Thoracic Spine Extension Mobility

Thoracic Spine Extension Mobility

OVERVIEW

The upper back is often neglected when it comes to mobility training. Yet, most of us are stuck in thoracic flexion and could work on improving our upper back extension. This movement is one of our favorite movements to perform for working on thoracic extension.

Find a bench, couch, box, or other object that is a few feet tall. Kneel on your knees in front of the box, place your elbows on the box, and shoot your hips backwards toward your heels, extending through your upper back. You should feel a good stretch in your lats and triceps as well as feel some movement occurring in your upper back.

Play around with what feels good stretch duration and rep wise. Maybe it feels good to rep it out 10-15 times only holding the stretch for 1-2 seconds. Maybe it feels good to hang out for 20-30 seconds and do less reps. Listen to your body and give it what it wants.

Thoracic Spine Rotation Tripod Exercise

Thoracic Spine Rotation Tripod Exercise

overview

Thoracic spine rotation is a very important range of motion! All too often we see patients with very stiff upper backs that lack not only extension, but also rotation range of motion. If you’re lacking rotation in your thoracic spine, something will compensate for that lack of range. So fix it before something becomes a problem!

A great movement to work on opening up your upper back and improving your thoracic rotation is the tripod thoracic rotation exercise.

Achieve a half-kneeling position. Place the hand opposite of the leg in front on the ground about shoulder width apart from the front foot. From here, with your free arm, rotate through your upper back, reaching to the sky. Allow your neck to rotate and eyes to follow your hand towards the ceiling. Next, rotate the opposite direction, reaching your arm through your arm and leg. Rep this movement for 10-12 times and repeat on the opposite side.

Spinal Mobility

Spinal Mobility

OVERVIEW

The cat-cow is an amazing exercise to get our spine moving and keep our spinal joints (and discs) healthy. Today we talk about how we can upgrade the cat-cow to get even more benefit from the already amazing exercise.

Did you know that we have 24 vertebrae in our spine? 7 in our neck, 12 in our upper/middle back, and 5 in our lower back. Did you know that each of those vertebrae have individual joints and muscles between them? If you didn’t, now you know. And believe it or not, we should be able to actively move and control those vertebral joints with those muscles.

Instead of repping out the cat-cow quickly and only moving your spine at a few spinal segments, spend some time trying to move each of your vertebrae on their own. Taking time to slowly and controllably move your spine will result in muscles being used that haven’t been used in years. And joints to move that may have never moved. So take the time to enjoy the movement!

A great starting point is moving your spine in 3 segments: your upper, middle, and lower back. After a few repetitions, try slowly moving each of your vertebrae one at a time. With practice, this movement gets easier and your range of motion improves.

Remember, movement is what keeps your joints and discs healthy, so get those spines moving!

Spinal Flexion

Spinal Flexion

OUR SPINES ARE MEANT TO MOVE!

They’re supposed to be able to move into flexion, extension, lateral flexion, and rotation. And a combination of those motions! Without the ability of our spine to move in these directions we’d be pretty stiff.

We’re not sure about you, but we don’t like being stiff.

We make sure our spines are moving in all directions, #everydamnday. It feels good. And it’s actually good for your spine’s health. After all, movement is what keeps those spinal joints (and discs) healthy!

Now, if you’re in pain and flexing your spine is painful or makes the pain worse, then maybe you should avoid spinal flexion. TEMPORARILY.

Find a healthcare provider to help you get your spine feeling better. But you better believe that once it’s pain-free, you better start moving it again!

Be a movement optimist. Don’t be afraid to move your spine in any motion. It’s supposed to move!

With that being said, who’s a proponent of the Jefferson Curl? What are your thoughts?

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