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FAQ – ways to improve trunk extension

Things you’ll need: a yoga mat or carpeted floor and a foam roller or firmly packed towel.

I have limited extension through my thoracic spine, limited shoulder flexion and excessive extension through my lumbar spine. Along with a program that ensures good length in my hip flexors and good motor control in my trunk, I have begun to work on my thoracic spine mobility. Through reading and my own experience with thoracic exercises I find that these 5 exercises work the best. Start your morning off right and get your spine moving!

Time: 7-10 minutes

1. Foam role extension : as your exhale extend over the foam roll. Do not hold your breath. Repeat 10x.

2. Unilateral thoracic rotation: keep your legs together and your bum on your heels. Slowly exhale and rotate. Thoracic rotation is an improtant component of unilateral shoulder flexion. Repeat 10x.

3. Reciprocal arm extension. From child’s pose extend one arm up into full flexion with some abduction. Hold for one breath and then return. Repeat 10x on each arm.


4. Bilateral sweat angels: to improve active lateral shoulder rotation. Try to keep your spine in a neutral position against the wall and your feet relatively close (2-3″). Start with your arms at about 90 degrees and then move them over head. Try your best to keep your elbows and wrists in contact with the wall. To make it easier move your feet further away. Breath slowly and repeat 10x.

5. Bilateral isometric arm flexion; thorax over foam roller: Get the foam roller in a comfortable position under your mid thorax (ribcage). Keep your head in neutral. Bring your arms into maximal flexion, slight abduction, and lateral rotation. Contract your serratus anterior and lower traps, you should feel you shoulder blades pull down into the foam roller. Hold for one breath. Repeat 10x.



These are just a few examples of many. Remember if you are in any pain check in with a physio before moving forward.

Yours in health

Dave Carter


By | 2017-08-02T17:32:04+00:00 April 24th, 2013|Health questions answered|0 Comments

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