Every fitness enthusiast requires an arsenal of stretches and mobilisation exercises that should be implemented pre exercise, this ultimately help’s to engage in correct technique and prevent over compensation and injury from occurring.
In the series of posts to follow you will discover my key stretches and mobilization exercises, as well as detailed steps of how to and why I have selected them to perfect my personal squat.
Preparing to squat- Part 1
Thoracic mobilization on hard roller
Why this is important to me: Due to my slightly tight thoracic spine from my work environment (observing clients from a standing position looking down and writing into their personal programs). I find that thoracic stretches are of vital importance for my upper torso to both retract my scapulae and engage my core.
How is the exercise or stretch performed?
- Position 1: lower thoracic at the base of the S- curve position the foam roller, place chin to chest and hands rested on the back of your head. Begin by stretching the thoracic spines without lifting your chin off your chest, then draw in using your core and flexor chain (flexor chain- muscles from abdominals to neck).
- Position 2: At the Mid thoracic spine position the foam roller, place chin to chest and hands rested on the back of your head. Repeat thoracic stretch as per position (1).
- Position 3: At the upper thoracic rest your hard roller on the upper Trapezius not the vertebrae of the neck. Repeat stretches as per Position (1)
Perform Position (1-2-3) with 6 slow repetitions. With each repetition focus on drawing in your core when flexing, then exhale (breathe out) when hyper extending the spine to its maximum stretch without allowing the chin to come of the chest.
Here is a detailed you tube clip on thoracic mobilisation.