Functional Training Institute

Thoracic Extension Mobilisations

In this week’s video we show you a range of diverse mobilisations to facilitate thoracic extension. We spend so much time bent over our desks, phones and computers, that many of us now have some kind of excessive kyphosis.

Poor thoracic mobility can lead to host of a different issues and can manifest many different problems. Some of these issues include:

1. Lower Back Pain and Discomfort

The lumbar spine is built for stability and should not move excessively. If you are immobile in the thoracic spine then you will ‘borrow’ mobility from the lumbar spine as a compensation when completing certain movements. We often see this occur with people lifting overhead and in rotation activities. The lumbar spine moves more than it should because of thoracic immobility.

2. Shoulder Pain and Discomfort

A lack of thoracic mobility will decrease the room the scapula have to rotate and move. This can lead to shoulder impingement pain and a host of other issues.

3. Improved Breathing

Improved thoracic mobility is associated with greater lung capacity. The ribs will move more freely and this facilitates a more efficient breathing pattern.

Thoracic Extension Exercises:

Prone Cobra

It is really important to not over extend in the neck or lower back. Tuck the hips into a posterior tilt and retract the neck.

Downward Dog

Keep the spine long by ensuring the neck and head follow the same line as the spine.

Extension Over Bell

Many people over extend in this movement. Ensure you don’t borrow the mobility from your lower back or flare the ribs.

Extension and Rotation 

Ensure you rotate from the spine and not the hips. You can block the hips off.

These mobilisations will help you, or your client, to open and mobilise their thoracic spine.

These thoracic extensions are great for opening your body up. They will provide greater mobility and can assist in decreasing the potential of long term injuries. They will also lead to more efficient movement patterns. To further expand your training and personal development, we highly recommend our Functional Mobility Course that will provide you will the tools and training to teach these powerful movements.

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