Warrior’s WOD Takes on Thoracic Mobility

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This week’s Lab location for Dr. Theresa Larson was CrossFit USD (University of San Diego) where the 21 Gun Salute Warrior WOD was taking place. The 21 Gun Salute is our nation’s highest display of military honor, and is reserved for visiting foreign heads of state, presidential funerals, and in honor of our fallen troops on Memorial Day!1[1]

Having the honor to help coach the workout and motivate the men and women who came out to sweat for the fallen was incredibly inspirational. Particularly inspirational that evening was a veteran, Wally, who had lost two limbs and had never done CrossFit previously performed this strenuous WOD along with all the other warrior athletes.

Back to extension mobility technique…

Wally is part of my video blog this week to demonstrate how to get thoracic extension. This mobilization is also helpful with flexion due to the orientation of the thoracic facets, so you can kill two birds with one stone and improve two movements at one time. As I mentioned in my previous blog about Thoracic Rotation, this segment of the spine (mid back) is the most stable and often the most stiff. Often the low back and neck have to make up for the lack of movement of a stiff thoracic spine.

This self-mobilization technique demonstrated in the video is helpful for those of you who sit at a desk all day; CrossFit after work and have stiff lower backs; want to improve their American Kettle-bell swings, Snatch, Front Squat, or just about any other overhead lifts in the weight room. It is more specific than foam-rolling, should be performed on along the spinal segments where there are rib attachments only, and it only takes 5-6 minutes of time to do (with 5-10 bridges at each segment that feels “stiff” to you).

The introduction is performed by CrossFit Coach, Navy SEAL, and Team Red White and Blue San Diego Team Captain, Joseph Molina.

Workouts like this, celebrating Memorial Day, and meeting individuals like Wally, Joe and the guys who performed the 21 Gun Salute help remind me to NEVER forget that our FREEDOM is most certainly not free, and I will sweat anytime anywhere to remind myself of that!!


1) Do you have a friend of colleague around at work or at the gym who wants to do a 2 minute Mob session to help relieve mid-back stiffness, neck pressure, or low back pain from poor sitting posture? You need this mob along with #2!!

Buddy Thoracic Extension Mob:

2) Are you a Desk Jockey who needs to adjust your sitting position? The video talks about correct sitting posture, a contract relax technique (proprioceptive neurofacilitaion technique) to improve thoracic rotation and extension in your chair, which can give your spine relief from sitting all day long! Truth is you should not sit all day long, but get up every 45 minutes or more and take breaks, and or set up a standing work station; save your hips, your neck, your back from poor postures that create unwelcome adaptations that cause poor positioning, poor performance,and further down the line INJURY!

Sitting Mob for Thoracic Rotation and Extension Desk Jockey Style:

[1] Team Red White and Blue WOD for Warriors Website: http://www.wodforwarriors.com/2013

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