If you read my blog, you probably round up top in the shoulders like this.
Don't worry, it doesn't mean you're a computer geek. You probably just live in the 21st century. Unfortunately, being rounded over can lead to crappy breathing, low energy, and even low mood. (There's a reason Igor was the way he was in Frankenstein.)
I'll usually see a thoracic spine which is rounded too much (kyphosis), or which is too flat. Sometimes, I'll see both together where the thoracic spine is clearly rounded too much, and segments of it are actually too flat.
In the picture below, it's definitely too flat.
When I see something like the picture below, I'm relieved. But, only for a short bit because we have to assess movement too.
To test movement, we are going to get into a crouched position with arms on floor in front of you.
Use three positions for your arms. Rotate as far as you can up. Use one hand on your head, one hand on your shoulder, and one hand behind your back. The goal is to see if your top shoulder can clear 45 degrees (which is the red line shown in the pictures below). Don't forget to check the left and right side.
One of my favorite go-to exercises to correct a flat or kyphotic curve is the sidelying thoracic rotation mobilization with the foam roller. (Please note that checking the pec and lat length is highly advisable as these are commonly tight and restrict movement of the thoracic spine. We'll go into this later.)
Here is how we do it.
You can use a weighted DB too for assistance if you need to. Remember though, try to move your thoracic spine as much as you can, not just your shoulder.
The thoracic spine is still one of the most problematic areas I see. It can affect your neck, hips, shoulders, and low back. When both alignment and thoracic mobility are optimized, breathing and energy improve, as well as whole upper body performance.
If you practice sitting up tall (but not too tall because you don't want a falt thoracic spine) and practice these mobilizations to make sure your thoracic mobility test is neutral, you'll not only feel better, you'll look better too.
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