Side Lying Thoracic Rotation


Every single client or friend I’ve shown the Side Lying Thoracic Rotation to has thanked me. It’s relatively easy to do.


Before I show you how to do it, let me tell you why should do it.


I want you think about all the activities you do through out the day or week that might compromise your shoulder’s health. Perhaps you sleep facing down, only to favorite one side. While one shoulder is completely closed off, the other is perhaps wide open.


Or you might consistently carry a heavy book bag off the shoulder, on the same shoulder, always.


Maybe you spend hours hunched over your laptop. Your body starts getting accustomed to these positions, and sometimes it even favors it. It’s comfortable.


Examples such as these decreases the mobility of our thoracic spine. This in turn also affects the range of motion of the shoulder.


[no_highlight background_color=”yellow” color=”black”]This is important to be aware of because then when we go train, we expect and sometimes even demand optimal performance for our shoulders, and they simply aren’t ready for it in most instances. [/no_highlight]


The lack of performance, stability and range of motion is even more pronounced when we don’t warm the shoulders and upper body properly.


How to do the Side Lying Thoracic Rotation


It is really worth taking a few minutes to do this exercise before your strength training routine. You should see some improvement in shoulder and upper body health with frequent application of this warm up.



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  • Lay down sideways on the floor. If you want, you can rest your head on a pillow or use another soft object.
  • Place your arms in front of you and bring your knees to about a 90 degree angle.
  • Then rotate outward through out your thoracic spine.
  • [no_highlight background_color=”yellow” color=”black”]To help ensure that you are not rotating through your lower spine, squeeze a pillow or another tool like a foam roller or a ball between your legs. This will provide you with more stability at the hips. [/no_highlight]
  • Your upper back should come in contact with the ground when you are done rotating. You may not achieve this in the first few reps and that’s ok.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom position and then reverse the movement.
  • You DO NOT want to hold your breath through out this warm up.
  • You can do anywhere between 5-10 controlled repetitions.






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