Today we will discuss one of the exercises we often use with clients who are having trouble performing a good hip hinge because of a problem with Thoracic mobility. First, if there is any pain involved in the movements we automatically refer to a healthcare practitioner. If not, to help address thoracic mobility we often use the Bench T-Spine Mobilization exercise. This exercise requires the use of the hip hinge in a position that is usually easier for a client to perform. It is performed in a kneeling position and supported in the upper body by the bench. In addition to helping the flexibility and stability of the thoracic spine, this exercise also helps with the shoulders and hips. Some clients who cannot get the dowel rod to touch all 3 points when they are upright (refer to Hip Hinge Part 2: How We Diagnose An Issue) are able to after the Bench T-Spine Mobilization exercise.
When performing the Bench T-Spine Mobilization exercise:
- Elbows a little in front of the head.
- Elbows about shoulder width
- Hands a little wider than the shoulders
- Keep the shoulders away from the ears
- Your spine should hold normal curves as when you perform a hip hinge.
- Take a deep belly breath and hold
- Push back on your hips keeping your spine in the same position.
- Toward the end pull your hands over the head.
- Hold the bottom position as you exhale.
- Perform 7-10 reps
You should not feel any tightness in the lower back, or in the front/top of the shoulders. Clients often notice a stretch through the lats (below the shoulders on the back side), a loosening of the middle of thoracic spine (middle of the back), and hips.
You can view this exercise being performed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5i7rnMvPOI