Upper back mobility is an issue for most. But, too often it goes unnoticed. That is until you swing a golf club, tennis racket, or check your car’s blind spot.
Then it hits you like a ton of bricks.
However, if left unchecked the horrendous neck, shoulder, and back pain becomes unbearable and ever-present.
I suffered with shoulder issues form too many years of heavy benching, overhead pressing and neglecting the tiny muscles of the upper back.
Now, my shoulders let me know lickety-split when I have neglected my upper back and have tightness that needs addressing.
If you’re not a gym rat like myself, don’t think you’re safe.
Years of sitting at in the classroom then desk-bound jobs, phone addictions, and a lack of general physical activity takes its toll on your upper back.
What Causes Shoulder Pain
When your shoulders start hurting two culprits spring to mind:
- a stiff and excessively rounded thoracic spine (mid – upper back)
- lack of extension or rotation
A lack of movement in one area is compensated by excessive movement in another area. In the case of poor upper back mobility, the shoulders pick up the slack compensating for the thoracic spine’s lack of extension or rotation. The resulting excessive movement at your shoulder joint complex causes strain leading to issues and discomfort.
The same issues arise at the neck.
Your neck strains to increase it’s range of motion compensating for a stiff thoracic spine. Again, the execrated range of motion results in pain and disfunction in the compensating joints.
However, adding upper back mobility work to your daily routine decreases the the need for compensation patterns at the shoulder and neck joints. Which, intern decreases the overall stress of the surrounding soft tissue.
3 Drills For Upper Back Mobility
Strengthening Exercises For The Upper Back
Now that you have some upper back mobility its time to strengthen the area. One of my favorites is the band pull apart exercise. Do 100 a day and your shoulders will thank you.
Strengthening the upper back adds stability to the shoulder complex. Make sure you do it. Upper back mobility is just a start.