Top 6 Thoracic Spine Mobility Exercises To Improve Overhead Position

thoracic spine mobility exercise
Standard for t spine mobility is to have your ears showing without and arched back.

Getting into an overhead squat takes a massive amount of mobility in your ankles, hip and your thoracic spine. The overhead squat is the ultimate test of mobility. It’s one of the first things I do with my NFL athletes or anyone for that matter because it will tell me so much about how you move and where your mobility is restricted.

I played basketball for 20 years and when I got into crossfit, olympic weightlifting, and true strength and conditioning getting into an overhead position was extremely challenging. I’m not just talking about overhead squats. T Spine Mobility is required in a ton of things:

  • Overhead press
  • Handstand Holds
  • Front/Back Squats
  • Good posture (unlike photo below)

If you want to improve your shoulder mobility with my best mobility drills and activations.

poor posture
Step 1 – Awareness of your posture. Don’t sit like this. Read on to see some things you can do to improve your posture.

Having adequate thoracic mobility is something that just makes you feel better, better posture and ultimately move better. In today’s blog post I’m going to share with you:

  • My top 6 thoracic spine mobility exercises to improve overhead position
  • T spine mobility drills
  • A simple test you can do to access yourself
t spine mobility exercise
Working on mobility is something I have truly learned to enjoy. It helps that you feel better after course!

Why Thoracic Mobility Important

To prevent any additional stress on your body and having adequate range of motion is important. We are always talking about getting your body to be “stacked” which means:

  • Rib cage down
  • Glute engaged
  • No arching in your back (see pictures below)
good overhead position versus bad overhead position
Don’t be the guy on the left.

If you have limited range of motion in your thoracic spine and limited mobility your body has to compensate somewhere….your lower back. 

If you keep this up (assuming your lifting overhead) you are going to continue to essentially jam your joints and pinch your lower back and put you at risk for injury. 

I’ll show you a step by step process to improve your shoulder mobility below but not in the blog is the Conclusion

To improve your thoracic mobility you have to have awareness, be consistent, and do the drills before and after you workout. Today I shared with you top 5 thoracic drills/exercises that I do so give them a shot!

Remember to spend about 2 minutes in each exercise so you give your body enough to relax and not irritate the area. If your mobility isn’t improving, read this.

Keep training hard ??


If you just want a program to follow that gives you a total comprehensive approach (mobility, warm up, core, strength, corrective exercises) and join an awesome community then join the K Squared Fitness family!! 

You can take our fitness app for a spin this week. To learn more check out this page. 

Other Fitness Tips

1️⃣ How to warm up for a run

2️⃣ At home crossfit workouts

3️⃣ 3 things I wish I knew about fitness 5 years ago

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Your coaches Kevin & Katie

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you increase your thoracic spine spine mobility?

Step one is having awareness of your posture. Are you hunched over? Change that. And you can do that by doing a few things...

...mobility work COUPLED with strengthening your upper back.

One other tip. If you JUST stretch and do not strengthen the end range of motion, your mobility will not improve. You want to foam roll, stretch the restricted muscle, strengthen and activate the end range of motion.

How do I loosen my t spine?

Get on that foam roller and go to work. Work on extension, rotation, have a "peanut" for mobility and strengthen your upper back.

By far my favorite t spine mobility drill (most people don't want to do this one) is:

  • tape two lacross balls together
  • put the balls right in your t spine area
  • grab a 45lb weight plate and put it on your chest
  • then work on extension

Like this but with two lacrosse balls.

If you have any additional questions leave them in the comments below and I'm happy to help!

shoulder mobility

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