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T-Spine Stability: Scapula Stabilization

The thoracic spine – the mid-back also called the T spine – is the transition to and from the cervical (neck) and lumbar (low back) spine. In sports that require an implement – tennis racquet, lacrosse stick, golf club, baseball bat – or sports such as football and baseball, where the pitcher and quarter back have their hands above the shoulder level gripping the respective ball, thoracic stability can provide a stabilizing effect to help prevent non-contact injury. The T spine also stabilizes everyday activities like talking on a phone or grabbing for a glass or can from a cabinet.

Scapula Stabilization:

Assume the same set up on the 65cm stability ball, as with the prone pulls. With the arms extended and thumbs pointing up, separate the arms and bend slightly at the elbows to assume a “Y” position or signal a touchdown, as a football referee does. Use a very short up & down range of motion by the arms – with or without a very light (1-2 pound) weight. Try 10 reps.

Next, move the extended arms to just below shoulder height – with thumbs pointing forward and arms parallel to the ground – to form a “T” with the spine. Perform the same short range up & down arm movements. Try 10.
Lastly, bring your extended arms close to the sides of the body to form an inverted “V” – about 4-6 inches away – with thumbs pointing in toward the sides of the buttocks. Perform 10 short range up and down movements with the arms.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.