 or 2 sets of 5 or more reps, Soft tissue prep (stick with what seemed to work) – 30 to 60 seconds on each area, 1-2 stretches – Spend no more than 1 min on each, 2 activation exercises – 1 or 2 sets of 5 or more reps, 1 thoracic mobility stretch – Spend no more than 1 min, 2 or more active thoracic mobility drill – 1 or 2 sets of 5 or more reps. This means that you can begin to taper down the frequency of your routine and focus more on activation exercises. Now not only are you bringing your shoulder blade into the movement but you are reaching into an overhead position. Keeping you knee on top of a foam roller will stop your lower back from contributing much to the movement. Usually overlooked, thoracic spine mobility is of immense importance. You wouldn’t need to waste your time focusing on thoracic extension. They are big, strong, and flat muscles that provide a lot of pulling power. Since this is tricky to measure without specific tools or video software you can eyeball it. Firm up the muscles in your legs and have your feet hip-width apart with your toes pointing behind you. With your hands clasped behind the neck, take a deep breath and sink onto the barrel while breathing out. As I’ve mentioned the two body regions are closely related. After a set of five, move the balls up the spine and perform another set. Keep your chin close to your upper chest. Pause on the painful parts. You want to move mostly at the thoracic spine and not so much at the lumbar spine. Exhale slowly. Thoracic mobility can affect how efficient your breathing mechanics are. Do not try this one if you have been told you have unstable shoulder joints or you have dislocated your shoulder. The thoracic spine region refers to that upper part of your spine that is around the chest evel. If you pass the test then you don’t need much mobility. Of course, you can keep doing them if you like. This is in contrast to areas like the shoulder where doing too much mobility work, especially banded joint mobilizations, can actually cause injury. Thoracic extension is the ability for the t-spine to move from its normally kyphotic or forward rounded position to a flat or event arched back position. Taking deep breaths into your chest opens up the tensioned side even more! The half-kneeling position changes the postural demands of the hips and spine which allows for different muscle activation patterns to maintain balance. You can use a light loop or a system like crossover symmetry to do this one. Add weight for an increased challenge and or try it with a kettlebell. Take a deep breath. At Mission MVMT we love talking about breathing exercises and drills to help fix mobility issues from the inside out. The nature of mobility exercises for this area tends to be gentle enough that doing a high volume won’t cause damage to the area. The shoulder blade (scapula) moves in very intricate ways and in all planes of motion. Last Updated 18 December, 2020. Deepen the stretch by pressing into your hands. If your t-spine isn’t mobile then your shoulder will attempt to make up for it, potentially leading to one of those embarrassing injuries that you hate to admit happened. While pressing your shoulders into the ground, tuck them into your back to … Bend forward and round your upper back until you feel a light stretch between your shoulder blades. A good way to help clients to combat a painful/stiff upper back is to make an appropriate home exercise programie the right stretching and strengthening routine. Keep reading to learn how to maintain it. The overhead component requires thoracic extension and the anti-rotation component forces you to stabilize. As you exhale, walk your arms out and sink your head in between your arms so you get that curvature, that thoracic extension, according to … If you pass your thoracic mobility test you can move into maintenance mode. For true function, your whole body must be both mobile and coordinated so it can move collectively in whatever task you ask of it. The lats connect the low and mid-back to the humerus (arm bone). Just a few reps and you can feel a difference in your resting posture. Sink onto the barrel and extend your upper spine backwards. The two are closely related and diaphragmatic breathing is linked with so much more. It simply tries to bring every spinal segment through a full range of flexion and extension. In this case, the more important factor is how well your thoracic spine moves into extension when you reach overhead. If you are not substantially better then there are other contributing factors that this article doesn’t address. Keep your left knee bent and right as straight as possible. Inhale deeply once your each full extension and start curling up to the starting position. Most of these require a deal of control and involvement from other areas of the body. Scapular retraction and stability influences thoracic posture and therefore, mobility. GOOD FOR: Thoracic spine extension, strengthening the muscles in this region of the spine and vertebral disc hydration. Win-Win! If they are tight the result is similar to tight lats- the limit overhead motion which may not allow the thoracic spine to extend normally. Poor thoracic mobility may lead to pain in the neck, shoulder, lower back, and hip. With knees bent and feet flat on the floor, put your hands behind your head (supporting its weight) and bring the elbows together, protracting … Now that you know how well your T-spine moves you need to learn how to fix improve it. The relationship between the shoulder blade and t-spine has been described earlier in this article. While putting your hands behind the head, slowly pull your elbows close together. Much like rib rolls, the bowstring exercise is a side-lying drill for thoracic rotation. The angle shown in this photo is close to 35 degrees which falls short of the goal of 50. How Often Should You Do Thoracic Mobility