Great effort is taken in choosing relevant and well reviewed products that I myself would buy or that I have personally owned. The muscles that connect to the T6 vertebra are the spinalis, a lower back muscle, and the trapezius, a muscle in your upper back. Testimonials and examples used are exceptional results and are not intended to guarantee, promise, represent and/or assure that you will achieve the same or similar results. If you feel you’re getting some thoracic extension here, walk backward whilst pulling your straight arms down the wall and maintaining the cues until your hips are at 90° and your torso is parallel to the floor. Hold on any tight spots as you go and make sure to rock forward and backward as you make your way down your side. The foam roller may be the most important tool on your road to a healthy strong posture. For general sitting don’t forget to rest your feet flat on the floor in front of you with your knees no higher than hip level. Thank you for this. Work all the way from your armpit to about the end of your rib cage. Thoracic mobility has become a buzzword over the last several years. When you roll up and down it feels lovely on Thoracic Extensor Strengthening Exercises, Top 3 Exercises for Stronger Scapular Retraction and Depression. Even so, it’s usually short-lived and nothing to worry about. You, as a reader are totally and completely responsible for your own health and healthcare. We all know a certain someone who could do with improving their thoracic extension or posture, so please share. Thanks! Fully extend your hips as you squeeze your glutes and keep your abs braced. can vary slightly from person to person. a straight back) or you feel pain, then stop. Fully straighten your arms at the bottom of the Pull Up and then repeat, pulling yourself back up to the bar, leading with your chest. Don’t slide them up further if your low back is arching off the wall and you are getting the extension from your low back instead of your upper back. As you work up your back, moving the peanut up toward your shoulders, perform a few crunches and extensions in each spot. J Occup Health, 2013, 55: 167–172. Include foam rolling, stretching, activation and strengthening exercises to improve your Thoracic Extension and prevent and alleviate injury! Please see my previous article Top 3 Exercises for Stronger Scapular Retraction and Depression for specific rhomboid and mid trapezius strengthening exercises (use the table of contents to go straight to the exercises). Engage your core and glutes and keep your legs straight. T-spine Lateral flexion (side bend) is about 25° each side, giving a combined 50° of total ROM. This is a great move to keep your shoulders healthy and even stretch your triceps. Chest Foam Rolling – A tight chest is not only caused by sitting hunched over a computer all day, but also perpetuates your rounded posture and spinal flexion. Barring accident or illness, essentially bad habits are the cause of a tight thoracic spine and some of the top culprits include: Lengthen the culprit muscles, namely the latissimus dorsi and the pectorals, by stretching and massaging trigger points (persistent local contractions in a small number of muscle fibers within a muscle, tight/tender areas that can pull on tendons and ligaments disrupting joint health). KB ARM BAR. That is why it is important to include Extension Exercises … One of the most common thoracic extension exercises is laying on our back and rolling on a foam roller. Relax your head back as you pause at the top and squeeze your glutes. work on changes in scapular position, pressure pain sensitivity and upper Thoracic spine pain is more likely to have serious implications than neck or lower back pain. Step further away from the anchor point to increase the tension on the band and make the move harder. Press your chest out toward the ground as you extend your spine. Do not swing to row back up. This can be used to find proper form in many strength exercises too, such as pull-ups. Actually a huge reason you may lack Thoracic Extension is because your chest is tight. Eventually, the fascia (strong, fibrous connective tissue) of the frontal muscles also shrinks and becomes less supple and unyielding due to the reduced range of motion, compounding the problem and worsening the prospect of correcting the imbalance. This means that a straight arm is absolutely limited to the mobility of the scapula. Lat Foam Rolling – Tight lats can also perpetuate your rounded posture and prevent proper thoracic mobility. We go right from stretching and rolling to our strength training workouts. Then cross your hands over your chest and relax back over the Peanut. For example, if the root nerve of the T3 vertebra (see below) is inflamed, the symptoms mentioned above could radiate through an intercostal (between the ribs) nerve and be experienced in the chest. Then driving through your hands and feet, bridge up, lifting your butt up off the