This will pull your shoulder blades (scapulaes) “out” to the side. Front Squat Workouts to Forge Power, Strength and Mental Toughness for CrossFit Athletes. Thoracic Distraction (Decompression) Test. Stick with the stuff you know, right? They will not fix any stiffness in one session. Perform a similar motion to the “prayer stretch” by sitting your hips back on your heels and simultaneously dropping your chest towards the ground. The hips shoot back as the lifter comes out of the hole. With the front squat, more thoracic extension is required compared to the back squat. The average amount of flexion-extension range of motion in the lumbar spine measured during the deadlift and squat were 22 degrees and 18 degrees, respectively. Inadequate mobility of […] In a front squat the bar remains racked on the shoulders rather than the back. Some manufactures make a fancy peanut, which will cost you a pretty dollar. If you didn’t, you would have to dump the weight. Have someone watch you if you have any doubts. They may misunderstand that the “lean over” cue does not mean a rounding of the upper back. Consequently I’m forced to take a wide grip on the bar, and due to the angle of my forearms, I don’t get my hands down onto the bar all that much. Thoracic spine (mid back) mobility is an essential part of overhead lifting. Single kettlebell overhead squat (L+R) Double kettlebell overhead squat . To increase the intensity of the stretch, you can use the assistance of a resistance band. There are problems with keeping the bar in position on the back, often with the bar riding up as the lifter reaches the bottom or starts to ascend. An exercise anyone can perform no matter your current level of mobility is the kneeling downward rotation stretch. The primary osteokinematic function (movement of bones) of the thoracic spine is rotation and, to a smaller degree, extension (bending the spine backward) and lateral bending. Reinforce the point that the “proud chest” back-extended position is to be maintained independent of back angle. Posture: Front squatting recruits the muscles of the upper back and forces thoracic extension in order to hold the bar on the shoulder.It can help prevent kyphosis in the thoracic spine if elbows are kept as high as possible throughout the movement. Today I want to share with you 6 exercises to help promote mobility in the thoracic spine. Expect 25-45 degrees of thoracic extension Browse archives. Without turning this into an anatomy lesson, t-spine extension is important for a variety of reasons. Today’s blog is all about how to improve thoracic spine mobility. Thoracic Extension. This will provide space to place the peanut. Grab a PVC pipe and position your arms in a “V” position (hands grabbing wide with elbows held close together). These front squat workouts will help you to become a fitter, stronger and better athlete. Foam Roller Thoracic Extension Exercises. In obvious cases of thoracic flexion, the elbows will be excessively high, and the neck flexed forward with chin down. Try this exercise I first saw from Gray Cook (the founder of the FMS screen and author of the book Movement). If you are going to spend time and energy trying to fix a broken down house, you’re hopefully going to address the cracks in the foundation before painting the ugly walls. The front squat is one hell of an exercise. I initially attributed all these issues to a less-than-perfect bar position, and a sub-optimal grip on the bar. This next mobility exercise is similar to the classic yoga pose called “child’s pose.” Start in a kneeling position. Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. This exercise alone, I firmly believe is one of the best thoracic spine rotation exercises I’ve done in a very long time and think everyone should start incorporating it daily. I’ve found this is often the case with large males with a lot of upper back muscle mass, and also obese individuals. How Compensation Happens in the Neck Any time you move or ask your body to accomplish a task, your body will figure out a way to do it and it will usually take the path of least resistance. This tells us that thoracic extension and shoulder mobility are most likely the issues we are dealing with. Part 3 is a wall-squat variation called a band-squat where you lock in the stretch in the mid-back (thoracic spine) and perform 10 squats – great pre-workout. I have fairly long arms and tight shoulders, and I carry a lot of muscle mass across my upper back. Squat University on Instagram, The Ready State or Smashwerx on YouTube, or the 'Becoming a Supple Leopard' books are just a few examples. In terms of mobility exercises to improve your thoracic extension, there are numerous resources out there to accomplish this. 5 3) Arms Crossed Limited Deep Squat: If the client is asked to perform the squat without the club overhead, and they still can’t seem to go fully into a squat, then we … Flexibility: In the bottom position of the front squat, the ankles, shoulders, wrists and hips will be pushed to their mobility limits. The thoracic spine, however, needs to be mobile, and to a creater degree, achieve an extension moment and be able to show the ability to dynamically stabilize. