When I’m training someone I can make them do some seemingly weird things. To me they are not weird, everything I make a client do has a purpose. But to the client some of the movements, warm ups or exercises I make them perform may seem strange and foreign.
Mobility is the ability to move. It is how your body functions as a whole, and how your joints function in isolation. As a personal trainer, teaching my clients how to move properly is of utmost importance.
Proper mobility can combat many things like soreness, bad posture and pain. For these reasons I tend to start every personal training session off with some mobility and flexibility drills. Not only do they function as a warm up for the exercises we are about to perform, they reinforce proper alignment, movement and posture. These things will carry over into the client’s daily life outside the gym.
Most people work at a desk, and most people develop problems that arise from that. Sitting down hunched over a computer all day causes the hip flexors and pec minors to tighten and shorten. It also causes the shoulder blades to “wing” out, and the upper spine (thoracic) to form a Quasimodo style mini hump. Not only are these traits not attractive, they can hinder your progress in the gym.
Each client’s mobility and flexibility routine is specific to them, their goals and their levels of flexibility. However, one movement seems to creep into all of the programs I write. It is a short movement, that addresses all the problems stated above.
The movement I want to teach you is called the Thoracic Spine Bridge and it fixes all of those problems in a few seconds. Performing this move will rotate your thoracic spine, creating new paths of mobility and flexibility as well as activating your glutes which will dispel any hip pain while doubling as a warm up for any type of exercise program.
Here’s how to perform the T-Spine Bridge. You can also ignore these steps and skip to the video below.
- Start in quadruped position, with your hands and knees on the ground. Your hands will be directly beneath your shoulders and your knees will be directly beneath your hips. Slightly lift your knees off the ground, only about an inch or so.
- Take the left foot and extend it towards the ceiling. Once your foot is completely extended rotate it towards the floor on the right of your body. It will create a sweeping motion over your hips.
- Rotate the left foot all the way until it is on the floor on the opposite side of your body.
- Rotate the left hand towards the ceiling until it is facing the opposite side of your body. The hand will not touch the ground.
- Once the left foot is firmly planted on the ground squeeze your glutes as hard as you can and extend your hips towards the ceiling.
- Return to the starting position and go again, this time leading with the right foot.
This is a great drill to perform daily, and as a part of your warm up routine. Many people are limited in their movement because of daily stressers and posture. This move will help eliminate those problems really quickly.
As my clients will tell you- this is torture at first, but it is worth it. After committing to performing this your back, shoulders and hips will all feel better. I guarantee it.
Try it out and let me know what you think!