Thoracic Stability Exercises for Strength

Rows, holds, pulldowns, and isometrics: a strong back is one of your most important assets in strength training and it translates to so many activities.

I’ve been coaching in this industry for about 20 years, whether it’s fitness, CrossFit, weightlifting, powerlifting, strong man, high school, college or competitive athletes in other sports. One of the compliments I’ve received throughout the years is that my athletes all have very strong backs.

People notice that they look different, there’s something about them that looks strong and they can’t quite place it. That’s because I put extra emphasis on developing their thoracic area.

So, yes, I develop their posterior chain, which is something most coaches always think about, but I tend to spend a lot of time on the thoracic region with accessory work trying to hit as many parts of the region as I can. That’s the upper part of your back, scapula, rhomboids, traps or, lack of a better word, the wings.

In this video, I explain some of the exercises I regularly program for my athletes and trainees. It’s not heavy lifting. It’s grinding. It’s annoying. It takes time and it can be a monotonous process.

But I want people to really focus on doing these exercises and while they may not feel that it adds to their strength to be working these small muscle ribbons around the thorax they’ll see the results show up in a big way when they do bigger, heavier movements.