Your upper back, or thoracic spine, mobility is incredibly important for athletic performance and rehabilitating from injuries to your low back, shoulders, and neck. When stiff, it can put extra stress on each of these areas so mobilizing these joints can be very important.
Our Favorite Thoracic Spine Mobility Exercises.
Foam Roller Thoracic Spine Extensions
Up first is foam roller thoracic spine extensions. Many athletes have already seen or already perform this exercise. But as discussed in this video there is a common fault we see in how many athletes perform this exercise making it much less effective than it can be.
For those needing a little extra force to open up their thoracic spine mobility exercise, we can add a little overpressure. Grab a kettlebell and place your feet on a wall. Perform a very similar movement to the above but with the added force of holding a weight behind your neck, as shown in this video.
Foam Roller Thoracic Extensions with Overpressure
We can also add a shoulder component to our thoracic spine mobility work but grab a weight overhead. Then drop your hips down to increase the force on the upper back. This combo is great for neck and shoulder pain, especially in those performing overhead lifts!
Downward Dog Stretch
A downward dog not only stretches the upper back but it’s also a great way to build some strength in that area. Focus on fully opening your back up with each repetition.
Goblet Squat Press
Our final move is way more difficult than it will look on video. BUT it is also one of the best moves we’ve ever found for both thoracic spine mobility and strength. Grab a light kettlebell and press overhead with elbows staying tight. A few reps of this and you will see why!
Still Suffering from Thoracic Spine Stiffness or Back Pain?
Need help with shoulder, neck, or back pain? We’ve got you covered. Schedule an appointment today with our Charlotte, NC physical therapy team!