This Saturday at Mobility and Corrective Exercise we'll be working on the Thoracic Spine.
I believe CrossFit and all athletes in general should include thoracic spine mobility as part of their re-balancing program. The effect of sitting all day at a desk, combined with a preferred movement experience like biking, or running (which keeps you in prolonged torso and hip flexion) means that your body is shortened on the front side and long on the back side.
The reality is, your "hunched" over body position doesn't just magically disappear as soon as you get into the gym and start working out. The forward head and resulting rounded shoulders affect the rib cage and core stabilization, and most athletes with this postural presentation have a difficult/limited ability to raise the arms overhead without compensating movements somewhere else in the the kinetic chain.
The Thoracic Spine (think from the base of the neck to an inch or so below the shoulder blades) should have a small outward facing curve. The problem with sitting all day is that this curve increases from daily postural habits combined with poor movement mechanics. Shoulder blades no longer sit in their correct spots, glide properly through shoulder/torso movements, and the region loses the ability to move with ease. The result? Your body has to get the movement from somewhere else (usually the low back and/or shoulders and neck).
If you're unable to press weight overhead without the head poking forward, and that huge arch in the low back, this class is for you! You must take the time to unravel and re position the spinal curves and movements associated with them back in order to move and feel your best.
Learning how to effectively mobilize, stretch and correct the thoracic spine has multiple benefits. When you actively work to achieve and maintain thoracic spine position and mobility, you'll notice that issues like neck, shoulder and low back pain diminish, and you'll be better positioned to activate and receive loads in overhead positions.
So, we're going to do something about it this weekend. Join me for Mobility and Corrective Exercise.
This Saturday we'll be using the following equipment:
- double lacrosse ball taped together (like a peanut)
- single lacrosse ball
- yoga block
- yoga mat
If you own any of those pieces of equipment, please bring them along to class. I will have the set of 3 lacrosse balls available for purchase ($10 for all), and yoga straps ($5).
Remember, addressing your muscle and joint balance and function is important for all human beings, not just CrossFit or recreational athletes. The activities you do the most (sitting, working at a computer with your head forward and using a mouse or texting) creates your day-to day posture habits and function. Repetitive stress of these daily postures DEMANDS that muscle and joint imbalances be corrected BEFORE you take that posture into repetitive strength building movements that require excellent body position and human kinematics.
Come and undo the damage from faulty form/bad technique and poor/incorrect posture and learn how to do some basic maintenance and repair work on your beautiful self. I hope you can make it!
This class is open to both CrossFit 5885 members and the public.
To attend, simply purchase a 10 class punch pass (come on in early, and we can help you before class starts). Punch passes include CrossFit WODs, CrossFit Swimming, Yoga for Athletes AND the Mobility and Corrective Exercise class.
Questions? Please contact Deb. Hope to see you there!
Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Head Photo Credit: Melissa Thome Photography
Author: Deb Preachuk is a Certified Foundation Training & STOTT Pilates Instructor, Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, and the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN.
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