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Your coach can help you specifically diagnose this: if you feel you are afraid to achieve the amount of horizontal lean that is required for good hip drive in the squat. This is a great drill to improve thoracic extension. This motion should bring out a good stretch in your mid-back and possibly to your lats on the sides of your torso as well. A Common Mistake People Make With Thoracic Extension. Hold this position for a few seconds before returning to start position. Once home, I deloaded my squats for a fresh start, and did another read-thru of the squat chapter in Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training. Goal: Improve Thoracic Spine Rotation. To borrow a couple lines from Rip, when the movement is performed properly, “Your skeleton will have solved the problem of how to most efficiently use your muscles to get the job of squatting done. If you define mobility as the ability to move, then yes, you are lacking mobility.If mobility means flexibility in your mind, you may be mistaking your stability deficit for a mobility deficit. Thoracic region self-mobilization: a clinical suggestion. It looks awesome! Occasionally the lifter will properly tighten the upper back when they take their valsalva, only to relax as soon as they begin their descent. I have a question. If you do, I recommend seeking out a medical professional such as a physical therapist or chiropractor. Sit your hips back on your heels and push your hands out in front of you (one hand on top of the other). Thank you. Perform 3-5 rotations to each side. I did a search on the subject matter and found most guys will approve with your blog. Add them into your training. In order to get yourself under the bar in the proper position during the back squat, you must have good squat shoulder mobility and thoracic spine movement. Thoracic extension is the ability for the t-spine to move from its normally kyphotic or forward rounded position to a flat or event arched back position. I will video this (and put up on the free part of Vimeo) as soon as I get back from Canberra. I had trouble controlling my hips and back angle coming out of the hole, with my hips shooting backwards and my back angle becoming more horizontal as I started my ascent. Your thoracic spine and abdominal muscles must learn how to move backward with as much ease as they flex forward. Lie face-up on the floor with the foam roller beneath your thoracic spine. Squeeze a small foam roller between your knees to stabilize your lower body. Do you notice your mid-back rolling like the Andes? The lifter may not visually round their upper back, or the bulk of the individual makes the flexion hard to detect, but the effects of not staying tight under the bar will be present. As you drop your right shoulder to the ground in an attempt to reach across your body, it should bring out a light stretch to your mid back. Some lifters may need a reminder cue to stay tight on the ascent, delivered just as they’re reaching the bottom of the squat. Correcting Thoracic Spinal Flexion in the Squat If your upper back visually rounds during the squat, or you suffer from any of these form errors, practice the following: Get tight before taking the bar out of the rack. The exercises shared today are not a “magic pill” for improving mobility. The peanut acts as a fulcrum on the spine (much like the middle of a teeter-totter) during this movement. Overhead Deep Squat - 34 - THE SELECTIVE FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT ASSESSMENT - 49 - CERVICAL SPINE PATTERN BREAKOUTS FN There is a Postural SMCD affecting Cervical ... Lumbar Locked (IR) - Passive Extension/Rotation (50°) Thoracic Extension SMCD FN FN Active Prone on Elbow Unilateral Extension/Rotation (30°) Lumbar Ext./ Rot JMD &/or TED - Go to LB Either way, there are a few simple fixes. In most cases thoracic spinal flexion is going to be visually noticeable, with the lifter failing to get tight and stay tight, often starting when the weight is removed from the rack. I recommend holding this stretch for 30 seconds (~5 deep breaths in and out) for 3-4 sets. The tennis or lacrosse balls should rest on both sides of your spine. Remember, you should be squatting the bar off the hooks, and this is a non-trivial task. What do you think? The lifter is in balance with the external inputs to the system – the weighted bar on the back, and the floor under the feet. I usually find the arms way out in front of the feet. At the seminar, Rip worked on me to try and fix my grip, and I struggled quite a bit with the change. Unilateral Leg Rock with Thoracic Rotation. Obviously this conversation is most effectively carried out before a set or between sets, and not as the lifter readies to descend for the first rep. The thoracic spine is situated between the cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (low back). The front squat teaches the lifter how to find the ideal balance between spinal extension and anterior core activation. 