By: Richie Anderson
The term “thoracic spine” is used in application as the general region of the upper back, and can be defined as the area of the spine that attaches to the rib cage, from the neck to the abdomen area.
This is a complex system, and I personally like to make sure to remind clients that it is more than just the “spine”. It is complex because it is dependent on factors occurring in the rib cage, shoulder blade, neck and other portions of the upper back.
I chose to speak on the Thoracic Spine first, because I find it to be the lowest hanging fruit in terms of improving your golf swing, and I know the majority of the clients we see at Pulse Fitness are lacking in this area.
Thoracic spine can affect multiple parts of your swing (remember last golf blog?) backswing, transition and downswing. Kinetic sequence (ability to rotate) can be an issue if you are too tight and immobilized in that region.
So how do you know if you are too “tight”/immobile in that upper back? Clinicians use difference tests to measure thoracic spine, and one of the common tests is the Standing Tspine Rotation (pictured below):
CJ performing the Standing Tspine Rotation Test;
If you are unable or find it hard to rotate to both sides without your hips moving, try the exercises below to attempt to improve that mobility!
Sidelying Tspine Rotation;
1.)Starting Position with knee on the ground; 2.) Opening the chest while keeping the knee flat on the ground.
Quadruped Tspine Rotation;
1.)Starting position with down arm straight and knees under hips. 2.) Opening the chest without the hips moving.
I cannot stress enough that improper movement or lack of will get in the way of your golf swing! If you have a swing coach who is trying to improve your swing, your body may not be able to do what your coach wants you to!
These are two common exercises that we use at Pulse Fitness to improve Thoracic Spine mobility. Our Golf assessment goes into depth on your specific needs for your swing, and more advanced exercises to help improve your game! Reach out to a coach or staff member at Pulse to get set up with a golf assessment today!!!