One of the fundamentals of both movement and performance is the ability to rotate effectively from the trunk. For officers and military it is absolutely necessary for the safety of the job; but wearing protective gear naturally restricts both thoracic movement and optimal breath mechanics. So when you’re off duty ensure to reset natural alignment.
One of the greatest area’s of dysfunction we see in our officers is the reduction in rotational range in the thoracic spine. This can not only impede breathing mechanics and rotational patterning, but can also increase the natural cycle of anxiety in the health of our tissue and reduce ones ability to react swiftly.
The T-Spine Rotation exercise is a primitive drill; yet a highly effective one.
This series focuses on three self managed exercises designed to improve thoracic mobility, scapular gliding and opening of the breath. These can be used together as a sequence or independently for movement preparation and decompression post workout.
For all three progressions there are 3 distinct focuses:
(1) ensure there is downward activation of the knee; the knee should drive down into the foam roller to ensure lumbar lock and limit extension.
(2) ensure there is downward activation of the shoulder in contact with the floor. This ensure stabilization of the thorax.
(3) as you open your wing, ensure your head and eyes move to the direction of the arm. Your head is an extension of your spine.
Progression 1: Rib Pulls
Cues: Ensure top hand is placed at the side of the opposite ribcage. Begin rotating the top shoulder toward the floor and gently draw the rib cage along with the shoulder.
Progression 2: Bow & Arrow
Cues: On an inhale draw the top scapula away from the spine, and on your exhale begin rotating the top shoulder towards the floor and draw the arm across the body like drawing the bow. Think moving with the ribcage and scapula, then the arm to open the thorax.
Progression 3: T-spine Y rotations
Cues: Inhale with the hands one on top of the other. As you open your wing, keep the arm straight rotating the top shoulder towards the floor in a “T” position, when you have achieved this, sweep the arm up to a “Y” position to include more of a side body stretch.
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