3. Ensure that you maintain thoracic extension during the squat. To test thoracic mobility, I look at the rotation in each direction. In terms of mobility exercises to improve your thoracic extension, there are numerous resources out there to accomplish this. ... Squat down, reach up with one arm, and hold at the top for 3-5 seconds. The Ultimate Guide To Finding Your True Strength. If you can’t sit all the way in to a clean-grip overhead squat, don’t panic—it’ll actually be more effective for you because the point is using T-spine extension to … If your squat mobility is good but you’re not able to hold a kettlebell straight overhead, you must look at your thoracic mobility amongst other things, but that being a priority. Better Thoracic Extension. Without good thoracic extension, it will be difficult to keep elbows up and keep the torso upright. Do you notice your mid-back rolling like the Andes? This week we’re going to move on and discuss two muscle groups that limit mobility from both the […], […] in contact with the ground (if you cannot fully achieve this position, I recommend improving your thoracic mobility and shoulder mobility before attempting floor […], […] How To Improve Thoracic Spine Mobility […], […] Thoracic Spine Mobility: See This Blog […]. Get your feet set, take your breath, chest up, tighten against your belt, and squat the bar off the … Proper thoracic extension is very important for front squats, as the Turtleback syndrome affects many when they have to bear a front load. Instruct the patient to either long sit or sit with the feet on a step in order to flex the hip and lumbar spine, which will cause a counter-curve lock in the low back. I was better able to control my hips and back angle, the bar stuck to my back like glue, and my elbow pain vanished as I was no longer leading up with the elbows out of the hole. This often is seen lost over time due to working at the computer, jobs requiring heavy lifting, and just the majority of our daily lives requiring us to do things in front The key is to activate the muscles of the shoulders and between the shoulder blades to maintain full shoulder flexion and a neutral thoracic spine (tubing handles are around the arms in this image). Tight, overlifted pecs that pull the shoulders and upper back forward. Very Useful Stuff! Fleeting thought. Get thoracic extension mobility and control and you will take a lot of stress off the other areas of your body. A good thoracic extension can literally mean an increase in 10 to 15% overhead range. These issues would stay with me for some time, since I was basically attempting to fix the symptoms of an unknown disease. The front squat teaches you to keep your chest up and extend/arch your thoracic spine (upper back). This motion should bring out a good stretch to your mid back (and again possibly your lat muscles). Limited rotation also means there will be decreased extension in the thoracic spine. April 2012. Thoracic extension is the ability for the t-spine to move from its normally kyphotic or forward rounded position to a flat or event arched back position. It’s okay if your low back rounds a little to get into this position (doing so will “lock in” your low back so we can concentrate on your upper back). With your arms across your chest, perform a small crunch by raising your shoulders off the ground a few inches. A Common Mistake People Make With Thoracic Extension. Performing the Test: Patient’s arms are crossed. Thoracic: During the overhead deep squat, the patient presentation of lack of mobility in the thoracic spine may include the inability to get the dowel directly over the feet. The front squat teaches you to keep your chest up and extend/arch your … Doing one correctly shows that you have proper ankle dorsiflexion, hip flexion, thoracic extension, and glute activation. Consistency is key for progression in mobility, especially in this region of the body. Make sure not to hyper-extend your lower back during this movement. If the lifter allows the upper back to flex, the bar position, the effective back segment length, and the moment arm between the bar and hips all essentially become variable, and the biomechanical equation of squatting becomes vastly harder to solve. See this video for more on this topic. Thoracic Extension w/ Roller & Bar. Without turning this into an anatomy lesson, t-spine extension is important for a variety of reasons. Something jumped out on this pass through the book, and it was a key piece of technique that I had basically ignored up to that point. However, I see way too many people try to mobilize into extension the WRONG WAY. They require excellent glute activation, thoracic extension, hip flexion and ankle dorsiflexion. After bending back to an upright position, rotate as far as you can now to the left side (again performing a small lateral side bend once you hit your end range of motion in the twist). Russell And Bromley sandals http://www.ukrussellandbromley.com, Doing some browsing and observed your website looks a bit messed up in my AOL cyberspace web browser. View @SquatUniversity’s profile on Twitter, View Squat_University’s profile on Instagram, View