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Top Thoracic Mobility Stretches

By Physiotherapist, Vanessa Boon

Our thoracic spine, which is the midsection of our back, is responsible for most of our movement in our midsections. Having good thoracic mobility is key for good posture, overhead movements and many other sports. Long hours of work and poor posture can lead to increased stiffness =  poor movement  = injury, discomfort and possibly poorer sporting performance. Here are my top 4 mobility exercises to keep your thoracic mobility in check! 

If you have an injury in your thoracic spine or are experiencing pain, book in to see a physiotherapist here. Otherwise, it’s always a good idea to work on strength and functional movement. My top recommendations for improving your thoracic spine mobility are listed below!

Segmental Thoracic Extension

Towel Thoracic Stretch

How to: 

  • Roll up a towel and place it on the floor across the area you will lie on. 
  • Lie on your back with the towel positioned underneath and across your upper back. 
  • Relax in this position, allowing your arms to drop out to the side and your chest to open up, stretching your upper back over the towel. 
  • Remain here for 30 seconds
  • Move the towel down to the next segment of your upper back, and repeat.
  • Note: when this stretch becomes easy with a rolled-up towel, you can progress to using a foam roller. 

Book Openers

How to: 

  • Lay on your side with the bottom leg straight and the top leg bent.
  • Reach your arms out in front of you, with your hands together. 
  • Rotate the upper arm upwards and outwards from your trunk. 
  • Try to rotate as far as you can, without forcing the shoulder. 
  • Hold this position for 2×30 seconds on each side.

Thread the Needle 

How to: 

  • Start in 4 point kneeling
  • Your hands should be under your shoulders and your hips over your knees. 
  • Take one hand off the floor and reach in and through between your other hand and leg on that side. 
  • Allow your shoulder and head to follow, moving down towards the floor as your hand reaches through. 
  • Allow your back to twist, you should feel a stretch down your side, your shoulder blade and neck. 
  • Hold this position for 2×30 seconds and repeat on the other side. 

These are my top 3 thoracic mobility stretches. If you would like a mobility program tailored to you, give Barangaroo Orthopaedic and Sports Injury Clinic a call at 8599 9811 or book in here

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