Video: Dr. Rush of Rush Chiropractic Center demonstrating how to perform the best thoracic mobility exercise out there!
Thoracic Mobility With a Foam Roller
Thoracic mobility with a foam roller! If there is only one mobility exercise that you ever do, it should be this one. In this video I demonstrate how to use a foam roller to add mobility, particularly in extension, into the thoracic spine. This type of added mobility will help to improve range of motion, reduce aches and pain in the thoracic spine, and increase efficiency and decrease injury during exercises and lifting activities such as squatting and over head lifting.
Increasing your range of motion in the thoracic spine will not only help to alleviate aches and pain in that area, but will help the shoulder joint function to its optimal capacity. In turn, we can prevent shoulder issues down the road by mobilizing the thoracic spine now, rather than later. The shoulder joint relies on proper biomechanics from the thoracic spine in order to reach the full ranges of motion that are essential for over head activities such as pressing, the jerk and the snatch.
Even though this mobility drill is primarily for the thoracic spine, the added mobility will translate into the cervical spine (your neck) as well. Having optimal range of motion in the thoracic spine will help you add range of motion to the neck, especially in extension and rotation.
Another reason to incorporate thoracic mobility drills into our routine is to prevent or to correct poor posture, including forward rounding of the thoracic spine, forward head posture and rounded shoulders. This type of posture can lead to a multitude of issues such as mid back and neck pain, immobility, shoulder pain, and overall poor mechanics during activities of daily living and exercise that will lead to injury or degeneration down the road.
How to perform the thoracic mobility exercise with a foam roller
To perform the exercise shown in the video we will need a foam roller.
- Start by laying on the floor with the foam roller towards the lower back, near the lowest ribs.
- Slowly and comfortably relax your back into an extended position over the foam roller. (You don’t want to be stiff while doing this, try to relax)
- Now you can move up slightly to the next spinal segment above the area you just mobilized.
- Perform the same maneuver on this segment.
- Continue moving up the spine toward the head, mobilizing each segment until you reach the neck.
- Then move back down the spine.