To stretch out your thoracic spine, the middle area between your cervical spine and lumbar spine, try exercises such as the Pretzel and Iron Cross shown here. Learn some useful spinal stretches in this free video of exercises for better health.
Hi, I'm Bryan Francis from Billy Beck III Personal training and Performance Center, and today I'm going to show you how to stretch out the thoracic spine. With me here to demonstrate is super trainer, Lauren Huff. Now the thoracic spine is the middle part of the spine, the cervical is the neck then we have the thoracic spine and then the lumbar spine at the bottom. So what we're going to do is show you three stretches to stretch out that thoracic spine. So the first stretch Lauren is going to do she's going to start on her knees and basically what she's going to do is scoop one arm underneath her body until her shoulder touches the ground and hold that position. What we want to do is hold this position for 30 seconds, maintaining that alignment at the hips. So she'll hold 30 seconds in this position then she'll come up out of that stretch and then she's going to rotate into the other position, basically just scooping that opposite arm underneath. So you're going as far down as you can and trying to rotate and rest that shoulder on the ground. Your head should be able to relax neutrally on the ground when you're in this position. The second stretch Lauren is going to do we call it the pretzel. So what she's going to do is lie on her side and with her right arm she's going to reach back and grab her right leg. She's going to pull that leg, no you're right the first time, she's going to pull that leg and stretch out that quadricep. With the left arm she's going to grab her right leg and she's going to pull that up towards. Now to put the stretch on her thoracic spine when she's in this position what she's going to do is rotate back into that position, so actually stretching three muscles here, one the thoracic spine, the left quadricep and then the right glut are piriformis. The last and final movement she's going to do we call this the Iron Cross. You can use a foam roll or a towel. Basically you're just going to place it between the knees. You're going to flex up at the hips, hands are going to be straight out to the side and what you're simply going to do, maintaining the back on the ground is slow and controlled, rotate the legs side to side. She'll rotate to the side, come back to the center and then rotate back out to the other side. I'm Bryan Francis and this has been how to stretch out the thoracic spine.