Upper and Mid Back Exercises

Central Square Health and Wellness

Kristine Jelstrup, LMT, CBK

Thoracic Spine Exercises

Correct lateral breathing and use of the diaphragm is crucial to thoracic spine mobility.

All the supporting musculature of the spine is organized neuromuscularly around the diaphragm.

• Breathing
 Breath laterally (sideways) into your ribs.
 Don’t breath into your belly or raise your shoulders.
 At first practice this a few times a day, ultimately this is the way you should always be breathing!

• Thoracic Spine Release
Place knuckles on the temples, thumbs down, and bring the elbows together and apart.
Do two sets of 10 elbow squeezes.

• Thoracic Twist
Sit on a bench/chair – hands behind head (not locked), elbows out.
Place something between the knees. This releases your lower back muscles.
Arch the back and twist down and to the side of your knees.
Chest and head up. LOOKING UP AT THE CEILING! This insures the "Twist".
Repeat 10 times on each side.

• Cat Stretch
Hands and knees on the floor – hands together slightly cupped fingers pointed forward.
Breath up into the flat of the spine, arch the back, drop the head.
Exhale, drop the back, lift the head.
Repeat 8 times.

• Pectoral stretch
Stand facing a wall, put your hand on the wall and move so that you are perpendicular to the wall making sure you feel the stretch in the pectoral muscle. Repeat on the other side.

• Trapezius stretch
Stand with your back to a wall. Put one hand in the opposite side back pocket.
Lean over sideways on the side of that pocket with the other ram hanging free and the neck falling sideways too.
Feel the stretch in the trapezius – side of neck and top of shoulder

Do some of these exercises everyday during work to release all the stresses you are placing on your spine during the day.

Walk at least a mile after work to clear out the stress of the day. Walk tall, shoulder blades down and together, arms relaxed by the side and swinging freely, thumbs forward. (Make sure your arms are swinging by your sides NOT crossing in front of you!)

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