Thoracic Spine Flexion & Extension Isometric Holds
Video by Nick Hawkes

Have you identified your thoracic spine as a ‘problem area’ in your mobility or mechanics? Maybe you notice it during Yoga class when you try to do Half Moon. Or when you THINK you’re overhead with that thruster but your judge/coach keeps no-repping you anyway.

Don’t be ashamed – you are not alone. Millions of people worldwide suffer from under mobile, stiff and even stuck thoracic spines. Sadly, with all the sitting and slouching over technology we do these days, it seems like an inevitable fate for most of us.

But never fear! Invictus Master Coach, Nick “Mobility God” Hawkes has your back and is here to help you rewrite your future. You are only as healthy as your spine is so a lot of effort should be put into making sure it is properly functioning. We know that spinal segmentation plays a huge role in whether or not yours is healthy.

The spinal segmentation video takes you through a version of Cat-Cow that will allow you to not only practice spinal segmentation (you do get better with practice), but also use it as a diagnostic tool to see where you might either be jammed up or have some motor control issues in your spine. It’s also a great way to create awareness about where you are making up for the lack of segmentation in one area.

Now that you’ve identified your thoracic spine as a ‘problem area’ and have used Coach Nick’s spinal segmentation drill to create some space in between those vertebrae, it’s time to really set in your new mobility and teach your body to not only hit this newfound range of motion, but also maintain strength and control in it.

To do that, follow along with the video on thoracic spine extension and flexion (above) and work on those isometric holds! All you need is a spot on the floor, a PVC pipe and enough body awareness to be able to find a solid hollow position and also be able to feel which part of your spine you are using. If you struggle to identify which individual part is moving, Coach Nick’s Controlled Articular Rotations video is a great tool to use to start building that awareness (and also functional range mobility).

Besides receiving fewer ‘no-reps’ for missing that overhead position, you should FEEL the difference your improved mobility and function makes – less effort being used to obtain overhead (and other optimal positions) and less referral pain in the lower back, shoulders and neck. You might even hit a new PR with all those bones and muscles finally functioning properly!

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