3 Exercises for Thoracic Mobility

Mid-Back Feeling Stiff?

If your thoracic spine (mid-back) is stiff, then compensations can happen in other areas like your lower back or neck. The exercises below will help unlock your spine and give you more control over it's movements.

1. Double Mobility Ball Mobilisation

Start by tucking your pelvis so that your lower back is in contact with the ground. Maintain this contact as you lay your spine over the double mobility ball and tuck your chin. If the pressure is too great then use something to bolster your head. Make sure you can still breathe! Slow and steady.

Then when you are comfortable enough, spread your shoulder blades to get deeper and then roll slowly from side to side, staying on any areas that feel like they need mobilising. You can do this all the way up to the base of the neck.

Maintaining contact to the ground with your lower back means you can target the thoracic spine with more focus.

2. Modified Cat Camel

Now that the spine is more free, it’s time to control the movement. Tuck the pelvis and maintain that position as you tuck the chin towards the ceiling, creating thoracic extension. This is essentially the same movement as the first exercise, except you have to go against gravity, making it slightly more difficult.

The awareness surrounding this spinal movement may be difficult at first, but will improve as you practice more (and stay focused on what you’re doing). Range of motion means almost nothing if you can’t control it.

3. Thoracic Rotations

Our spines are capable of more motions than just forward and back (flexion and extension). It rotates as well! On all fours, aim your elbow towards your supporting arm and then reach it up towards the sky as you open your chest to the ceiling.

Give these a go and let us know how you get on! Don’t forget to share the love to help others with stiff backs.

Author: Laurent Pang

ONI Personal Training | Massage Therapy | Nutrition Coaching