If you do a lot of overhead pressing, snatches, squatting, and exercises that require really good thoracic extension, this post is for you.
The thoracic region of your spine is the mid region of the spine. For many people, there is a rounding of this region, otherwise known as kyphosis of the thoracic spine. In order to retain good form and boost your overhead pressing, snatching, and squatting performance, it is important to create and increase extension of the thoracic spine and correct any flexion or rounding that might be going on.
What do you gotta do to create better thoracic extension?
Yoga supports thoracic extension and allows you to do more overhead pressing, snatching, and squatting in your workouts at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. One pose, in particular, is highly effective in lengthening the thoracic spine. That pose is called Downward Facing Dog.
Downward Facing Dog stretches the muscles below your pelvis. It stretches the backs of the legs, which if tight, can create a posterior pelvic tilt. A posterior pelvic tilt can create flexion (rounding) of the entire spine. Go ahead and try it. Tuck your butt or tailbone and you’ll feel your entire spine flex or round. This is not good. You want to ensure and promote the natural curvature of the spine in all of your actions, especially when you are working out at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym.
Let’s try out this pose. Come to all fours, creating a tabletop position. Press the palms firmly into the ground. Wrists will be directly under the shoulders. Knees will be directly under the hips. Palms are shoulders distance apart. Knees are hips distance apart. Now, raise your trunk from the floor sending your hips to the sky. Press the heels down. The feet should be parallel to each other with the toes pointing toward your head. Roll the shoulders onto the back to create space between the ears and shoulders. Extend the arms strong. Let the heart melt toward the earth. Relax the head and neck. Notice how the positioning of the arms is exactly the form you want to have when doing an overhead press or snatch.
You can also practice Downward Facing Dog with the assistance of a wall. Put your hands on the wall (like you’re getting arrested). Then, drop your body down through your arms. Slowly start to reach your arms up higher, all the while pushing your chest down through your arms. You’ll feel a sweet release in your thoracic spine.
Practice this pose pre-workout or post-workout when you are at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. Hold it for 10 long, deep breaths. It is an awesome way to correct that rounding of the spine, open your shoulders, and expand your chest. Boost your overhead strength and get down with some Downward Facing Dog.
Photo Credit: Downward Facing Dog via yogaxtc.com