3 Mobility Drills for “Remember Your Thoracic September”
Written by Michele Vieux & Kim McLaughlin

Posture plays an important role in your overall health. Good posture can prevent back, knee, neck and hip pain; it can also prevent muscle strains, headaches, and impingements. When you align your spine correctly, your diaphragm is able to expand fully, enabling you to breathe easier and deeper, allowing more oxygen to be inhaled. Individuals with great posture often look taller, slimmer and more confident.

But with all of these positives, how often do you pay attention to your posture?

Good posture vs Bad posture

Your spine has three curves: lumbar, thoracic, and cervical. All three of these curves should be present when you are sitting or standing in a resting position. Because people spend the majority of their days in office chairs or looking down at their phones, their natural curves may not be so natural anymore.

Some have been hanging out in poor posture positions for so long that there is tightness in areas that there shouldn’t be while other muscles have stretched and are weaker than they should be. This puts unnatural stress on areas of the spine that can manifest as neck, back, knee and hip pain.

Proper Posture Drill

In order to find proper posture, line your back against a wall. Place your feet a few inches out and ensure that your head, shoulder blades, and butt are touching. Your hand should be able to just barely slide behind the small of your back. Take a couple of seconds to get comfortable with how this position feels and take note where your shoulders are – not pulled excessively far back – and where your head is in relation to your spine.

Once you pull your body away from the wall you should be able to draw an imaginary line from your ears to your shoulders to your hips. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed across your entire foot and not just in your heels. Pull your belly button in toward your spine. This is a natural posture position.

For some of you, proper posture might feel a bit odd. Holding this position for any length of time can seem tiring instead of relaxing. You may be working muscles that aren’t used to working. This is a good thing!  Even though it might be slightly uncomfortable in the beginning, this position is actually where the least strain is placed on your muscles, ligaments, and joints in movement or weight-bearing activities.

Thoracic Mobility Month

Because of its important role in your posture and in honor of this month’s National Fitness Holiday – Remember Your Thoracic September – spend some extra time these last few days of the month on your thoracic spine.

There are many ways to remember your thoracic and show it the love it deserves. Besides just being aware of positioning and posture, you can add a few simple posture reinforcing drills into your daily routine to see amazingly fast benefits in just a few weeks time.

Sitting, watching TV, typing and other computer work, driving, riding a road bike, texting and playing video games – if you spend a lot of time in any or all of these activities, you likely have a tight thoracic region and therefore, less-than-ideal posture, trouble getting into an overhead position, neck and shoulder pain and/or low back pain.

Take five minutes of your day to add in the drills from the video above – or your other favorite – thoracic mobility drills into your routine and note any differences you feel in both your workouts and daily life at the end of the month.

Also Check Out…

4 Reasons You Struggle With Toes To Bar

Your Thoracic Spine Makes Pull-Ups Divine

5 Posture Realignment Drills – No Equipment Necessary

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