Updated: Apr 21
The thoracic spine is located between your neck and lower back. The thoracic spine extends and rotates. You can lose a lot of its function through normal, everyday life unless you are taking the measures to prevent it. Extension and rotation of the thoracic spine can be reduced due to forward posture in the upper body. Too much computer work, driving, texting on your phone are often to blame, leading to a tight chest, rounded back, forward head position. Losing function and mobility can lead to pain in the joints on each end of the thoracic spine, the neck and lower back.
4 Benefits of Improving Thoracic Rotation:
1️⃣ It helps prevent lower back and neck
2️⃣ Increased shoulder mobility
3️⃣ Improves posture
4️⃣ Can undo damage from sitting too much
3 Exercises to Improve Thoracic Rotation (Easiest to Hardest)
1️⃣ Side-Lying Thoracic Rotation —> Lay on the floor on your side with your top hip and knee in 90/90 on top of a foam roller (or something that keeps your hip in neutral) and bottom arm out in front of you. Place hand on top arm behind head and rotate back. Allow the head to follow as you rotate. The goal is to touch the floor with your shoulder blade on that same side. ** Do not let your knee come off the foam roller **
2️⃣ Half-Kneeling at Wall Thoracic Rotation --> Get in half-kneeling position against wall with inside arm out in front and against wall. Rotate torso to touch back of outside hand to wall. Allow the head to follow the hand. ** Shoulder, hip, and knee should stay in contact with wall **
3️⃣ Bent Over Thoracic Rotation —> Stand with your backside up against a wall. Bend over at the hips, knees slightly bent. Allow arms to hand down. While keeping one arm in place, rotate using the other as a “dial” to point it up to the ceiling. Allow the head to follow the hand.
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