Going off of this weeks theme of improving shoulder overhead mobility. Did you know the last bit of shoulder elevation is attributed via thoracic spine extension? The average thoracic spine flexion is 35 degrees while extension is 25 degrees. With the hunched over position that most of us remain in throughout the day, we often lack the extension needed to reach overhead. When this area is stiff we often look to compensate with excessive motion either up (cervical spine) or down (lumbar spine) the kinetic chain which can lead to a cocktail of impairments.
Demonstrated here is a way to improve thoracic extension use a foam roller by @Mobloko , (use claim code “PREHAB10” for 10 dollars off).
-I lay down finding an area of the thoracic spine that I feel is stiff or Hypomobile. Then I go to end range trunk extension (hinging at the segments on the foam roller), this foam roller is essentially providing a Posterior to Anterior glide of the segments it is on. This posterior to anterior is essentially mimicking how the vertebrates move when going from flexion to relative extension.
-Make sure to keep your butt on the floor! This will help prevent you from hinging at the hips. Also avoid hinging at the lumbar spine.
-I continue to bring up the foam roller on my back and oscillate at end ranges of motion of thoracic extension.
-Perform this for 5 minutes, then reassess your thoracic extension or shoulder elveation range of motion to look for improvements. Tag someone with a stiff back that can benefit from this!