Thoracic mobility takes practice from multiple directions. This side to side bend is beneficial to help that full range of motion. When we are more capable of bending through our thoracic spine in all directions we relieve our lower back, shoulders, and neck of unnecessary tension. This type of move also helps us focus on posture and elevation. Helping us to move better and smoother in our every day life while lowering the risk of injury.
Our move of the week is all about our side bend through the thoracic spine. When our lats and core do the work we can create these big powerful movements that feel fluid and natural. This move is easy to rush and make our arms and legs take the brunt of the work. This can result in shoulder and arm fatigue pretty quickly. When our core and lats are there to help, you will notice the work becoming more efficient. We don't always want to be making the move as difficult as possible, but instead work efficiently through our whole body.
We will want to key into the timing of this movement and take our time setting up by creating length through our spine and connecting to our best posture. As we come over head with the ball you will explode up and over the box and into that contraction of the lat and oblique as you slam.
It isn't necessary to reach the arms all the way up overhead resulting in the arms doing the work. We want the ball to stay close to our body where we have the most control and power. As we start to come through the contraction our foot on the stair stepper will push us to the other side as we switch our feet. It should feel like a fluid movement where all body parts are working together to create the slam. As we come down for the slam we want to follow all the way through with our arms, finishing off the contraction through the lats and core, giving you the most power and making sure the ball comes right back up into your hands. Take a second to catch the ball and reset before starting again.
Listen to your body and where you are feeling the tension and work through this movement. Slowing it down to connect to the lat and core will help you to get faster and more explosive later on. The more we can get our ribs elevated and mobility through the thoracic bend we will create long term benefits for us outside of the gym.
8/1 - Side to Side Ball Slam - Movement of the Week Explainer by Allison Hopkins
Keys to Success:
1. Ball starts over the foot on step this is where your weight is centered
2. Your lats and obliques are doing the work, not your arms
3. As we lengthen one side think about pulling your ribs up as high as you can
4. Contract those lats and obliques as you pull through
5. End with a BIG follow through with your arms
Hi! My name is Allison Hopkins and I am the owner of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, ME. I am excited to bring WILCOX to Brunswick and share in my passion for living a great life through health and fitness.