Drills? Since we can measure perfectly then If it’s close it counts. Tuck the pelvic and round your spine while letting your head hang loose. Lie on your front with your legs straight. Hold for a count of fifteen and repeat to the opposite side. The goal is to rotate to 50 degrees or more. Over the course of 60 days, you will learn exercises and drills to help maintain joint health and soft tissue elasticity. These muscles are also incredibly important for bracing the core which has a profound impact on every movement your body makes. Give it a shot and don’t worry if you can’t get your arm all the way up. This results in thoracic mobility limitations. These stretchesare generally safe, but it still makes sense to talk to your doctor before trying these, especially if you have serious spinal issues. Ensure that 95% of the force comes from your back. This is a game-changing mobility drill. Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying any of the following stretches. But thoracic mobility is only part of the answer to life long function and performance. Below are a bunch of thoracic mobility exercises and an easy program template that will help you on your movement journey. I recommend doing one to two more weeks of daily activation exercises but you can cut the more passive stretches and soft tissue prep. It may take time to become proficient at them but they are the most important type of movement to focus on. Rotate your thoracic spin until your outer arm and upper back become parallel to the ground. Thoracic Extension This simple stretch can open the thoracic vertebrae, easing pressure on spinal discs and loosen up sore back muscles. This drill requires T-spine extension coupled with shoulder extension which can be a challenge if you aren’t accustomed to moving this way. After you see some improvements we typically start working in more activation and control exercises and fewer of the passive ones. Thus resulting in more lumbar extension and potentially pain. Lift your hips toward the ceiling while pressing into your feet. To perform this stretch, find a chair with a short back that comes up only as far as the bottoms of your shoulder blades. So, just because that’s how you sit doesn’t mean that’s the cause of pain. Keep your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. It is connected to the torso by several muscles and dysfunction in one of them is enough to send the system into disarray. Keep your hands in front of you with your lumbar spine and hips as stable as possible. Slowly, roll your back on the towel using your legs. Hold the position for a few seconds and release. The tennis or lacrosse balls should rest on both sides of your spine. Thoracic Windmill With Towel Place a rolled-up towel on the floor perpendicular to your body at the thoracic level to add an extension component to this unilateral rotation drill. We may request cookies to be set on your device. This true when performing a barbell overhead press. I like to do this one daily. The most important thing you can do is know where you are starting from. Thoracic extension on foam roller or ball 16 33 34 Kneeling thoracic spine extension stretch 34 Thoracic flexion quadruped with and without roller 35 … The diaphragm should be the primary muscle involved during inhalation but many of us end up using muscles in the chest, neck, and spine instead. Full 1-arm elevation requires approximately 9 degrees of thoracic extension. Distribute your body weight evenly throughout the hand by spreading your fingers. Kyphosis is a term to describe the forward rounding of the upper back. Slowly lunge forward until you feel a light stretch on your front chest. The overhead press becomes more challenging when you add band resistance pulling your arms forward. Slowly extend your upper spine and roll. If you look like this on both sides then congratulations! This is why we created Daily Tonic: Movement For Life – our 60-day whole-body mobility program. They have a profound effect on the thoracic and lumbar spine, especially when tight. Your thoracic spine is the middle portion of your back, you can think of it as your rib cage. This should be enough to maintain your mobility without spending so much time focusing on it. The supine Y is an excellent upper-level mobility exercise for your thoracic spine and stability exercise for your shoulders. Nine dynamic exercises (Non functional exercises being: 'Thoracic extension on foam roller',33 34 or ball',16 'Kneeling thoracic spine extension stretch',34 Thoracic flexion quadruped with and without roller,35 36 Sidelying side37 38 Thoracic spine mobilising exercises Got the hump? You will need the barrel for this stretch. Exhale slowly while arching your back like a cat. This will provide space to place the peanut. https://mikereinold.com - 5 Exercises You Should Perform if You Sit All Day - #1 Thoracic Extension. Start by sitting in front of the barrel – ensure your lower back has something for support. Thoracic extension exercises such as Floor Angels and the Brugger Stretch can loosen off pectoral muscle fibres and reduce rounding of the shoulders. Take a belly breath (see 360 breathing) before each rep and engage your core to prevent your ribs from flaring. Thoracic Extension with Foam Roller. The spinal extensors and the muscles that lie deep to them play a large role in both spinal extension and rotation. Your pecs attach the anterior ribs to the humerus and the scapula. Keep your lumbar spine stable and do 4-5 sit-ups. For the first week or two, I typically start people off with more gentle work and soft tissue prep. The Cat-Cow stretch is another drill I like to work into a daily program. Neurophysiological rational aside, getting more range of motion through the thoracic spine … Continue reading The 3-way pull apart can be done anywhere with a band. 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