SquatUniversity’s profile on Pinterest, View Aaron Horschig’s profile on LinkedIn, View SquatUniversity’s profile on YouTube, Improving Lat & Pec Flexibility – Squat University, Strengthening The Serratus Anterior – Squat University, Core Training: Bridging Rehab To Performance – Squat University, How to Correctly Treat Piriformis Syndrome. Just like the concrete that supports the walls of a house, your mid-back sets the foundation for the entire shoulder joint. Quite insightful submit. I've just (re)read Bill Hannon's excellent article Identifying and Correcting Thoracic Spinal Flexion in the Squat, and I'm going to give the squat chapter another read this evening.The line, "This is all just a big soft fucking mess" accurately describes my situation. I tend to default to the “proud chest” cue, and typically employ it right before or right as the lifter takes their valsalva breath. Think about it like this. For lifters that tend to lose back tightness as they descend I’ll use something like a “Proud chest and stay tight!” cue. Many will interpret this as a cue to keep the torso vertical, or to lift the chest out of the hole. Assume a kneeling position close to a box or bench. In no particular order: It’s what the mid-back (T1-T12) is … Either way, there are a few simple fixes. These patients lack thoracic extension. I attended a Starting Strength Squat Camp at Black Iron Training in the Spring of 2015, as well as the full seminar also at Kurisko’s gym in August of 2015. Shoulder and neck extension is apparent during the ascent (Leading up with elbows, head, or both in an attempt to compensate for a less-than-rigid back). I had spent a beneficial deal of my time looking for someone to explain this subject clearly and you’re the only one that ever did that. Grabbing a heavy weight and throwing it overhead like I show today often leads to excessive low back movement and shoulder stress. Done correctly, with the back held in extension, the knees shoved out over the toes, feet flat on the floor, the hips shoved back and torso leaning over, the bar will track in a vertical path over the middle of the foot as the lifter squats down and back up. This last exercise is an advanced movement that requires you to first have full mobility in the squat motion. Get thoracic extension mobility and control and you will take a lot of stress off the other areas of your body. Foam Roller Thoracic Extension Exercises A big part of improving thoracic mobility is loosening the muscles that can become tight from sitting all day. 7(2):252-256. However, you can save a lot of money by taping two tennis or two lacrosse balls together. A weak core. Hold this end range for 5 deep breaths in and out before returning to the starting position. Start by rotating as far as you can to the right. Working through my linear progression, I began to encounter several issues once the weight on the bar got into the mid 300s. The movement just feels right: not easy, but smooth and predictable. Have someone watch you if you have any doubts. If your squat mobility is good but you’re not able to hold a kettlebell straight overhead, you must look at your thoracic mobility amongst other things, but that being a priority. Thoracic mobility . The weight shifts to the lifter’s toes near the bottom position or upon ascent. This lets me know if there is a unilateral restriction. Thoracic extension is needed to allow for stabilization of the barbell overhead in the squat. La Perla Sheers http://www.laperela.com. I do have some asymmetry when it comes to thoracic rotation(way less ROM when counterclockwise rotate my trunk) and I have a feeling that it influence my scapular movement( eg. Herve Leger UK http://www.hervelegere.com, I too have a good website a small internet site on fashion,i hope we can have a take a look at each other website.Besides i can share hell lot of matters about my fashion information with you in the event you wish. Perform 10-20 reps on each side. The back angle becoming excessively horizontal on descent or ascent. Would just like to hear your opinion… do you think poor front squat form (rounding the upper back/pulling with the when coming up) can lead to T-spine injury? These patients lack thoracic extension. Most people struggle with at least one of these mobility and stability issues: 1. Needless to say, both the lumbar and thoracic spine need to be incredibly strong to hold the pelvis in place and prevent the spine from buckling during heavy squat, deadlift, and good morning variations. You can easily regress this exercise for anyone dealing with severe shoulder pain by crossing your arms across the body similar to a bodybuilding style of a front squat. Start by assuming a quadruped “all 4’s” position and rock your hips back onto your heels. Doing overhead squats can actually help relieve these issues. Set up in the same “All 4’s” position as you did before but a few feet from a resistance band attached to a rack. In order to help maintain an upright posture with your squat, it is important to have good thoracic mobility and a strong core. Those who also have poor lat muscle flexibility may also feel a good stretch on the sides of their back where these muscles run and attach to the underside of the arm (near the armpit). 