Thoracic Exercises

Swinging, throwing, catching a ball overhead, hanging…

Front squats, shoulder presses, pull-ups…

All of these athletic and workout movements are greatly affected by the ability to round, extend, and rotate your upper back. This area is known as your thoracic spine.

It runs from the bottom of your neck to around the height of your belly button. This range of vertebrae is the largest section of your spine and is often the most stiff. Extending it is very difficult for people and they usually assume their shoulders are just tight. However, the problem is really that they are unable to create an upright thoracic spine and are essentially leaning forward. It’s a bit harder to lift something directly above you if you are leaning over, right?

So many of us spend time hunched over a computer or phone that our backs conform to this position. After a while it becomes unable to arch the opposite direction or to turn. In a perfect world each of these vertebrae should be able to move independently from each other. This allows for the much needed rotation and extension for athletics.

In order to combat the effects of your day to day life not only should you be avoiding the hunched over posture, but you need exercises in your training to open up and create movement in this area. We add this into our athletes’ daily routines and often in their workouts themselves. Below are some movements you can begin adding in today. The Thoracic CARs are the best place to start. Just add them in as you make your coffee in the morning!

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