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Smarter Ways To Improve Thoracic Mobility

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There are just certain things that were almost 100% guarantees when I work with clients. One super common one is having shoulder mobility issues. However, shoulder mobility issues are typically misinterpreted because they are really issues of thoracic spine mobility problems. An easy example is the following…

Slouch down like you see in the picture below.

thoracic mobility

Now try to raise your arms over your head in this position, chances are your arms don’t get too high over your head. This is an example of what is known as joint centration. What is that? Joint centration describes the optimal mechanical position of joints and balanced muscle forces around those joints. That is why all those that say there is no perfect posture aren’t really offering good perspective.

Sure, there is no perfect posture for everyone, but there are postures where our bodies work more optimally. That is why when we sit more upright it is rather easy to get our shoulders over our head.

thoracic mobility

Yes, puppy love can help your mobility apparently. In all seriousness, we can also see neurological differences in our mobility. 

What is often the issue in both shoulder and thoracic mobility is actually a neurological issue in our movement. Basically, our body perceives instability and reduces range of motion in our areas of our body that are more designed for mobility. This would include areas like our hips, shoulders, and yes, our thoracic spine.

What physical therapist, Jessica Bento shows below is a great way of seeing this issue in real life as well as how we start to address it in our training.

For the majority of people, shoulder and thoracic mobility issues are actually coming from somewhere else on the body. This isn’t a crazy idea, but understanding how this area of the body interacts with our whole body.

thoracic mobility

That is why we SHOULD start seeing drills like Greg Perlaki shows below as powerful ways to improve our thoracic mobility.


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It is also why drills like physical therapist, Jessica Bento shows below are not your traditional thoracic mobility exercises, but once you understand what we are trying to achieve it makes such obvious sense.

Strength Coach, Martin Adame really helps us see how we take the science of better thoracic mobility into a real series of warm-up exercises. This is how we build better movement, more efficient workouts, and get people to see the true power of good functional training.

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