If You Could Only Do 1 Stretch... (BEFORE YOU LIFT!)

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If you could only do one stretch before you work out, then the one I’m showing you in this video is it. There is a reason for this and that is because almost every single one of us is lacking good thoracic extension, rotation and overall mobility. The fact that we are limited here makes it difficult to perform virtually every single upper body or lower body exercise we do.

The thoracic spine is the area of the spine that is in the middle of the neck or cervical spine and the lower back or lumbar spine. This happens to also be the largest area of the spine. Because of the fact that our bodies tend lose out to gravity and bend forward more and more over time, this process of decreased thoracic extension is magnified.

The repercussions of this are numerous. When you don’t stretch out your thoracic spine you will find that you limit the motion of your entire back and shoulder girdle. For instance, it is impossible to lift your arm fully over your head when your middle back is hunched over. This is because you are biomechanically locking up the shoulder joint by impacting the ability of the shoulder blade to move on your ribcage as you lift your arm up.

The same can be said about your lower back. Because the spine is one continuous unit, an overflexion in the middle portion of the back is going to make it difficult to extend in the lower portion of the back. In order to have proper mechanics on the squat or deadlift for example, it is obvious to see that you are going to need to have normal biomechanics in your spine.

So, that is where this stretch comes in. Start by laying face down on the floor with a light bar or wooden dowel in your hands with your arms stretched up overhead. Use one end to post up into the floor and begin to lift and rotate your body in the same direction as that hand. Be sure to keep your trailing knee down in contact with the floor to increase the differential between your shoulders and hips. When this occurs you are getting thoracic extension with rotation. This is the exact combination of movements that you are trying to maximize and restore prior to lifting.

Perform two to three repetitions to each side just prior to training. This is the one stretch you would want to do before your workout, especially if you were short on time and wanted to have an impact on what you were going to do that day.

For a complete training program that is more prescriptive in telling you what to do rather than random exercises thrown together with no real plan, head to http://athleanx.com and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. See how much faster you can make gains by training like an athlete and by taking your workouts seriously.

For more videos on stretching and the best stretches for working out, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at http://youtube.com/user/jdcav24

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