One of my favorite exercises for creating dis-association of the thoracic spine is the Hip Matrix w/ Rotation. This movement came to us several years ago from one of our former interns Jeremy Fraden and we have used it ever since. Dis-association can create high levels of muscle activation, and motor control within a joint or segment of the body. In this instance an athlete creates rotation without the aid of the hips, gravity, or an object. Many times, when we do thoracic spine mobility, we do so lying on our side on the floor, or up against a wall. We use the wall or floor as an anchor to create rotation. Without an anchor point in the hip matrix, the thoracic rotators must do all the work through activation. The synergy of the movement is taken away as the hips move in an opposite direction of the shoulders forcing increased control, and muscle activation.
- Keep the pelvis in neutral alignment or even slight posterior tilt to effectively mobilize the hip flexors. Athletes always want to arch the lumbar spine by way of anterior pelvic tilt when stretching the hip.Pull the ribs down tight to maintain spinal alignment and eliminate any anterior pelvic tilt. You must maintain pelvic control.
- Only rotate as far as your shoulders will take you.
- Use breathing cycles to more effectively mobilze the thoracic spine.
- Big air forces stabilization. Exhaling creates mobilization.
- Exhale through the end of each rep to create more rotation.
- Forward Lunge w/ 3 Way Upper (Forward, Right, Left)
- Angled Lunge w/ 3
- Lateral Lunge w/3
- Open Lunge w/ 3
Switch Legs and repeat