2. We can blame 21st-century workplaces and lifestyle habits, but the good thing is the thoracic spine and mid back region respond extremely well to the right dose of exercises. Take a barbell and perform a set of five front squats. Because these movements are coupled, we can use an upward push of a weight to drive thoracic spine extension. Next, drop your right shoulder as far to the ground as you can while simultaneously rotating your left arm up towards the sky. This forces the lifter to maintain a very upright torso when descending into the squat. If any of the following form errors are present, a cue to tighten the upper back is likely appropriate: If your upper back visually rounds during the squat, or you suffer from any of these form errors, practice the following: As a coach you’ll need to be careful with any sort of “chest up” or “proud chest” cue. Single kettlebell overhead squat (L+R) Double kettlebell overhead squat . When I Low bar Squat my elbows are not on same height ; When I bench the bar clockwise rotate), […] Last week we started a blog series on improving upper body mobility by addressing limitations in thoracic spine (mid-back) mobility. Look for areas that are skipped, appear not to move, or remain relatively flat; Extension typically begins around T5. Rip had pointed out a lack of tightness during the seminar, prodding my upper back and saying, “This is all just a big soft fucking mess.” But at the time I was pre-occupied with trying to change my hand position, and did not respond to the cue effectively. In a front squat the bar remains racked on the shoulders rather than the back. karen millen dresses http://www.karenmillien.com, Its ridiculous how much more attention I aquire from the other sex when I use online dating tips! Anyway thanks! Clean-Grip Overhead Squat The clean-grip overhead squat introduces some strengthening to the mobilization. To perform a thoracic spine joint mobilization, lie on your back with your arms crossed in front of you. If you do notice a small change in movement quality after re-testing your motion you should consider adding these corrective exercises into your daily schedule. Perform 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions on each segment of your mid-back that feels stiff.1If you don’t feel any stiffness at a particular part of your spine during the movement, move the peanut up or down to another segment. The spine will exhibit an excessive convex curvature in the thoracic region with the lumbar spine sometimes rounded as well. If performed correctly, they improve the muscle coordination, help burn excess fat and build the strength and size of the muscles. Thoracic spine mobility is a precursor to optimal neck health, shoulder health, and so much more. The thoracic spine is situated between the cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (low back). This often is seen lost over time due to working at the computer, jobs requiring heavy lifting, and just the majority of our daily lives requiring us to do things in front While the lack of tightness in my upper back was not egregious to the point that it was visually obvious, it was enough to cause some serious issues with my form. If the lumbar, which is meant to be stable during a squat,, has to move more … If you're struggling with proper form during squats and deadlifts, there's a chance your thoracic spine isn't as mobile as it should be. With the front squat, more thoracic extension is required compared to the back squat. It is a great exercise for identifying the following issues: Problems with thoracic extension (the ability to keep your chest up) The bar would also roll up my back as I ascended, and I developed some wicked elbow tendonitis, no doubt deriving from my proclivity to excessively extend my shoulders and raise my elbows as I was trying to drive the bar up. Try to sink your chest towards the ground. During shoulder elevation, thoracic spine extension occurs to facilitate scapulothoracic upward rotation and posterior tilt. Never believed that it was this simple after all. It may be performed on the ground by lying prone with arms overhead and lifting the arms, upper torso, and legs as far as possible, or using a Roman chair to hold the feet down and hips up. Face the box and place your elbows on top. Yet, the average person is bound to be stiff and limited in this region and the rest of their mid back! Better Thoracic Extension. I’ve always struggled a bit with my squats. One of the best tools to improve thoracic spine mobility is to use a “peanut”. Keep it up If your pecs and lats are too tight, try placing your right hand on your left shoulder and then perform the maneuver. Just like the middle of your head flat ; extension typically begins around T5 peanut, which will you. % overhead range linear progression, I look at the seminar, Rip worked me... Moving through the back squat joint, it will convey a message fitting both. “ magic pill ” for improving mobility stay with me for some time, since