Workout: To do at home, in the gym or on the go

Sports By Ricky Ali Personal Trainer Shula’s Athletic Club Thursday, February 4, 2021

     The Upper Spinal Rotation is a movement that may aid mobility for your thoracic spine (where your ribs are attached) and correct your posture.

    It’s great for folks who spend hours on long Zoom calls or those who study while hunched over computers.

     It may also benefit anyone performing any repetitive motion that involves bending or moving, or those who do one-way movements such as grocery store checkout clerks.

The movement encourages, restores and/or maintains great spinal mobility.

1.  Begin by kneeling on a mat, rest your feet on your toes and lean forward, making sure your back and shoulders are not rounded. Place one hand on the back of your neck with the bent elbow parallel to the floor, as shown in the photo below.


2. Inhale, flex your trunk and bring the bent elbow toward the opposite knee (as shown below). Folks with limited mobility may not be able to reach this position; go as far as you feel comfortable and without pain.

3. Hold this position up to 2 seconds, then exhale slowly as you open your upper body and point your elbow toward the ceiling. Hold the finish position for another inhale/exhale.

     Your breathing is extremely important for this exercise as this opens up and creates length through the diaphragm. Complete six slow repetitions of the three positions for each side. 

     When your hand is placed on the back of your neck, avoid any pressure as it a light placement. Don’t move your hips side-to-side. The movement occurs at the thoracic spine. Avoid rounding your shoulders or lower back.


Disclaimer: Do not begin any physical activity described in this column without prior approval from your health care professional.


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