Foam Rolling: Thoracic Spine (Upper Back)
Adequate mobility in the thoracic spine is essential for good posture and proper lifting mechanics. Excessive kyphosis, rounding of the upper back, can result from the slouched posture assumed by most desk jockeys. This posture makes any overhead pressing movement extremely difficult to properly execute. Even in movements like the front squat or deadlift, a lack of mobility in the t-spine results in faulty lifting mechanics which in turn leads to prematurely failed lifts and in some cases injuries. Everyone can benefit from more thoracic mobility. I have yet to meet an athlete that has too much mobility in their t-spine (lumbar spine is another story however).
- Start with the foam roller on the floor and begin rolling at your traps.
- Slowly roll down toward the middle of your back.
- You can place your hands on opposite sides of your torso, similar to hugging yourself, in order to expose of more of the upper back musculature.
- As you encounter any trigger points, knots, or hot spots, pause on these areas to help relieve the tight bands of muscle.
- There may be some discomfort initially but stay relaxed and you will feel the area loosen up.