Thoracic Spine Mobility | Rotation


The thoracic spine (also as ‘T-back’, ‘mid-back’) is the section between your neck and lower back, consisting of 12 vertebrae. To be able to lift your arm in 180° next to your ears, you need the free range of motion in your shoulder girdle and an extension in your thoracic spine.

Longterm effects of T-spine immobility:

  • lower back problems (as a result of compensation)
  • over-stressed shoulder joint
  • poor breathing
  • poor posture

With an immobile, hardly moving thoracic spine the motion of shoulder blades is not proper, when you are trying to lift overhead. Think about the human body as a whole system. If one tiny element does not work properly it affects the whole.  


The HOW (see video below)

Make sure to keep your lower back motionless. The video is fast. Take your time, focus on breathing. Quality over quantity.

The principles are mainly the same. The difference gives the starting position. The further you go, the more challenging will be to keep your lower back/hip stable.
Get into the starting position. Elongate your spine and engage core muscles, pull the navel towards the spine. Place a hand to the back of your head, try to keep your elbow in line with your ears, to open the chest. Inhale. Now exhale and rotate towards the ceiling. Repeat on the other side.
1: Rotation in child pose/ heel sit
2: Rotation in puppy pose
3: Rotation from tabletop (keep you tights straight, 90°bent at knees and hip)
+1: Rotation reach up & under
Pro-tip: challenge yourself by placing a yoga block over your lumbar spine. Preferably a foam block, as it is light and therefore more of a challenge. Easy-peasy? Then try it with a softball. Now back to the rotations. Whilst opening chest, and activating your T-spine, try to keep the ball on your lumbar spine.
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