By Nagi Takahashi • Edited by Amanda Altman
As the old saying goes, things are not always as they seem. I’ve found this to be especially true when it comes to neck and back pain.
Many of my clients complain of tension in their neck and back, and through my work with them, I’ve discovered that tightness in the thoracic area—i.e., the rib cage—is often the root cause. I think this has a lot to do with the poor sitting posture that’s rampant today, the result of too much time spent at our desks or on our devices.
I’ve put together the following series to help you create more mobility in your thoracic spine—and hopefully relieve the strain on your cervical and lumbar spine. After doing these exercises, you’ll likely feel that there’s more space between your rib cage and pelvis, and that your breathing is deeper, too. But most of all, you’ll just feel good! …
A sneak peak of the featured exercises:
ARCH AND CURL WITH BAND
Why it works Wundas: Warms the spine in flexion and extension
Start: Sit tall on the floor with your knees bent and toes on the edge/platform of the Chair. Wrap a band around the Chair back, and hold onto the ends.
Move: Keeping your arms straight, round your spine back, pulling your body away from the Chair. Open your arms out as you reach your sternum to the “sky” and extend your spine.
Tips: Imagine that there’s a tennis ball at your sternum, and move the ball back toward your spine to round, and then forward to extend your spine.
Modification: If you don’t have a band, hold the back of your thighs for flexion and open your arms out to your sides for extension.