Updated: Nov 15, 2019
• Poor thoracic mobility is becoming more prevalent as society is spending more and more time sitting. Poor thoracic mobility can impact both the low back and the shoulders. If the thoracic spine has poor mobility, the low back may compensate and become hypermobile (excessive movement). This can lead to low back pain as well as other issues. With regards to the shoulder, poor thoracic mobility will impact scapulo-thoracic rhythm, or in other words, restrict an individual’s ability to reach overhead as the scapula is unable to move freely. This can put one at greater risk for shoulder impingement and rotator cuff injuries.
• This is important to consider, especially for athletes that participate in overhead activities such as baseball and basketball. For a basketball player, poor thoracic mobility can lead to an altered and inefficient jump shot and also impact their ability to dunk as their ability to reach overhead is impaired. For a baseball player, limited thoracic mobility places the rotator cuff muscles at a disadvantage and therefore, a greater risk for injury as well. Here are a few of the most effective exercises to improve thoracic mobility. Special thanks to @theprehabguys for the videos.
About the Author:
Dr. Ben Bagge, PT, DPT, CSCS is a Physical Therapist, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, and USA Weightlifting Coach and owner of Pro+Kinetix. Ben specializes in helping active individuals in Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, and San Francisco get back to exercising and working out pain free without having to take time off or relying on injections/pain medication.