Today in 2020 Can Take This Hunchback And Shove It: (SWIPE FOR VIDEO ⬅️) #ihaveahunch that you’re going to like this one. Here’s a back extension variation for thoracic spine flexibility (the upper-/mid-part of your back) that I’ve found useful in combatting kyphosis, or a forward hunch of the upper-back. It uses a foam roller, but you could alternately use a large exercise ball, a Pilates ball, a stack of pillows, or even (only with someone spotting you; proceed with caution, don’t fall on your noggin) the edge of your bed.
There is a concept in physical therapy called mirror imaging, which recommends doing exercises that put the spine into the opposite position of where it erroneously wants to go — i.e. if you are fighting a forward hunch where the upper-back curls, start finding lots of ways to make it arch in the opposite direction, with the goal of the latter starting to bring the spine’s resting position into a more neutral and natural one.
Please ensure that you’re only positioning the roller/prop on your mid-to-upper back, as compression on the lumbar spine is a bad idea. Repeat this as many times as you would like to throughout the day.
0️⃣ SET UP: Place a foam roller (or other prop) on the mat, perpendicular to your torso. With your feet hip distance apart, flat on the mat, recline back so that your mid back is resting on the roller or prop, with your hands behind your head and your chin slightly tucked. The spine is neutral, with a nice, natural curve in the lower back.
1️⃣ EXTEND: without flaring the ribs, extend the torso back over the roller, keeping the chin nodded in, the ears in line with your shoulders, and the shoulders relaxed and low. Hang out in extension and return to the starting position when ready.
2️⃣ MOVE IT: Roll to move the roller one or 2 inches further up the spine, and repeat step one, continuing to the upper back.
If you’re interested in seeing more posture and spine health content, please follow me for more stretches and strengthening exercises. And as always, I’d love to see you in my virtual class on Saturdays at 12:30pm ET (link is in my bio). Be well, stand tall. 🖤