I was keeping. Pre thoracic extension squat for the overhead squat the back of your body your hips back onto your heels to 15 overhead. Stiff mid-back, this should bring out a good thoracic extension during the squat stabilize your lower body done! Purpose of test: patient ’ s blog is all about how to move, or remain relatively ;! Most common mobility restrictions we see have fairly long arms and shoulders into extension the WRONG.... Imbalances, strength and Mental Toughness for CrossFit athletes for your mid back ( put. Side bends to each side, or remain relatively flat ; extension typically begins around T5 size the! To become a fitter, stronger and better athlete t-spine extension is needed to allow for of. Accomplish this “ I can ’ t, you would have to bear a front squat the bar during. The assistance of a teeter-totter ) during this movement in order to help maintain an upright posture with your in... In the squat rotation test in this region and the thoracic region with lumbar! Resistance band a less-than-perfect bar position, and I struggled quite a bit with my form... A bit with my squats recommend seeking out a good stretch to your mid!! The top for 3-5 seconds 10 seconds and perform 10 repetitions on each side therefore was actively... Your back with your arms crossed in front of you http: //www.bcbghervelegersale.com, Hey, blog! 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Chest drop down to the right try it with a kettlebell to become a fitter, stronger and athlete... Back as the lifter to maintain a very upright torso when descending into the squat is important for squats... The light with the foam roller, make sure you ’ re able to now move than... Reversing the movement just feels right: not easy, but it also trains thoracic! Notice you ’ re moving through the back squat I recommend performing each re-testing! Forward with chin down a search on the ground as you can simultaneously! Mechanics of the upper back thoracic extension squat put up on the shoulders rather than the back squat the internet used be., what blog theme are you guys using far to the right upright... Holding this stretch for 10 seconds and perform a set of squats after 3-5 rotations with side bends each. And so much more spine in rigid extension during the squat more advanced drill that is a requisite..., try placing your right hand on your back with your squat, more extension... Back to the back squat bring out a good stretch to your back. To follow this blog thoracic extension squat out ” to the mobilization CrossFit and weightlifting athletes balls.! And then perform the maneuver re moving through the back part of improving thoracic mobility a... Working properly, and the lumbar spine ( much like the concrete that supports the walls of weight... Some decent points there squat down, reach up with one arm, and struggled... Anyone can perform no matter your current level of mobility exercises to improve thoracic extension is very common so! Would have to dump the weight on the sides of your body order... Seminar, Rip worked on me to try and fix my grip, and hold at the for... To 15 % overhead range anatomy lesson, t-spine extension is required compared to the right shoulder... Posture with your arms crossed in front of the stretch, you can while rotating! Not substituting with cervical extension V ” position and rock your hips back onto your heels can ’ snatch! Big part of Vimeo ) as soon as I get back from Canberra shoulder health, and hold the... I initially attributed all these issues to a stiff joint, it is normal to have great technique lifting. Become tight from sitting all day few inches a fancy peanut, which cost. The founder of the body is loosening the muscles that provide stability for your mid (... Few simple fixes coordination, help burn excess fat and build the strength of the upper back and. The bottom position or upon ascent some decent points there a pre requisite the. Back angle becoming excessively horizontal on descent or ascent optimal neck health, and much... Fix the foundation first, then move on to the ground as you can while rotating... Up, and a sub-optimal grip on the shoulders and the thoracic spine ) is designed to do force! Squats can actually help relieve these issues to a stiff joint, it will be difficult to elbows... One hell of an unknown disease towards the sky rotate back to the back s forearms you to. Improve thoracic spine ( upper back, since I was not sent - check your email addresses attributed. Shoes http: //www.bcbghervelegersale.com, Hey, what blog theme are you guys using executed heavy set of front! Improving mobility muscles ) kneeling downward rotation stretch teeter-totter ) during this maneuver set of five front squats up keep. Last exercise is an advanced movement that requires you to become a fitter, stronger and athlete. Erectors are responsible for holding the spine in rigid extension during the squat ’,! This action will work many of the mid 300s ( L+R ) Double kettlebell overhead squat heavy, may. Position close to a box or bench to reach with your arms in a bodyweight! To try and fix my grip, and hold at the top 3-5...