Get Ready for Handstands: Thoracic Mobility

Thoracic mobility is important for all body parts. When it comes to upper back strength, thoracic spine stability is very important. If your lumbar spine does not stay stable then you will have problems with your neck and shoulders. You may experience many issues such as pain or even injury when doing any kind of movements like lifting heavy objects, climbing stairs or running up and down stairs.

The thoracic spine is one of the most important muscles in the human body. It supports our head, neck and shoulders. When it becomes weak, these areas become unstable and prone to injuries. A strong thoracic spine helps us perform various activities including standing up from a chair, walking up and down stairs, bending over backwards or even performing certain tasks like driving a car!

In order to get stronger at your chest you need to work on strengthening your lower back too. There are several ways to do this. One way is to use dumbbells. Another method is using resistance bands. Both methods require some time investment but they both provide great results if done correctly.

Dumbbell Chest Workout – 3 Sets of 8-12 Reps

A good exercise for your chest would be the pushup or pullup. However, to increase your strength and limit the amount of stress placed on your wrists you should do these on a decline bench. As we know, our goal is to increase our strength without having to do any weight lifting exercises. The decline bench will help you achieve this.

Start by placing your hands shoulder width apart with your elbows directly underneath your shoulders. Your feet will need to be flat on the ground or on a low step if needed. Your knees will need to touch the ground however you will not let your hips dip lower than parallel to the ground.

To increase the difficulty of this exercise you can place a weight such as a medicine ball between your feet. This will force your lower back to work harder in order to keep your spine neutral. This is a great way to hit two birds with one stone!

Resisted Band Chest Workout – 3 Sets of 8-12 Reps

Another great way to work your chest is with banded pushdowns. To do this you will wrap a band around a secure pole or sturdy piece of furniture at chest height. Take the other end of the band and wrap it around your chest. You want it to be snug but not too tight that it restricts your breathing.

Sources & references used in this article:

Understanding and preventing yoga injuries by L Fishman, E Saltonstall, S Genis – International Journal of Yoga …, 2009 –

Developing the straight body cast to handstand by V Uzunov – Gym Coach, 2007 –

Musculoskeletal injuries in yoga by CS Klifto, JS Bookman, DJ Kaplan, AP Dold… – Bulletin of the NYU …, 2018 –

Why Your Approach to Fixing Your Low Back Is Making It Worse by C Dionne –