Thoracic spine function is critical for successful execution of all overhead squatting movements. But the commonly used mobility techniques are often too short and intense to allow for gradual releases and changes in the thoracic portion of the spine.
Try this sequence of corrective exercises to improve mobility and function of the thoracic back. If you do this sequence daily, you can expect to see gradual improvements in your overhead squat.
Modified Floor Block
For this exercise you will need two blocks that are six to nine inches high.
- Lie face down on your belly with your arms resting on the blocks.
- Your elbows should be straight out from your shoulders, and bent to ninety degrees.
- Place your big toes together, and allow your heels to fall apart.
- If your nose feels like it is getting squished, place a folded washcloth or towel under your forehead for added comfort.
- Relax into this position for 6 minutes. Let your hips, stomach, and chest relax.
This exercise promotes passive extension in upper back, lower back and hips, while gently opening up the chest and shoulders.
Immediately after doing the first exercise, move into this one for three minutes.
- Sit on the floor with your hips and back up against a wall.
- Tighten your thighs and pull your toes back. Be sure to keep your feet straight.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together and down. Be sure to keep your head touching the wall.
- You should feel the backs of your shoulders flat against the wall for the duration of the exercise. Try to tighten your thighs so much that your heels pop off the floor, and pull back from your pinky toes.
This exercise will strengthen posture muscles of your upper back and legs.
More on the overhead squat: