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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957

    Thoracic Spine inflexibility

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    My t-spine is pretty inflexible. I've been working on it, and my trainer gave me some correctives that I've been careful about doing. One side is greatly improved, the other side needs more work. I've only recently learned that our mobility actually comes from the t-spine, it isn't supposed to come from our lumbar spine!

    Outside of the correctives I've been foam rolling it, and doing pretty much everything that I can think of/find information on that doesn't feel like it will make my spine come out of my mouth. I've read that taping 2 lacrosse balls together really helps to dig into the gnarly bits, and I tried that this morning at my gym before group training. I certainly found a nasty little area just south of where I feel most of the tightness on the left side of my t-spine and I think I need to have a set for home use.

    If you have the same issue and have found exercises/stretches that have worked for you please post them. I'm sure it is from too many sedentary years hunched in front of the computer. I think I need to add at least a couple of these to my post-ride stretches as well though my riding position isn't as aggressive as most.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    http://www.themaroller.com/

    Back in the day everyone who shopped at natural food stores got one of these sooner or later. Basically the same thing as the tennis/laX balls, but a lot easier to control (and a lot harder when you really need to dig in, but not too hard if you control the amount of weight you put on it).

    The other thing my PT started me on is segmental rotation. Sit crosswise in a straight chair and put your hands one on each side of the chair back, but don't use them to pull. Keep your hips planted and rotate your upper body toward the chair back, first from the low back, then the mid back, then the upper back. Do it three times, then switch sides and do the other side.

    It takes practice before you can feel and gain control over which vertebrae are rotating, but this is a great exercise.



    Then there's good ol' cat/cow. You can "roll" the apex of the arch to target different areas of the spine.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 10-04-2012 at 11:24 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    I've done some of that rotational work on the ground with the foam roller. Roll out the full t-spine a couple of times, then maneuver the roller to the bottom of the t-spine. Raise the arms over the head and press the hands together. Roll to one side - just a little (like from 12:00 to 1:00 on the clock) then do the same on the other side. Shift the roller up to the next vertebrae and do it again. It isn't full rotation, but it does help a bit to target small areas to help loosen them up.

    I will try the exercise you describe, though I already know I can't do it. However, "can't" never did, so I will try it. Thankfully I don't have any problems with my lumbar spine - which is a bit of a surprise considering how inflexible my t-spine is - the lumbar spine is supposed to be stable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    I already know I can't do it. However, "can't" never did, so I will try it.
    I doubt if most people can do it the first few times they try. I sure couldn't. You develop the awareness and muscle control at the same time you're developing the flexibility.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    yoga and Pilates would probably be helpful, too, but I know you are already up to your ears in fitness classes. I hope you see improvement soon.

    "Can't Never Did," isn't that from Aggie Ama?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    yoga and Pilates would probably be helpful, too, but I know you are already up to your ears in fitness classes. I hope you see improvement soon.

    "Can't Never Did," isn't that from Aggie Ama?
    Perhaps, but it is also from my grandmother Yes, I am getting enough fitness classes already The correctives my group trainer has given me is certainly working, I just can't reverse the results of a lifetime of bad posture quickly...
    Last edited by Catrin; 10-04-2012 at 02:52 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    Wow! Tony did a test, and retest of my left arm position for the overhead squat/press position after having me do a couple of serious stretches with the rubber band thingie (technical term). He took pictures of the test/retest and the difference was profound! Still needs work, but we are on the right track. No pain involved at all in the process which is also a good thing. Still doing t-spine mobility work but this made more of a difference in 2 minutes than anything else has in the last 4 months!

 

 

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