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Thoracic Spine Strength Drill – For Neck and Shoulder Pain

In this video, I break down some myofascial release, an FP band feedback, and rotational strength work for the thoracic spine.

Whether you deal with some form of shoulder, neck or back pain, these tools and exercises will provide a very potent feedback.

FEEDBACK BANDS

Hello, this is Naudi Aguilar of Functional Patterns. Today’s video is going to be oriented around addressing your shoulder, and neck problems. The way we’re going to go about that with this tutorial, is by realigning and rotating the thoracic spine.

In general, most people see the thoracic spine as being either something that flexes and extends. But, rarely do you seldomly see that somebody would orient any form of thoracic rotation on their T-spine.

If they do orient thoracic rotation with their programs, with their mobility drills or myofascial drills, what they end up missing altogether, is the strength components associated with developing a strong thoracic rotation to begin with.

So, what we’re going to do today, is actually mobilize the T-spine, but also strengthen the muscles that orient the thoracic rotation in the first place. So, that the mobilizations that you do actually last over a given period of time.

The tools we’ll utilize for these sets of techniques will be a Functional Patterns band. You can find these at FunctionalPatterns.com. I will also be utilizing the ball. You can use whatever variant works best for you. You guys kind of see what that size is. You can kind of play around with that. Go to any store and find a ball, and use it for the same purposes that I am.

We’re also going to be utilizing a Functional Pattern’s MP trainer, it’s a single cable column. As a reminder, please like, comment, and subscribe to this YouTube channel if you’re finding this information to be useful.

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Now, that we’re going to start the technique, we’re going to be actually going with ball first. We’re going to be looking for, is a portion right here. So, if you can just think about looking your xiphoid process, the little bone right here off your chest. Your just kind of going to slide down at an angle, this way, until you stay on soft tissue, and you’re going to be just at the outer ridge of your rib cage, okay? You guys can kind of press in there, you might feel some tender spots, as you’re pressing in there.

What you’re going to do is take this ball and kind of begin to pop into those areas, to feel the soft spots, ensuring that you’re not putting any pressure on bones, and that you’re not really smashing organs either. This is should be a fairly light pressure that you’re going to be putting in this area. So, keep the pressure at a minimum. That’s all you really need.

Once you kind of begin to dial into some soft spots, or some areas you can feel a slight bit of discomfort with, what you’ll do is lay down onto the ground. You’re going to begin to lay over the top of that area. The idea of this is if you have, let’s say, for example, if you’re a person who’s trained a lot of sagittal plane of motion, you may end up having a set of bilaterally tight or restrictive obliques. That’s going to prevent you from being able to rotate your T-spine.

So, idea of what we’re going to be doing right now is hitting the obliques so we can open up the rotation of the thoracic spine a little bit better, and once we’ve opened up that rotation, we’re going to replace the fascial adhesions with muscle connectivity. When we make those replacements happen, in general you’re going to have a higher quality thoracic rotation as we move along to this technique.

So, what will do is this on both sides, about two or three minutes each. What will then follow that up with is a band feedback. The idea is we’re going to bring this over the shoulder, around the back, like so. You’re going to bring this here over your leg until you feel a nice sort of strong tug, pulling you from one direction, and you’re going to do whatever you can to battle against that rotation being instituted on your body.

Once you get done doing that, you’re going to go right back down, we’re going to go into a quad pad position. So, if you look at me laterally, this is what I’ll look. I’m a be aiming to have a neutral spine, a set of neutral scapulas.

This is actually a more complicated position that you can imagine. So, if you check out our 10 week online course, we cover this in pretty deep detail. If you do the techniques on that 10 week course, you may be a little less blind at this, but just do the best you can for right. If you haven’t done the 10 week online course, just kind of mimic the postures that I’m doing right now.

But, essentially, you’re going to have some what of a neutral spine right here on the back side. Abdomen’s going to stay some what contracted, from there, what you’re going to emphasize is allowing that band to pull you off to the side, and what you’re going to do is then begin to reach across your body like so to effectively, rotate that T-spine.

The idea is that this band mechanism is going to give you some of that resistance right here on this humerus, and that’s going to orient that thoracic rotation a little more deeply than what you might be used to. There’s a lot of people that’ll do those reaches as they go over, right? They’ll kind of come this way, and reach over. Do this motion here, and you can do that in both directions.

We’re doing it with the band. It’s going to make it quite a bit more challenging as you’re going in there. So, I’m a show you guys a couple of different variations of how we’re going to incorporate that with our pulling machine over here.

So, we’re going to head back over to the MP trainer, and I’m going to get in the same position. We’re going to start with the press, I’m a go here, press, and just rotate my T-spine. Try to keep my spine as neutral as possible.

Okay, keeping the cable in line with my form, parallel to my form, as I press over. It’s not being straight across, you’re going to kind of almost aim it at about a 45 degree angle, maybe about 30 degree angle towards the ground, almost to wear your knuckle hits the ground here.

You’ll come back rotating the T-spine to the left, then aim it right back over to the right. Sometimes it’s nice to have a mirror, so you can spot yourself here too while you’re doing that. You should feel your obliques getting significantly fatigued as well as some slight stretches on that thoracic spine.

Once you’ve gone done doing that in one direction, what you’re going to do is then go the opposite direction. I’m going to bring my arm over this way, and then I’m going to pull, and extend my arm that way. So, I’m getting the feedback from the band pulling me this way, as well as the feedback from the band pulling me this way. So, I got loading on my humerus, and I got loading on my arm, as a whole, as I come over.

So, I come back, so it’s just about rotating that T-spine. You want to ensure that you’re also not rounding in the T-spine as well. That’s a general problem that happens with most people. Especially, if you find those desk jockeys out there, who are seated for extended periods, wind up having that kyphosis. You also want to be careful to not over hyper extend the T-spine.

In general, you find with people, and I’m going to mention this in a lot of videos, is that after they found out that their typing, and their texting is rounding their shoulders, what they end up saying is, “Oh, look. I got to pull my shoulders back.”

Because they do nothing to address their rib cage, what they end up doing is excessively shifting the vertebrae forward, and by them shifting vertebrae forward, what they’ve essentially done is calcified the entire thoracic spine to the point where it’s not going to want to move in either direction.

So, the idea is you want to watch, to make sure that you have somewhat of a neutral thoracic region. So, it’s that mid-back region, that you want to be almost somewhat extended. If you’re able to keep that extended in that position, you’re going to get much more effect out of that technique.

I do hope you guys enjoyed that video, be on the look out for more in the near future. This is Naudi Aguilar, Functional Patterns, reminding you to train intentionally, and not habitually. See you later.

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