For most of us, sitting in one place for long hours due to continuous work pressure is a significant cause of our spine problems. We cannot bypass the situation also as we need to earn our daily bread. Hence, it would be best if you took utmost care of your body to avoid physical health problems. Our lower back part of the body undergoes a lot of pressure daily. It results in stiffness, causing extreme pain, and therefore stalls your normal body movement. Hence, you must maintain a good posture while at work. The best way to improve the physical fitness of your body is to perform some thoracic mobility exercises regularly.
Thoracic Spine Mobility Exercises
Below are some essential and practical thoracic mobility exercises you can regularly perform to keep your spine flexible. So, even if you are performing strenuous work continuously, the effect on your thoracic spine will be negligible.
1. Cat And Cow Exercise:
Cat and Cow is a great exercise that can help improve your body’s thoracic mobility, and it helps to give you relaxation and ease off your stress after a hard day’s work. The Cat and Cow exercise is a simple yoga posture that you can perform regularly.
- Start your exercise with all fours. Your hands and knees must be in a table pose.
- Your shoulders and knees must align with your hips.
- As you inhale, move into a cow pose. It would be best if you allowed your belly to sink.
- Press your chest forward.
- As you exhale, move into a cat pose.
- Push your hands into the floor and curve your mid-back towards the ceiling.
- Allow your head to hang and release your head towards the floor.
Note that if you have a problem kneeling and performing the exercise, you can do the same in a standing position. While performing the activity, taking a full and deep breath is essential.
Repeat the exercise 5 to 8 times for best results.
2. Thread The Needle:
One of the best thoracic rotation exercises is the Thread the Needle exercise. It is very effective for shoulder, neck, and back pain. You can either perform the exercise fast or can go slow. It is best to use the Thread and Needle exercise as a warm-up or cool-down after performing other exercises.
- Lie down on a yoga mat or anything soft.
- Start with all fours on the ground. Make your body like a tabletop.
- Position your elbows, shoulders, and wrist in a straight line.
- Inhale deep and lift your right arm towards the ceiling. Open up your chest and arms.
- Exhale, bring your right arm down, and slide it onto the floor below your left arm.
- Sink into the stretch and keep your hips high.
- Allow your chest to come close to the ground.
- Hold on to the position as long as you can.
- Switch sides and perform the same activity again.
- Repeat the exercise 4 to 5 times.
3. Downward Dog:
Downward Dog is again one of the most significant thoracic extension exercises that can give you relief from your spine pain. It also strengthens your upper body and stimulates blood flow. Due to its unique posture, it helps to align your spine and provide strength.
- Start your exercise by going on all fours with your shoulders wide apart.
- Your shoulders must be above your wrist, and your hip must be slightly up.
- Exhale to push your hips up and away from the floor. Bend your hips to make an upside-down ‘V’ by lifting your knees into the air.
- Hold your body together in position and make sure that you breathe properly.
- Slowly bring the knees back to their normal position.
Since the Downward Dog exercise needs a bit of practice, it is advisable to perform it slowly by making small movements. If you have limited flexibility, you can use a chair.
The Windmill exercise is a multi-planner exercise as it involves all your body parts. Though simple, the practice is highly effective and rated as one of the best thoracic spine mobility exercises. It makes your muscles flexible and, at the same time, makes them strong. It allows your spine to get a bit of rotation.
- Start with your hip and shoulder wide apart in a standing position.
- Raise one arm with your palm facing forward.
- Slowly move the other arm towards your leg and hinge at the hips.
- It is better to look upwards while your arm is up.
- Your back must be in a neutral position.
- Once you are through the process, perform the same exercise with the other arm.
- You must take a deep breath while performing the exercise.
- Repeat the exercise 3 to 4 times.
5. Thoracic Extension On The Foam Roller:
If you want to improve thoracic mobility, one of the best exercises is the thoracic extension on the foam roller.
- Place the foam roller on the floor and sit in front of it.
- Your body must lean against the roller.
- Place your hand behind your head to give support to the neck.
- Take a deep breath and bend backward on the foam roller. Your body will now be in an arc position.
- Take a deep breath and allow your body to soften towards the floor.
- Come back to your normal position.
You can perform the exercise by repeating it 3 to 4 times.
6. Child’s Pose:
Child’s Pose is one of the most popular thoracic spine mobility exercises, and it helps your body stretch, increasing the thoracic spine’s mobility.
- Start your exercise in a table pose. You must kneel on the floor with your hips, hands, and shoulder in one line.
- Sit on your hips.
- Exhale while moving forward. While doing so, tilt your lower back towards the floor.
- Stretch the rest of your back away from the pelvis.
- Relax your arms and shoulders.
- It is essential to take a deep breath while performing the Child pose exercise.
7. Pilates Spine Twist Variations:
If you want to improve thoracic mobility, then the Pilates Spine twist variations are the perfect exercise. It gives you upper body strength and, at the same time, improves thoracic mobility. There are various types of twisting that you can perform. However, if you are a beginner, starting from the basic one is better.
- Start your exercise by bending the knees closer to the body.
- If you are using your right hand for support, you must put your weight on the left foot.
- Lift your body by bending the elbow. Your legs must be straight and stretched.
- Lift your hips high.
- You have to use the free left arm to create an arc from the side of the hips over the head.
- In the up position, twist your body, keeping a balance on the right arm and left foot. It would be best if you kept the weight on both the foot.
- Perform the same procedure by reversing the arm.
8. Side-Angle Pose:
You can perform the side-angle Pose by sitting on a chair. The exercise engages the shoulders, legs, and back, thus reducing the stiffness. It makes your back flexible if you perform the exercise and helps to increase thoracic mobility.
- Stand tall and keep your legs wide apart.
- Raise your arms straight at both ends.
- Rotate your left leg outward so that the center of your knee cap aligns with the center of your left ankle.
- Keep your right leg straight while bending the left knee.
- Gently lower your left hand to touch the floor.
- Raise your right hand straight upwards.
- Repeat the same process with your right leg.
9. Deep Squat With Thoracic Rotation:
The Deep Squat with Thoracic rotation is one of the most effective thoracic exercises. Because of our sedentary lifestyle, we suffer greatly from spine and back aches. The exercise helps in both lower and upper body mobility and eases the stiffness of your spine.
You can perform the Deep Squat Thoracic rotation exercise with or without weights.
- Stand tall and keep your feet broad, so it is not wider than your shoulders.
- Take a deep squat.
- Place one hand on the floor and stretch your other hand towards the ceiling.
- Hold on for seconds and repeat the same process with your other hand.
- Repeat the process for some time.
10. Wall Angel:
If you are performing thoracic extension exercises, the Wall Angel must be on the list. It improves the T-Spine extension and helps keep your body in a better range of motion.
- Stand with your head, back, and shoulders pressing against the wall.
- Your feet need to be six to twelve inches away from the wall.
- Stretch your arms straight above your head with the back of your hands.
- Keep your body pressed against the wall.
- When your elbows are below the shoulders, wait for some second and then begin sliding the arms again.
- You can perform the exercise in 2 to 3 sets fifteen to twenty times each.
We need to keep our bodies fit and healthy to perform our daily strenuous work. The thoracic spine mobility exercises are a great way to increase the flexibility and strength of your upper and lower back. However, you must maintain a healthy weight and practice a proper posture while at work. Hence, if you want to improve thoracic mobility, you should perform the exercises regularly.
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