THORACIC SPINE MOBILITY EXERCISE BANK
Thoracic Spine mobilization w/ peanut
Technique: Position the peanut over either side of a stiff spinal segment. Forcefully exhale all of your air, and dig the peanut into the muscles surrounding your spine. This particular technique should produce a tolerable level of discomfort that still allows your to focus your attention to your breathing. THE GOAL IS TO RELAX. Hold over each stiff spinal segment until the discomfort dissipates.
Goal: This technique is designed to inhibit the paraspinals, those tight ropy muscles that line your spine. In order for this technique to be effective, you must be able to relax while the peanut is digging into your muscles. If the peanut is too dense and your discomfort is too great to relax, then regress to a traditional foam roller.
Thoracic Spine Mobilization
Technique: Position the roller over a stiff spinal segment. Forcefully exhale all of your air and pull your ribs down in the front. Put your hands behind your head. While keeping your ribs down, slowly and gently oscillate the restricted spinal segment over the roller. Repeat for 30 seconds, or until you feel like that spinal segment moves better.
Goal: Each and every spinal segment in the upper back should move. Over a prolonged period of time, hypomobile segments create hyper mobile segments or "hinge points" as a compensation mechanism. This dysfunction can lead to back pain and altered range of motion.
Considerations: Certain spinal segment may feel hyper mobile, while others may feel like they do not move at all. Regardless of pain, focus on the segments that do not move well. Do not perform if pain is debilitating. If pain persists, seek professional medical care.
Thoracic Spine Mobilization w/ smash
Technique: Position the roller over a stiff spinal segment. Position the ball on your chest directly over that spinal segment. Forcefully exhale all of your air and pull your ribs down in the front. Put your hands behind your head. While keeping your ribs down, slowly and gently oscillate the restricted spinal segment over the roller. Repeat for 30 seconds, or until you feel like that spinal segment moves better.
Considerations: Adding the medicine ball adds a little bit of overpressure to the spine. Choose an appropriately sized medicine ball. Bigger individuals and/or those with stiffer spines may need to use a heavier medicine ball. If adding the medicine ball to the mobilization creates pain, then stop the mobilization immediately.
Barbell assisted t-spine mobilization
Technique: Position a barbell 2-3 feet behind the roller that you will use to mobilize your spine. Position the roller under a stiff spinal segment. Reach overhead and grab the barbell. The narrower your grip on the barbell, the more difficult the mobilization. Start wide if you need to. Forcefully exhale all of your air and pull your ribs down so that they do not flare. Repeat this process several times until your ribs are down and you have created a global arch over the roller. Slowly and gently oscillate over the roller for 30 seconds, or until the spinal segment feels less stiff. Find another stiff spinal segment and repeat.
Goal: Shoulder flexion and thoracic spine extension are coupled movements. This mobilization seeks to bring the two together, mobilizing the thoracic spine while the shoulder is in full flexion. Mastering this mobilization may help improve your overhead movement proficiency. .
Considerations: This technique is more difficult to perform than the "Global Thoracic Spine Mobilization". If you cannot perform the "Global Thoracic Spine Mobilization" with ease, then you should not attempt to perform this variation.