We spend an ASTONISHINGLY large portion of our lives in a crappy, hunched over, biomechanically compromised position at both work and home. Besides the health standpoint, just think about your first impression when you see someone walking around/working with hunched over shoulders and head down to their feet. What pops to your mind? Insecure, scared, nervous, and closed off. You would never see Teddy Roosevelt or Lee Van Cleef (look him up for goodness sake) walk around like this so step up your game and stand like a winner!
Never mind the effects this has on your hip flexors, pelvis, low back, shoulders, and neck ( NEGATIVELY EFFECTS THESE AS WELL), I want to talk about the thoracic spine or mid and upper back. The thoracic spine (T/S) becomes so fixated when you sit in poor posture that it goes on to create a PHYSICAL misalignment of the vertebrae, effecting nerve flow from the spine, and creates short, stiff, and chronically tight muscles.
A lot of times this will present as a ‘tight’ upper back, very sore and aching muscles (rhomboids, traps, lats, etc.), and can contribute to MANY of the shoulder injuries we see in the office. People need to realize the extent that a lack of mobility in your T/S can create and start TODAY to alleviate these symptoms. The most beneficial things to start doing is correct your posture so that the spine is in a neutral (tall) position with shoulder blades pulled back and down and visit your chiropractor so he/she can adjust the vertebral segments back into correct position. You CANNOT expect the problem to be fixed in one day with correct posture and a great adjustment. These tissues have been trained to work in a compromised structural position and the problem has been there MUCH longer than the pain has existed.
In addition to severely effecting activities of daily life, poor T/S mobility can severely limit your pursuit of excellence in kettlebell and other strength sports. When your thoracic spine cannot properly move into extension it will create tight/weak/ injury prone shoulders that will limit fixation position overhead.
I recommend seeing a chiropractor to get properly adjusted (full spine), and start doing a whole lot of mobility work at home. Your chiropractor should be able to provide correct exercises for you, but be cautious of youtube professors if you are the interweb type. Kelly Starrett’s book ‘Supple Leopard’ is an excellent resource as well. It is very accessible, written in K-Starr’s signature style, and well worth your money.
Foam rolling your T/S before and after training makes a HUGE difference in mobility and helps create a better overhead lockout position. I was not a believer or fan of foam rolling until I saw my personal improvement. I now use the foam roller for at least three minutes before my GS practice (focus is on T/S, lats, and calves).
We post a new mobility/exercise/ chiro video on our chiropractic site, DenverBack.com, once a week and will begin posting them here as well. Here is a simple video on using the foam roller for improving T/S mobility. It is not rocket science folks, just do it!
Last night’s class was great, we had a packed house and had to move the spin bikes to make room for all of the gireviks.
Skill: 5 Point Half Get-up (roll, press, elbow, hand, hips)
Power Circuit 3x – Go SLOW, find 5 RM on last set
- Floor Press 5x/arm
- Bent Row 5x/arm
- Dolphin Plank 10x
10 min AMRAP
- Goblet Squat 10x
- One Arm Swing 10x/arm
- Push-ups 5x
Farmers Walk Finisher (suitcase, racked, OH)
I caught up with all of my personal training over the weekend but will not log it on here, my coach saw my results and my body feels it so I am good. Here is tonight’s session:
Set 1: 20kg LC 2’30” 10,10,6 RPM
Set 2: 16kg LC 5′ 10RPM
Set 3: 16kg LC 5′ 6RPM (5 sec OH hold)
Set 4: 12kg Snatch 8′ 20RPM Switch hands at 4′
Shoulder and calves assist set
Cardio 10 min
**Below is set 10/10 20kg LC 10RPM 1′ from Sunday