How’s your T-Spine feeling?
Yep, you heard that right. Well, technically, you read that.
Don’t worry, stay with me. I’m going to tell you what your T-Spine is, why it’s important to give it some TLC, and how to do just that.
T-Spine is short for “thoracic spine”. The thoracic spine is the longest region of the spine, and by some measures it is also the most complex. Connecting with the cervical spine above and the lumbar spine below, the thoracic spine runs from the base of the neck down to the abdomen. It is the only spinal region attached to the rib cage. It supports the neck above, the rib cage, soft tissues, flexible joints, blood vessels, and nerves. SO. It would probably behoove you to keep it healthy and happy.
But since you probably didn’t know exactly what it was, chances are you don’t know how to take care of it either.
Fear not! We are here with 3 of our favorite exercises to help keep that t-spine healthy and happy.
This one has been seen in yoga classes around the world for as long as we can remember. Cat-Cow is a flow between two poses that warms the body and brings flexibility to the spine. It stretches the back torso and neck, and softly stimulates and strengthens the abdominal organs. It also open the chest, encouraging the breath to become slow and deep. While you don’t HAVE to ‘Moo’ during the exercise, we wouldn’t be mad if you did.
The pose should look like a cat stretching its back. Release the crown of your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest. Inhale, coming back into Cow Pose, and then exhale as you return to Cat Pose. Repeat 5-20 times.
2.Prone Press Ups
To start, this one focuses more on the lumbar spine, but should be added regularly to promote total spine health. This is one that is near and dear to my own heart. After hurting my back 2 years ago, I did these 2-3x a day for months. It’s great for helping to stretch out your lower back and relieve lower back pain.
While lying on your stomach, place your hands under your shoulders as if you are going to do a push-up. While keeping your hips on the floor, lift your upper body off the floor, making sure to get to end-range. Take it slowly and make sure to breathe throughout the exercise. Repeat 10 times.
This. This is the king. Or the queen. However you want to phrase it, we view this as one of the ultimate mobilizers for a happy back.
Increased and properly functioning thoracic mobility results in better movement, during both activities of daily living and during athletic pursuits. This results in efficient movement, better motor control and less energy expenditure. The goal with this exercise in particular is to open up the interconnected musculature between the hips and shoulders.
Assume a runner’s lunge position, with the right leg behind and the left ankle under the knee. Place both hands on the inside of the front foot. (To make the exercise easier, place the right knee on the ground). Take the left hand off of the floor and reach the hand underneath the right arm and follow by reaching the left arm overhead and rotate the torso toward the left inner thigh. All the while, keeping your eyes on your left hand. Repeat 10 times in the left and then switch to so 10 repetitions on the right side.
Trying incorporating these 3 exercises into your routine 3 times a week at any point during your day and move better.
Whether you are just starting your fitness journey or a seasoned pro looking for something new, we’d love to meet you! And guess what? Your first class is on us. Click HERE to schedule your FREE Jumpstart Class and let us show you what makes Roux Fitness different!