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Upper Body Twist: Day 5

In this upper body twist sequence, we practice poses designed to increase thoracic spine mobility and open up the chest.

THE BIOMECHANICS OF UPPER BODY TWISTS

Rounding forward over your handlebars, steering wheel or keyboard can lead to a tightening of the pectoral muscles (chest) and a stiffness in the thoracic spine (mid back). Over time, this can establish muscular imbalances that result in pain in between the shoulder blades. Upper body twists are a great way to correct this imbalance. They open up the chest and reduce stiffness in the mid back.

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE SEQUENCE

If you are tight, please make sure that you are warmed up for this sequence. After a workout is the ideal time. As you come to each upper body twist, inhale to lengthen your spine and exhale into the twist. Start the movement small, increasing the intensity on each exhalation.

MODIFICATIONS

  • In Wide-Legged Forward Bend, you can bring your hands to blocks or bend your knees to protect your lower back.
  • If your lower back rounds in Seated Spinal Twist, you can sit on the edge of a block. Alternatively you can keep one leg straight.
  • If you struggle to get your heels to the mat in Squat, you can stay up on the balls of your feet.

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