If you’ve ever tried to push your big three lifts to the limit (the squat, bench, deadlift), you will have to increase your volume at some point to push past your current weights. An increase in volume with moderate to high intensity (weight) will often leave your upper back, hips, neck, and shoulders feeling restricted due to the increase in volume.
“Why do I feel super tight when I bench?” you ask. Well barring getting a pump before you head down to the Jersey Shore, one reason for this is when you are benching, you are activating the musculature that promotes 1) internal rotation of the glenohumeral joint, or the shoulders, 2) incorrect technique may promote anterior tilting of the scapula, which in turn will promote an incorrect anterior gliding of the humerus during the bench (or push-up).
While discussing the technical aspects of each lift is a bit beyond the point of this article, it does help to realize that appropriate technique will either promote or inhibit your current posture, and eventually strength and hypertrophy goals.
So whether you are pushing your big three lifts to the limit, breakdancing, or playing any other sport, here are three mobility drills that will help mobilize your upper thoracic, and stabilize your new movement. If you’re performing a pretty thorough dynamic warm-up already, these drills will have a breathing twist to facilitate diaphragmatic control of the lungs, to help drive further thoracic extension along with lumbar stability.
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