Tag Archives: thoracic mobility

Monday Mobility – Swing Your Clubs!

Last week we restarted our Monday Mobility series with a great Thoracic Mobility drill ( <– that was a link to it in case you didn’t spot it)

Lets stay on a theme, the upper back, shoulder and chest. Ie, the thoracic region.

If there was a single catch all for the entire thoracic region, I’d have to say the Indian Club is it.

Last weeks drill showed you how to extend the spine, which open the ribs and allows the scapula to move more freely.
Swinging the Indian Club shows the shoulder blade how to move.

This little video is a few of the swings we use with the club, including some that add in the lower body:

The key is to allow the weight of the club to take you.
You follow the club, you allow IT to do the work.
You feel it pull on you, extending the limb and opening out the motion.

Meaning your muscles can relax (within reason of course), this relaxation allows the centrifugal pull from the club to place a gentle traction on the joints of the arm and shoulder, load and stretch the muscles in each and every direction within the swing and allow “overactive” to chill out while “underactive” wakes up.

Another way to think of this is, you’ve used last weeks stretch to prep for movement, now we get that movement oiled up and smooth.

This is an old (2012) video tutorial of the absolute basics:

Since then we’ve learned a lot.

The big thing, which I hope you’ll spot watching the first video and comparing it to the second, is that we have discovered the value of the extension, of allowing the club to draw us into a reach.

It’s this reach that is magic.
And it’s a major point we labour in our workshops, the next of which is very soon:

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If you come to the workshop, we will ensure you leave competent with the clubs, and you’l have your own set of Pahlavandles to continue practicing with.

I’ll see you there.

Dave Hedges

Monday Mobility: Thoracic Extension

It’s been a long time since we had a Monday mobility post.
So we have a nice one for you today.

Thoracic extension is a bug bear for many.
Without good T-spine movement we can say good bye to a good overhead position, we may experience tightness in the musculature on the front and upper sections of the shoulder, we may even have pain in the back.

We may not.

But with the modern lifestyle of sitting, as I am right now tapping this out on the computer, we are on the whole, in need to of good spinal mobility in our lives.
If you play any sport that uses a flexed posture (boxing, BJJ/Judo cycling, rugby……..you get the idea) or an overhead sport like Kettlebell Sport, you’ll really like this.

So I invite you to try this.

You need something to lie over, I’m using a large slam ball, I could have used a punch bag or a bench or a foam roller.
The bendier you are, the higher the support you’re likely to need.

Have a watch:


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How to get taller…… Not really. But you certainly feel that way. Thoracic extension, stretching the lats, the serratus anterior, the intercostals, the abs, the diaphragm all in one simple drill. You can clearly see my range of motion improve over the minute here as I allow the weight of those 2.5kg weights to pull my hands closer to the floor. As I actively relax And as I as movement by way of the hip lift and lower. The trick is to let the hands come towards the floor as the hip lifts and keep them still as the hip lowers. Do as many as you need to to feel change. And don’t forget to breathe #wgfamily #irishfitfam #thoracicmobility #thoracicextension #mobility #shoulder #shoulderrehab #sportsinjury #bjj #judo #kettlebellsport #girevoy

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The instructions:

  • Set up with the upper back only on the support / fulcrum
  • Take a pair of light weight plates, as you get better, use LESS weight
  • Start with the hips high and the hands close to the floor
  • Let the weights hold you hands in place as you lower the hips down
  • Keep moving up and down, nice and slow, asking permission from the body to go gradually further.
  • Doas many reps as you need to feel a change (This clip shows me stiff as a board, my first set lasted 2 mins, I did two subsequent sets of 20 pulses until I felt no further change)
  • Relax as much as possible and DO NOT hold the breath

And that’s it.

Go easy at first, best that you’re warmed up before going for it.
You never know, with enough practice you might end up being able to do this:

Have fun.

Dave Hedges