Due to the current situation many of us find ourselves in, a large number of us are working from home on make-shift desks. This is leading to an increase in postural related issues such as, rounding of the shoulders, excessive kyphosis within your thoracic spine (mid-back) and weakening of key core muscles. Furthermore, the fact that we are at home means that we tend to be less mobile and spend longer in a static seated position, which can result in reduced thoracic mobility and pain through the spine and shoulder region.
To combat this, I have provided you with 3 daily exercises, please see below. Make sure you complete 10 repetitions for each exercise and repeat 3 times, also make sure you pause for 3 seconds at the end of each movement. Enjoy and let us know how you get on!
- Scapular protraction and retraction
For your starting position, get into a 4-point kneeling stance on your knees and with a relatively flat back. The key for this movement is to think about maintaining locked out elbows (straight arms) throughout the exercise. Instead of the movement coming from your mid-back (such as the cat/ cow exercise) focus on dropping your chest towards the ground and forcing your upper back towards the sky, whilst keeping your hips steady. Shoulder flexion overhead
- Shoulder flexion overhead
Whilst laying on the ground with your arms overhead, focus on driving your forehead into the ground, as shown in the video. Engage your glutes to prevent any arching in your lower back and false range within your shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades back at the top of the movement and hold that position for 3 seconds before relaxing them back down.
- T-spine rotation
Whilst in another 4-point kneeling starting position, place one hand on your head. Follow your elbow with your eyes as it moves downwards towards the ground. Similarly, to the first exercise, keep your hips as steady as possible.
- T-spine extension
Place a foam roller underneath the bottom of your shoulder blades and focus on keeping your lower back in contact with the ground. Cross your arms across your chest and drop your shoulders back towards the floor. Hold the end position for three seconds before returning to the start.
I hope this blog will help you improve your thoracic mobility and stay injury free for longer, making your day to day life more painless.
Check out last weeks blog here: Leg strengthening for injury prevention
Rhys Burton, Sports Therapist