Foam rolling for the thoracic spine is a good intervention for improving thoracic spine motion. I use it for myself, patients and athletes regularly. However, should we be adding weight to the movement? My answer is that it probably depends.
Now, if you’re rolling your thoracic spine properly it most likely feels a bit uncomfortable. Generally what I’ve found is that if you force your body into a new uncomfortable range of motion it tends to fight back. Muscles will guard and you’ll get the opposite of what you want, decreased motion in the spine potentially due to increased discomfort and muscle guarding. So when should we add weight to these mobilizations? Here are a few suggestions:
Check out the videos below for my favorite ways of adding load to thoracic spine mobilizations
and make sure your technique stays up to snuff while foam rolling with load:
Should you add weight to your thoracic spine foam rolling? Only if: 1) Rolling without it no longer creates the change you want 2) There is not much significant discomfort when adding weight 3) Begin adding weight slowly 4) You can maintain the correct technique with load – as shown in the bottom segment. PS mobility kit foam rollers are the bomb. Check them out @mobility_kits #twitter #thoracic #mobility #foamroller #physicaltherapy @powermonkeyfitness @shift_movementscience @suppleperformance @themovementfix @modernmanualtherapy @thebarbellphysio @barbellrehab @mcgshrugged
Want to learn more about how to assess the thoracic spine and to find other great exercises to mobilize it? Check out Dr. Dave Tilley and my product:
The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Fixing Technical Flaws in the Handstand, Muscle-up and Olympic Lifts
Get that spine moving,
Daniel Pope, DPT, OCS, CSCS
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