Almost every sport relies heavily on the body’s ability to rotate. Many athletes are constantly trying to get their body to rotate faster without taking a second to consider all that goes into having the body rotate at that high of a speed repeatedly. One of the main neglected areas is the upper part of the spine; or, in more specific terms, the T-spine (short for thoracic).


How does the T-spine affect rotational sports?

The T-spine is the part of your spine that is responsible for taking on rotation when performing repeated sport motions. This middle-upper part of your spine allows your shoulders and chest to rotate and move freely, but only to the muscles’ and joints’ flexibility limits. Therefore, the less mobility you have at your T-spine, the less ability you have to rotate your upper body.


How do I maintain a strong and mobile T-spine?

In order to maintain a strong and mobile T-spine, you must consistently perform movements that challenge your body to rotate further and with more force than it typically would. This can be done through strengthening exercises and mobility movements. Below are some examples of movements that will help you maintain a strong and mobile T-spine:


  1. Kneeling Banded T-Spine Rotation

This exercise allows the athlete to lock their lower body into place and challenge the upper body to rotate while being resisted. It is a good exercise to address both the strength and mobility of your T-spine.

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  1. Single Arm Cable Rotational Row

This is a more strength-based exercise that still emphasizes good T-spine rotation. A cable row with a rotation at the end allows the body to use not just the back muscles but also the thoracic spine muscles to rotate at the end of the pull.

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  1. Open Books

This is a mobility exercise/stretch. It allows you to stretch your range of motion, but still be able to move within your available range as you repeat the reps.

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All of these exercises can be found on YouTube and Google, feel free to search them up as they are some of the best ways to ensure that your upper body is rotating enough and can sustain the workload being put on it daily as a rotational athlete. The T-spine is an important part of all rotational sports and should be considered for athletes who are looking to increase their performance.