ground as you extend your hips and press your chest up and out. In a front squat the bar remains racked on the shoulders rather than the back. Increase strength and endurance in those muscles simply by using them to maintain good posture throughout the day and during certain exercises. Thoracic spine mobility is a precursor to optimal neck health, shoulder health, and so much more. It also helps develop strong mind-muscle communication with our target muscles. sat at a table or desk), that is, minus the maximum effort contraction of course. Thus, a tight thoracic spine can cause pain in the lumbar spine and increase the risk of lower back injuries. Focus on extending your mid and upper back over the roller. Feel your shoulder blades pinching together and make sure your shoulders don’t shrug. With your body in a nice straight line and your chest pressed out, row your chest up to the handles, driving your elbows down and back. That is why it is important to include stretches such as the Camel. Bend your knees slightly and press your back into the wall, making sure your low back isn’t arching off. Drive your chest through your arms and feel a nice stretch through your lats and triceps. Do not turn this into a row. To do the Standing Chest Stretch, you can use a doorway, wall or pole. When we reach overhead the humerus (upper arm bone) can’t elevate beyond the point where it is very roughly in line with the flat of the shoulder blade due to the shape of the joint (the acromion part of the scapula obstructs). Do not extend the lumbar spine (lower back). Picture and video demonstrations to follow as soon as possible. Take another deep breath raising the torso up slightly and then release by exhaling as you allow your thoracic spine to slowly extend and “wrap” around the roller. There are many ways to test your thoracic extension capability, but a crude method that I like is to simply reach up vertically, engaging the thoracic extensors and the scapular retractors/depressors. These are two back extension exercises. Include these in your workouts, warm ups or even throughout the day at your desk. How ofthen would you recommend doing this exercises for weightlifters? They also function to keep the scapulae pressed against the back of the thorax (or thoracic wall). This is why the thorax is often called the chest. You really want to feel a stretch down the sides of your back and even through your ribs and arms. It is thought that tight fascia in the body is often the cause of back pain specifically. Repeat, arching back up. Hold this position times/day. almost always adapt to this hunched upper back position by developing other By “crunching up” and contracting the muscles, you can help the muscles release when you relax back over the Peanut. table pushing down whilst trying to drag them toward your body (don’t actually For most lifting endeavors, we need some degree of thoracic extension (straightening) at approximately the level of the shoulder blades. So there’s the proof, a diligent approach will get you results, so stay focused, remember the cues and realize all the benefits that come with a strong healthy posture. Park SY, Yoo WG: Effect of sustained typing Reaching our arms up vertically overhead entails extending the thoracic spine to allow upward rotation of the scapulae. Roll on the foam roller until you find it (you will feel the lump as you rise up). Rotate your shoulders backward. Even if you can’t yet do a full Pull Up, you can use a modification to still strengthen and work your back and core. Bench Thoracic Spine Extensions. Feel your back working and your shoulder blades drawing together. You can then move the roller up your back or keep it in the same place and repeat, relaxing and extending back over the roller as you reach your arms back overhead. by Cori Lefkowith | Blog, Exercises, Pain Relief | 16 comments. Back Extension with Rotation – Strengthen the muscles throughout your back and along your spine with this exercise. Hold and breathe and focus on extending your Thoracic spine as you keep your abs engaged so you don’t hyperextend your low back. Although beyond the scope of this article, Patient.info covers the symptoms, causes and treatments of thoracic spine pain quite comprehensively here. If you don’t get the big muscles of your back activated and working properly, you won’t be able to retain the mobility and flexibility you’ve gained from foam rolling and stretching. Engage abs to avoid extending the lumbar spine. Scapular Wall Hold – Another great activation move for your back is the Scapular Wall Hold. My front rack position has to improve if I add some wrist flexibility stuff! However, I adjusted the exercise until I developed a variation that stimulated greater muscle recruitment and perhaps extension too, using a table. Foam … There are many different However, thoracic back pain may have undetected causes such as slipped disks, infections, tumors and even referred pain from other