Exercises you should be doing: Squat to Stand W/ Thoracic Mobility

Today got off to a bit of a rough start for me.  I slept through my alarm, and woke up 20 minutes before my first session was supposed to start.  I fired off a quick text to my clients letting them know I was running late, and got ready in about 5 minutes.  I can’t tell you how much I hate getting to a session late.  It very rarely happens, but when it does, it really throws my day off.

Anyway, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I try to put up some video content pretty regularly.  Sometimes it’s a video of one of my clients doing something awesome, or me doing something that I think, for some reason, you’ll be interested in watching me do.  But usually it’s of an exercise that I think will benefit you…should you choose to do it, of course.

This brings us to today’s post of an exercise you should be doing, the Squat to Stand With Thoracic Mobility:

Why it’s awesome:

-Apart from being super challenging for most people and a great part of a dynamic warm-up routine, the Squat to Stand With Thoracic Mob serves two incredibly beneficial purposes.  First, it encourages proper movement for your squat form.  It forces you to drop your butt and push your hips back, two things that are essential for squatting to proper depth.  Second, it encourages mobility through the thoracic spine, a place that desperately needs more mobility in most people.  The general population gets far too much movement through their lumbar spine and hips, causing a host of issues.  This movement helps people learn to move through their thoracic spine while keeping their lumbar spine and hips stable.

How to do it:

-Start in a standing position with your feet a little wider than shoulder width.

-Reach down and put your fingers underneath your toes, bending your knees as little as possible.

-“Pull” yourself down by pulling your hands against your feet, while simultaneously pushing your hips back and dropping your butt.  You should feel a good stretch in your hamstrings.

-Once in this bottom position, reach your left hand towards the ceiling, making sure to rotate in the middle of your back (thoracic spine), while keeping the low back (lumbar spine) and hips stable.  DO NOT LET YOUR HIPS ROTATE.

-Follow your hand with your eyes.  Return your hand to underneath your feet and repeat with the right side.

-Raise your hips and straighten your legs as much as you can.

-Return to standing position.

Use this as part of your dynamic warm-up.  I usually do one set of 6-8 reps.



2 thoughts on “Exercises you should be doing: Squat to Stand W/ Thoracic Mobility

  1. I’m just starting out with squats, and I’ve started doing these daily. When I look in a mirror at a side view, although my lower back is straight / slightly arched, it is much closer to horizontal than vertical like I see in the videos.

    Is this ok? What can I do to be able to get my back more vertical when performing this exercise?

    • @Rob: It probably means you have one of several things going on. Either you’re too stiff in your lats or pecs, and they are pulling you forward. Of you could be too stiff in your hips which aren’t allowing you to drop your pelvis properly. I would encourage you to keep doing the movement while trying to keep your back as vertical as possible as well as keeping up on some dedicated work to get some of the stiffness out or your lats, pecs or hips. Good luck!

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