Far too often, we have clients come through our doors that have spines with the same range of motion as a steel pipe. Unfortunately, this is the nature of life thanks to the cubicles the majority of us sit in five days weekly.
One of the biggest limitations suffered from the nine-to-five lifestyle is the ability to extend the spine. When sitting for upwards of seven hours in a flexed position, it's easy to see why people simply forget how to move their back certain ways. Without movement, unwanted discomfort kicks in and we blame it on the fact that we're getting old.
When you can't extend the spine into sufficient ranges, you can't expect it to feel good under squat and deadlift loads. Here's two drills I like to use to combat the lack of spinal extension we see in most folks:
By using a foam roller, you're able to give yourself external feedback to learn how to move each vertebrae of the spine independently of one another. I often find that most individuals only know how to control one or two of the vertebrae along the thoracic and lumbar spine. It's important to learn how to control each segment to the best of our ability, and extension-based drills off the foam roller are a great way to accomplish this.
It's no surprise that spine Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) made their way into this video. As with the CARs we've discussed in the past, the limitations you have with your mobility are exposed with each rep. Slowly performing your CARs will allow you to feel what restrictions you have in regards to the way your spine moves. If you're unable to extend your upper in this controlled environment, is it a good idea to try to do it with weight on your back? I'd argue not.
Give these drills a try with your next training session. If you have questions, feel free to drop a message below and sign up for my newsletter.