Get better t-spine mobility and improve training and pitch performance with Aoife MacNeill from FFS Gyms.
Does your upper back usually feel tight?
Do you get massive relief from rolling out your back?
Do you feel restricted when reaching overhead at training?
A restricted thoracic spine can make a lot of movements feel less than fun and it’s especially important for reaching overhead. The benefits of freeing up this part of your spine include;
– improving the quality of bench press, chin ups, rowing exercises and even squats
– improving agility on the pitch when twisting and turning
– Improving overhead reach for throwing and catching
– improving posture
– improving upper body strength and stability
– reducing risk of thoracic and shoulder injuries
Try 1-2 rounds of each of these 3-4 times a week. The best time is a couple of hours after training or on non-training evenings and at weekends. You could also use one round of each as part of your gym warm up.
1. Prone Kneeling T-Spine
This one is easy and great to start with.
- Hands under shoulder, knees under hips.
- Right hand to right ear
- Drop elbow down under left shoulder, reach all the way round to right side following with your gaze.
- Return to centre and repeat on left
Reps: 5 each side
2. Side Lying to Supine
This is similar to the Quadruped Twist but will allow you get a little further.
- Lie on your left side with hips, knees and ankles at 90 degrees, arms out in front
- Keeping your knees together, reach right arm up and over to right side of your body
- Return to starting position and repeat
- Switch side and repeat with left arm
Reps: 5 each side
3. Cook Squat Reach
This is a tough one but really specific for overhead movement so get it in!
- Start standing and reach down to touch toes/ankles/shins (wherever your max is at the moment)
- Drop hips down into squat and lift chest
- Keep one arm down and straight, and reach other other up towards overhead
- Return to centre and reach with other arm
Reps 3 each arm
4. Kneeling Elbows on Bench
Do this stretch gently, be especially careful when coming out of it!
- On your knees, rest the backs of your elbows on a solid surface, like a bench, wooden box in the gym, or wide chair secured against a wall at home
- Drop your head down between your arms and breath
- As you exhale try to get a little further
- Holding a stick (or sweeping brush) in both hands can help but not essential
- Carefully straighten your arms and relax out of it.
Reps: 5-10 sec hold
Check out the first post in this series on hip mobility and keep an eye our for the next post on ankles to keep them healthy and that little bit less susceptible to ligament injuries.
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