The thoracic spine provides a base for many of the neck and shoulder muscles. It also designed to protect many of our vital organs. It has a unique function as the mechanical bellows for our breathing.
This area of the spine allows between 30-40 degrees of flexion, 20-25 degrees of extension, 30 degrees of rotation and 25 degrees of lateral bending. Thoracic mobility and posture plays an important role in neck and shoulder health. Thoracic pain is often less dramatic than neck pain, yet just as common.
- Proper thoracic extension allows for better positioning of the shoulder blade.
- Better upper thoracic mobility takes stress off of the neck.
Begin on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Place one hand behind your head, and bring that elbow to your opposite forearm. From there you will rotate your torso while bringing your elbow as high as you can. Follow the elbow with your eyes, but be careful not to twist your neck. Repeat this motion for ten repetitions and switch sides. Perform 2-3 sets daily or as a part of your warm-up.
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