areas like the lungs. Using a resistance band, anchor the resistance band up high and grab the band in both hands with your palms facing away. You, as a reader are totally and completely responsible for your own health and healthcare. It is very easy with this stretch to simply extend your low back instead of your Thoracic spine, especially if your Thoracic Extension is limited, so really focus on keeping your abs engaged as you extend. Draw your shoulder blades together and feel your back working as you press your chest out and open toward the ceiling. Extend the thoracic spine by protruding the chest and engaging the thoracic extensor muscles (the erector spinae, the rhomboids and the mid trapezius). face down), Carrying a rucksack with protracted shoulders. It also means better posture aka not rounded forward in flexion. Then lean back and drive your elbows back into the wall as you press your chest out and open toward the ceiling. This is so helpful to me so thank you . You want a nice straight line from your head to your heels as you row. Only your elbows should touch as you lean back and press your chest out. Make sure you are right on the edge of the wall so that you can extend your arm forward through the doorway. It comprises the 12 thoracic vertebrae, the 12 pairs of ribs which attach to them and the sternum. Below are some great Thoracic Extension Exercises, including the Thoracic Bridge. If you remember only one thing throughout the day, let it be Unfortunately, the data on these angles vary quite a bit. And wrist mobility is more important than we realize especially if you spend lots of time at a computer! A partner can provide some overpressure by pushing between the shoulder blades for a further push into mobility restrictions. Keep your hips up as you reach across your body and toward the ground. Bend your … Sink into a lunge with the back leg straight. The child will lie prone and then will lift his or her upper body and legs off the surface (flying like Superman), and hold for up to 30 seconds. Try to extend your back as much as possible as you drop your chest toward the ground between your arms. Rotatores Thoracis22 tiny muscles found on each side of the thoracic vertebrae primarily rotate the spine. You should walk your feet back and set your hands up on the wall so that you are hinging over with your hips bent to about 90 degrees and your legs straight. Mid trapeziusConnects the scapulae (shoulder blades) with the upper thoracic spine and also serve to retract the scapulae. Mike Tromello. No one move alone will solve your problem. Improving neuromuscular (mind-muscle) connections is vital for long-term posture reform; this can be developed using cues and visualization. Let your chest lead the way with your weight being supported midfoot, whilst constantly pushing the head up as stated above to extend the T-spine. Repeat as needed along the length of the thoracic spine but pay particular attention to the protruding area, shifting your bodyweight vertebra by vertebra. And one of the more important areas to include Extension Exercises for is our Spine. Not addressing the muscle recruitment imbalances of day to day life, e.g. It can also stretch your quads a bit as well as your abs. the overhead press) as detailed in an earlier article: Greater scapular control e.g. You want to create a nice straight line from your hands to your tailbone so that you can mimic the vertical pull of the Pull Up. It is a great way to also strengthen your back to improve your Pull Ups. Squeeze your glutes and keep your abs engaged to keep your body in a nice straight line as you perform the fly. If you want to improve your lumbar extension, you will need to perform cobra poses in a gradual but progressive manner. Inverted Row – The Inverted Row is a great way to strengthen your back and improve your scapular retraction to help maintain proper Thoracic Extension. With this stretch, you’ve got to make sure to focus on extending your upper and mid back as you relax over. If you are doing this as a bridge, hold for 1-2 seconds and then sit back on your heels. Use these moves to reverse your rounded posture and forward flexion and improve your Thoracic Extension. Keep your legs straight as you press your chest up and extend your hips. This exercise can be progressed by extending the arms overhead or leaning over the edge of the table and extending beyond the height of the table. This is because the lumbar spine will take on the brunt of the stretch if you let it, as it is already very good at extending, making it difficult to extend the T-spine. If you don’t have proper Thoracic Extension, your body is going to take the path of least resistance and seek out extra extension from other areas – areas that may not have the ability to provide the extension needed and therefore become overworked and injured. This compensation can lead to injuries up and down your body. 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