ben stretching his t spine and shoulders

Thoracic Spine Mobility And Shoulder Mobility Stretch

Your shoulders and your upper back are kind of a unit. If one is tight, it will affect the other. It’s important to maintain mobility through the shoulders and t spine or it will alter the way the rest of your body works.

This simple stretch will help open your shoulders and restore mobility to your thoracic spine. You just need something to put your hands on like a chair.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind while you do this stretch, but the biggest one is to make sure you don’t let your ribs tilt up as your arms go over your head. If you do you’re just hyper extending your lower back instead of opening your shoulders.

If you’re doing this as a passive stretch, make sure you hold the stretch long enough for adaptation to happen. You need to hold the stretch for at least 90 seconds. You can also apply a little pressure with your hands to the chair, or whatever you’re using, to make the stretch even more effective.

To do this as an active stretch, apply pressure to the object with your hands at the start of the stretch and maintain that tension as you hip hinge back. Keep the tension as your arms go over your head and hold the position for a couple seconds before resetting to the starting position. Do 6-12 reps for a good active stretch set!

Ben Smith Practicing Sitting Positions

How To Make Sitting Part Of Your Movement Practice

Sitting has been called the new smoking. But the reality is that sitting isn’t actually bad for you. What is bad for you is too much sitting in the same position. So it’s really lack of movement that’s bad for you. Today I’m going to explain how you can make sitting part of your movement practice.

Sitting Can Be Beneficial

Despite the recent alarms against sitting, it can actually be beneficial. There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to make sitting a part of your movement practice.

The first is to avoid chairs. Chairs put us into a fixed position and encourage us to use the chair to support our bodies. By sitting on the floor you have many more options for sitting positions. If the floor is problematic, you can use cushions to help bolster your body. And if you have to use something like a chair, a bar stool is a much better option.

If you have a hard time getting up from the floor, check out this video on getting up from the floor I did a while back. It offers some different techniques you can practice to make sitting on the floor more manageable.

Next, you need to vary your position. Like I said above, sitting isn’t bad for you. It’s long-term non-movement or holding the same position for and extended period. The great thing about the floor is that it doesn’t restrict your position the same way a chair does. Try to change your position every few minutes. The floor is also more likely to make you want to change your position than the floor.

And last, move around while you’re sitting. Explore your range of motion from different seated positions. Rotate your torso left and right, up and down. Move your arms. How far can you reach in all directions. I have personally found this to be a great way to unlock tight hips and back.

Sitting doesn’t have to lock you into one position for hours and hours. You can make it work for you. Start thinking beyond sitting in a chair and make sitting a valuable part of your movement practice!