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Half-Kneeling Thoracic Spine Rotation

Purpose: To improve thoracic spine rotation

Points of Interest: This exercise can be done with the head facing straight ahead, which emphasizes body on head rotation, or with head rotation leading the movement to further drive thoracic rotation.  

Instructions: Line up against a wall with your hip and lateral thigh of the front leg against the wall. Begin with your arms in front of you and palms together.  Reach your outside arm forward to start rotation, then rotate inside arm up around the wall.  Internally rotate your inside shoulder so that your palm is facing the wall before reaching the "noon" position.  Draw the scapula back on the ribcage to obtain full rotation.


Side Lying Thoracic Spine Rotation

Purpose: To improve thoracic mobility

Points of Interest: Use your eyes and head to guide the motion.  This will help you to turn further.

Instructions: Lie on your side with your body and lower leg in line.  Bring your top knee up to 90 degrees and support in with a roll or pillow that will keep the knee at hip height.  Hold the knee in place with the opposite hand.  Grab the bottom of your rib cage with your top hand.  Inhale.  Twist, pulling the top shoulder toward the floor as if trying to flatten the upper back on to the ground.  Use your hand on the ribcage to help encourage rotation through the thoracic spine and rib cage.  Exhale and relax


Thoracic Spine Extension with Foam Roller

Purpose: To mobilize the thoracic spine and improve posture

Points of Interest: Engaging your abdominal musculature and preventing extension through your lumbar spine (low back) is pivotal to the success of this exercise.

Instructions: Begin lying with the foam roller under your midback and placed perpendicular to your spine  Give yourself a hug.  Slowly extend backwards over the roller, keeping your core engage to support your lumbar spine.  Slowly flex forwards over the roller.  Inch the roller up and down your midback and repeat the previous steps as necessary.


Thread the Needle

Purpose: To stretch the muscles along the medial border of the shoulder blade

Points of Interest: Depending on where you feel tight, you can adjust the angle on which your arm reaches through

Instructions: Begin on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder width apart and your knees hip width apart.  Turn one palm face-up and reach through behind your other arm.  Continue to reach through as far as possible.  If you can, rest your head down on the floor and lay down on the shoulder being stretched.  Use the other hand to push off the floor and aim to twist your chest toward the ceiling to increase the stretch,


Quadruped Thoracic Spine Rotation

Purpose: To improve thoracic spine flexibility and posture

Points of Interest: Bringing your hips back toward your feet will create lumbar spine (low back flexion).  This is known as the "lumbar-locked"position and it will encourage rotation to come through your thoracic spine as opposed to your lumbar spine.

Instructions: Begin on your hands and knees.  Bring your hips back towards your feet and transition onto your forearms from your hands.  Bring one hand behind your head.  The forearm that is still on the ground should be touching or close to your knee.  Slowly rotate your upper back so that your elbow and torso turn toward the ceiling.  Use your eyes and your head to guide the turning motion.

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