The Thoracic Spine consists of the 12 vertebrae located in your upper and middle back, originating at the end of the cervical spine and extending about 5 inches beyond the shoulder blade to the top of the lumbar spine.
Your ribs are attached on either side to each thoracic vertebra and those attached to the T1 through T10 are also anchored in the front at the sternum.
Because this section of your spine is designed to protect and house your heart and lungs, it is fairly rigid and has limit mobility. What movement it does have is used for rotation. However, most people do not have very good mobility in this area, and this lack of rotational capacity is usually compensated for by the lumbar region.
Since your thoracic spine should have about five times the rotational capacity of your lumbar spine, this is problematic. Strengthening and mobilizing this area is imperative to protect your lower back while improving performance.
Kettlebell Passive Rotation
- Lie faceup and hold a light medicine ball between your knees. Lift your knees over your hips, legs bent 90 degrees. Hold a kettlebell in one hand over your shoulder and extend your other arm straight out to the side, palm down. Press both shoulders into the floor and keep your raised arm straight as U slowly lower your knees away from the loaded arm toward the floor. Gently touch them to the ground, then return to the start.