Because it's tough to bag peaks with a sore back
Your thoracic spine (or "T-spine") is the middle segment of your back. Think of the area between your shoulder blades—this is where your thoracic spine lives. Proper extension mobility makes your shoulders work the way they should (and makes a heavy backpacking load a little less painful). As we spend more and more time sitting at the computer, staring at our cell phones, and having generally lame posture, our thoracic spines become stiffer and stiffer. This stiffness can alter mechanics at the shoulder, over stress your neck and even limit optimal breathing during exercise. If sitting up straight is a struggle for you, there is most likely some T-spine mobility work to be done.
In addition to regaining your thoracic spine mobility, we like to add mobility work to the lat muscle as well. Commonly tight in the same folks that have stiff T-spine mobility, we want to ensure proper length of this muscle. With a little bit of training, it's not hard to get this mobility back.
Check out our favorite mobilization exercises in these four videos.
Shoulder Flexion, T-Spine Extension, Lat Stretch
Thoracic Spine Rotation
Lax Ball T-Spine Extension
Lat Smash with Bar
This article originally appeared on Revo PT & Sports Performance.