We have a challenging group for you this week. These two exercises fire up your core while learning to control the movements of your spine.
This week, we are focusing on full spinal movement. Try out this first foam roller exercise to help increase rotation of your spine. Then try the 2nd video to help you find motion in the sagittal plane (front to back).
For the month of February, we are focusing on spinal mobility. For this first week, we are putting special emphasis on the mid-back or thoracic spine. Check out the moves below and try them today to bring some movement into the spine.
This week, we are all about the rotation. From the shoulder to the spine.
This spinal twist is perfect after any activity, not just skiing or snowboarding. It gives your spine a gentle twist while opening up the chest and hips. Plus, if feels amazing.
The shoulder exercise below, rounds out our shoulder strength for things like poling, falling, and pushing ourselves back up again.
This month, we are going to work on some mobility and exercises that everyone should be able to perform. These are the foundations of movement. This is a great place to start if you are just starting out with a movement program, but they are also great tests for those of you who have been moving for a while. You should be able to do all these movements before moving on to more complex movements such as deadlifts.
For this first week, we are mobilizing the thoracic spine and learning the basics of the hinge. Having a pliable and functional thoracic spine is important in all movement. If the spine does not move properly, you will never be able to generate your full potential over power and this improper function could eventually lead to more serious injury.
We are reviewing the hinge because it is the foundational movement in everything from a pick-up to a squat and is found in multiple movements of daily life (getting in and out of a car, out of a chair, picking up things off the floor, etc.).
This month we will be exploring our spines. Week one, we are kicking it off with the center of the spine, the thoracic.
I know I know. You are probably sick of me talking about the thoracic spine, but I can’t help myself. A few months back, I talked about the thoracic spine in my post “Exercises for a Tight Neck and Shoulders“. Today, I want to dive a little deeper and talk about the whole spine and the importance of movement and fluidity especially in the thoracic spine.
For an array of reasons, your spine needs to move fluidly. Proper movement in your spine not only allows you to move properly and avoid injury, but it also helps nourish the discs in your spine and move cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to and from your brain. Today, due to high levels of stress, constant sitting, and working on computers, our spines do not get a lot of chances to move forward, back, side-to-side, and in rotation. The place this shows up the most, is in the thoracic spine.
The thoracic spine is the the middle portion of your spine. The spine should move like a snake – flexible but strong. Imagine you are holding a snake (I know it’s gross, but it’s just pretend), if you hold onto the center of the snake, his head and tail are going to move like crazy! The same thing happens to your back. When we lose movement in our thoracic spines, our necks and low backs become hyper-mobile. This excess of movement puts huge forces on our vulnerable discs and vertebrae and can lead to muscle soreness, nerve pain, and bulging discs.
So, now that I have scared you into moving your spine (I am totally proud of that by the way), let’s give you something you can actually use to help yourself. Below you will find videos to move your thoracic spine in 3 different ways – flexion and extension, lateral movement, and rotation. Do the whole set or pick one from each movement and get your mid-back moving!
Thoracic Mobilization – Flexion/Extension
Thoracic Mobilization – Lateral Shift
Thoracic Mobilization – Rotation