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Save Your Back

Posted Nov 13 2012 3:19pm

Got back or neck pain?  Maybe your middle back isn’t as mobile as it should be?

To make a long story short, we’re suppose to be mobile in our middle back (thoracic spine area) and stable in our low back (lumbar spine).  If not, usually the area above or below will suffer.

If you feel like the middle of your back is stiffer than a board and or you’ve got low back or neck pain, give this little exercise a try.  It should free things up and make you feel like you just visited your deep tissue massage therapist.

To perform this *primary thoracic mobility drill, all you need is a foam roller, two tennis balls and a knee high stocking or some tape.

  • Put the tennis balls in the sock and twist and pull over several times to join the balls together in a peanut shape or just tape them together.
  • Then go to work doing a series of crunches beginning with the balls at the thoracolumbar junction.
  • The ball peanut sits under the erectors and effectively provides an anterior-posterior mobilization of the vertebrae with every little mini-crunch.
  • Your head should return to the floor after every crunch and the hands come forward at a forty-five-degree angle.
  • Do about five reps at each level and then slide down about a half-roll of the ball, working from the thoracolumbar junction up to the beginning of the cervical spine.
  • Stay out of the cervical and lumbar areas; these are not areas that need mobility work.

* Boyle, Michael (2011-12-05). Advances in Functional Training (Kindle Locations 956-962). On Target Publications. Kindle Edition.

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