It’s warm out, which means you should warm-up for it with our Move of the Week!
THE MOVE: Adductor Rockback T-spine Rotation
MOVEMENT PATTERN AND MUSCLES WORKED: Core and corrective: thoracic spine and hip adductors.
WHY DO IT: When it comes to warming up, today’s move addresses two areas of concern for gym-goers: the hips and the thoracic spine. Simply put, it is not uncommon to see a lack of hip mobility or thoracic spine (upper back) rotation. These are areas that tend to stiffen up because many of us sit at a desk all day, and as such should be prioritized before lifting.
The Adductor Rockback T-spine Rotation works on both of these areas. Taking one leg out to the side stretches out the hip adductors, and sitting back intensifies this stretch in a functionally relevant position. Think about the bottom of a squat or a lateral lunge.
While in this position, you can add an upper back rotation. Full motion should be emphasized here: a full reach to the opposite side at the bottom, and the shoulder blade driving rotation of the t-spine and the arm up towards the ceiling. Furthermore, sitting back into your hips locks down your pelvis; it is next to impossible to compensate through the lower back during these t-spine rotations.
Taken all together, the Adductor Rockback T-spine Rotation is a great bang-for-your-buck exercise that you can utilize in your warm-ups to hit two crucial areas for better movement quality in your training.
HOW TO DO IT: In this movement, get down on one knee, and extend your other leg out to the side. Bring the sole of your foot down to the floor. At this point you should be feeling a stretch in that leg’s adductor in the inner portion of your thigh. If you get wide enough, you should feel a stretch in both hips as well.
Now sit back into your hips with your hands in front of you, which should intensify this stretch even further. Take the hand on the same side as your straight leg and thread it all the way through to the opposite side. This is the full reach at the bottom that we were referring to earlier. Now reverse this motion and think about bringing your hand to the ceiling. This rotation should be driven by the shoulder blade moving on the rib cage. One easy way to encourage this is by following your hand with your eyes. Repeat this exercise for reps on both sides.
As a mobilization, this Rockback T-spine Rotation obviously belongs in the beginning of the workout, where I would recommend incorporating it for 2 sets of 8-10 reps/side. Give this exercise a go and your squats, lunges, rotational core, and more should be more optimal. Let us know what you think on Twitter or Instagram @halevylife !
by Jeremy Lau
Jeremy Lau is a Senior Staff Coach at Halevy Life.
Jeremy graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BSc. in Biomedical Engineering and received his Master’s in Exercise Physiology at Columbia University. In addition to his academic accolades, Jeremy is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
Prior to joining the team at Halevy Life, Jeremy completed a coaching internship at Cressey Sports Performance, where he coached both amateur and professional athletes, among whom were many professional MLB baseball players.
As an athlete, Jeremy has played baseball competitively for most of his life.