Mobility is the new buzzword in injury prevention and rehab.  While mobility work certainly isn’t new, climbers are starting to realize that actively working on and improving our mobility is essential for pain free climbing.

You can work on mobility for any part of the body.  However, one of the most important areas for climbers is thoracic mobility.  The reason thoracic mobility is so important is that when it’s compromised by the typical rounded climber posture it can place additional strain on the back, neck, and shoulders.

In an effort to further educate you about thoracic mobility, here’s an article by physical therapy student Matt DeStefano from Dr. Jared Vagy’s website, The Climbing Doctor, in which he outlines exactly what thoracic mobility is, why it’s important, and how we should go about working on it ourselves.

Thoracic Mobility Exercises Described

Most climber’s probably associate mobility work with two things: yoga and a foam roller.  While these are both useful mobility tools, you can get much more specific and targeted.  To show you exactly how to work on thoracic mobility, here are the exercises DeStefano suggests:

  • Cat/Cow Pose
  • Quadruped Arm Raises
  • Sphinx Pose/Baby Cobra Pose
  • Standing Cactus Pose
  • Thoracic Extension with a Foam Roller
  • Squats with Arms Overhead
  • Seated Twists
  • Child’s Pose Twists
  • Thread the Needle
  • Supine Twists
  • Isolated Trunk Rotation with Band

DeStafano describes how to preform and illustrates with photos all of these exercises in the full article which you can reach by clicking through below.  He also includes recommendations for how often you should be doing these exercises and for how many sets/reps.

Do yourself a favor and click through below.  You will learn more about thoracic mobility, your anatomy, and how taking a small amount of time to do these exercises can go along way towards helping your climbing longevity.

More from Dr. Jared Vagy

If this article isn’t enough and you are interested in learning more about mobility work and how it can be used as injury prevention, be sure to check out the Injury Prevention Guide  Dr. Vagy wrote for us.  It is full of detailed information and practical advice about how you can prevent climbing injuries before they happen.

Full Article: The Climbing Doctor – Thoracic Mobility for Climbers

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