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Dryland Tip: Tennis Ball Thoracic Spine

Uploaded on June 6, 2012 by G_John
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Purpose: The thoracic spine often lacks flexibility. When tight, stress exponentially increases at the low back and shoulders. In sprint freestyle, the shoulder driven stroke is dominant, causing rotation at the shoulders and thoracic spine, with stable hips. This exercise is a passive mobilization of the thoracic spine, with the goal of improving thoracic spine rotation.

Directions: Lie on your side and place a tennis ball (baseball is often recommended) under your back on the transverse processes (approximately two centimeters lateral of the spinous processes) of your thoracic spine. Give yourself a bear hug, grabbing your shoulder blades, then roll on and off the tennis ball ten times. Move the tennis ball to the next level and roll again. One should be able to roll on five to six places on each side of your thoracic spine.
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