Top Five Thoracic Mobility Drills to Improve Your Overhead Pressing

Thoracic mobility is one of the most important mobility drills for the fitness athlete. The thoracic spine plays a huge role in keeping the shoulders and the lumbar spine working properly, and pain free. To test thoracic mobility, I look at rotation each direction. This lets me know if there is a unilateral restriction. Limited rotation also means there will be decreased extension in the thoracic spine.

Be sure to check out BulletProof Mobility if you are ready to take your mobility and performance to the next level.

  1. Sidelying Rotations

Sidelying rotations make a great warm up for anyone with a unilateral restriction and can be done without any equipment.

2. Quadruped Rotations

Quadruped rotations have a distinct advantage because with the use of therabands or resistance bands, I can actually load thoracic movement lightly. While I don’t always do this, I find loading the movement helps create a little stability in the spine and will help athletes “lock-in” any mobility gains they get a little better.

Quadruped t

  1. Bench Thoracic Spine Extensions

These make a great exercise to incorporate a little mobility into the long head of the triceps as well as the shoulders and thoracic spine. A partner can provide some overpressure by pushing between the shoulder blades for further push into mobility restrictions.

Bench Thoracic Extensions

  1. Foam Roll With Weight

The foam roll holding a weight allows an athlete to provide some self-overpressure while mobilizing the thoracic spine and shoulders. Make sure the abdominals stay contracted to prevent lumbar hyperextension as this will decrease this stretch’s usefulness. To work on this, cue the athlete to keep their rib cage down.

  1. Barbell Opener

The Barbell Opener is my absolute favorite drill for improving overhead mobility by mobilizing the thoracic spine and the shoulders simultaneously. I have my hand width equal to whatever exercise I’m doing that day (wide for snatches, narrow for pressing). The partner overpressure makes this an amazing mobility drill.

If you are ready to crush your mobility restrictions, improve your performance, and get your body ready to consistently set PRs then be sure to check out BulletProof Mobility!

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  One thought on “Top Five Thoracic Mobility Drills to Improve Your Overhead Pressing

  1. David Velez
    October 16, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Very interesting information and delivery. I find your blog very interesting. Impressive work with the Crossfit Journal! I have a question. Most of your mobility exercises are active exercises. What are your thoughts on forced mobility through static stretching ( ie the barbell opener) considering the prospect that limited mobility is often a neuromuscular protective mechanical cue of instability from elsewhere itb?

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