6 Back Stretches/Exercises You Need To Be Doing.

October 8, 2019

By: Jared Blincow, CSCS, Strength Coach LIFT Chicago

The average person spends eight hours of their day sitting at a desk only to get home and sit on the couch watching tv, surfing the internet, or scrolling through their phone. This daily pattern can wreak havoc on your posture and is a popular culprit for a number of different injuries and might be the source of your chronic pain.

The “rounded shoulders” (shown on the left) look is caused by a reduction in thoracic spine mobility and can affect both the shoulders and the lower back. When we lose mobility in our thoracic spine we have to compensate somewhere else on the body, which typically occurs at the lower back. These compensated movement patterns force joints that aren’t meant to be mobile to be mobile, and that can be a recipe for disaster. Chronic shoulder and neck pain can also be linked to poor thoracic spine mobility.

Poor thoracic spine mobility forces the shoulders to make up for the decrease in range of motion and can force them into precarious and unsafe positions. Pre and post workout mobility/stretching sessions done on a consistent basis can put you back on the road to success, here’s some of the best thoracic spine mobility movements everyone can benefit from:

 

1.     Side Lying Open Books

-Focus on keeping the knee down during this movement while actively pulling yourself open. The ultimate goal is to open up and have both shoulders touching the floor but only go as far as your mobility will allow you. Less mobile individuals might have to set their knee up on a foam roller in order to maintain contact with the ground.

2.     Bench T-Spine Extensions w/ PVC Pipe

-Great stretch for both the thoracic spine and the lats. Slightly flex the lumbar spine for a deeper lat stretch 

3.     Quadruped Rotations

-Make sure you are sitting back on your heels while doing these quadruped rotations. This will lock in the lumbar spine and ensure that you are rotating through your thoracic spine and not the lower back

4.     Bretzel

-Try and relax into this position. Think long, deep breaths (5 seconds in) and a long exhale (10 seconds out) and sink deeper into the stretch after each exhale. 5-10 breaths on each side.

5.     Barbell Opener

-This looks like a passive stretch but think about actively pulling yourself into this movement through the upper back and shoulders for a more effective stretch. Change grips (narrow/wide) for different variations

6.     Foam Roller OH Wall Extensions

-Actively press your arms into the foam roller as you extend your arms upward and finish with your head through your arms. Think about finishing with your biceps right by your ears. 

Questions about anything you read above or what we do at LIFT? Leave a comment below!

What People Are Saying About Lift Chicago

  • I have loved working out at Lift since my first visit and now go twice a week. I particularly like the welcoming friendly atmosphere - everyone is welcome regardless... read more

    thumb Mary O'Broin

    Great workout for busy professionals. Simply the best !

    thumb Chris Santiago

    Highly recommended. If you want a personalized, thorough, concise workout this is it. Each personal trainer is excellent for listening to your fitness goals, celebrates your achievements and accommodates any... read more

    thumb Kristine Kinder
  • WOW!!! I cannot say enough great things about Lift Chicago! Truly a fantastic experience. First off, with all things COVID, I felt very safe and comfortable using the equipment. Every... read more

    thumb Alexis Jawny

    Love LIFT!!! What a kind, professional and motivational group of people! Thanks for making me feel so comfortable as I begin my strength training journey.

    thumb Allie Hurwich

    It’s always been difficult to get into a steady routine and stay motivated, until I started training at LIFT seven months ago with Coach Isaac. Not only do I... read more

    thumb Gabriel Garcia
  • I have trained with the guys at Lift for a long time and consider my sessions to be some of my best long-term investments. My workouts there are sustainable, enjoyable... read more

    thumb Brigid Sweeney

    Positive: Communication ,  Professionalism ,  Quality

    thumb The Wheelands

    One of the best workouts in the city. Always challenging and thoughtful workouts. Being able to see myself grow stronger and stronger week after week is all thanks to this... read more

    thumb Maddie Pass
  • These deserve more stars. Ive been rocking with these guys for years. Always fun and professional. They have help me achieve my body goals by coming 3 days a... read more

    thumb Domique Bland

    I've been going to LIFT for over a year and a half and I cannot say enough positive things about this gym. The minute you walk in, you are personally... read more

    thumb Stephanie Silverstein

    Doing the group workouts has been the exact motivation I needed. The small group let's the trainer give me personal adjustments and everyone else pushes me to get it done!... read more

    thumb Maya Gorlicki
  • I’ve been training at Lift since it opened (and with Josh elsewhere for a few years prior). As a middle aged endurance athlete, I used to think I should strength... read more

    thumb Dana Rothschild

    This best place to work out in Chicago. Intelligent trainers with a great atmosphere. You can tell they love what they do and are passionate about creating the best gym/workout... read more

    thumb Danielle Spellman

    I have been coming to Lift for a few months now. Staff is incredibly knowledgeable, flexible with schedules, and are great people to train with. I have noticed a significant... read more

    thumb Matthew Brunstrum
  • I have been training at Lift for over a year and I can easily say it is the best personal training experience I have ever had. Josh and the rest... read more

    thumb Jordan Multack

    I have been coming to LIFT since the day they opened and have been training with Josh for years now. Nothing compares to the workouts and knowledge you’ll get from... read more

    thumb Michelle Buckmaster

    Positive: Communication ,  Professionalism ,  Quality These deserve more stars. Ive been rocking with these guys for years. Always fun and professional. They have help me... read more

    thumb Domique Bland
  • I have been lifting here with Sam for a couple of months, and couldn’t say anything better about Lift! The gym is clean, equipment well maintained, and the staff is... read more

    thumb Erik Swanson

    Lift Chicago is an incredible gym. Unbelievable equipment that you cannot find at big box gyms. I’ve been working with Pete for the past two years and he consistently challenges... read more

    thumb Jason

    Hands down best gym for power lifters, strong men, body builders. Equipment is top notch and it’s very clean and well maintained.

    thumb Katie Cunningham
  • Great coaching in an excellent facility.

    thumb Rick Sudekum

    After working out at LIFT for a year now, I can't say enough good things about this place. My trainer, Isaac, is kind, knowledgeable, experienced, and careful, making sure... read more

    thumb Paula Hoste

    Great programming. Great staff. Pete is very tuned in and makes sure you get the most out of the workouts.

    thumb Grant Chavin, MD