With all the sitting we do these days our mobility just goes to crap. Mobility—that’s the freedom to move easily (on your own). Basically, that one thing which makes us function properly when we have to do something physical. Oh wait, we don’t do much of that anymore so we don’t need it (sarcasm).
Well, we do CrossFit… That’s good, extremely good actually. But. CrossFit is missing focus on the thoracic something bad, there is hardly, if any, rotational or thoracic hyperextension work. I tell a lie, there is back hyperextensions on the GHD, if done right (with thoracic ‘hyper’ extension) then it can be great. Sad thing is, most boxes only have one, some have 4 (gathering dust).
Okay enough on CrossFit, CrossFit is still better than what is happening outside of it in the office or at-home, slouching shoulders, no back strengthening exercises, etc. However, we do have something new, we now have access to an invention by some numbnut who is going to cash in on your laziness, yes, he’s going to make your posture better with a Posture Corrector/Posture Support. Why not, right!? I mean, they invented a tool to make it easier to put your socks on, so, why work on mobility to perform a good hip hinge when you can buy some shit to put your socks on while sitting down? Why work on your back when you can just buy a harness to pull your posture in a good position?
Okay ok, enough with the sarcasm, I’m going to present you with some good thoracic exercises which will help improve your overhead squat, plus much much more, but let’s sell it as overhead squat, because that’s what makes everyone go all crazy for it, which is good enough for me 🙂
I hope I’m not going to disappoint you too much now by saying that I’m talking about the kettlebell overhead squat, which is much harder than the barbell overhead squat, and will improve your barbell overhead squat, snatch, and much more.
If mobility means nothing to you, think about this way, do you have children? Do you have grandchildren? Would they like to go and do things with you? Sure they do, if you are able to go and climb a mountain, walk 10 miles, stroll along the beach shores, and that’s your freaking responsibility, stay active, keep moving, don’t become a lazy slug. If they spend less and less time with you, maybe it’s not them, but you, after all, if all they can do is sit on their asses and watch TV with you, fuck that.
Let me tell you something, there are people out there with no legs or arms that have done more than I have, and I consider myself fit and active, point being, it’s your mind, not your body, not your age. Grow up.
A good overhead kettlebell squat is not going to happen without good thoracic extension, it simply isn’t, no matter how good your ankles, knees, and hips are. Let’s think about this for a bit, let’s say you have good flexibility in all those joints and achieve a good deep squat, and your shoulders are right above your ankles, your arms would still be going forward because they would follow the alignment from hips to shoulders.
I’m talking about a double kettlebell overhead squat by the way, because a single overhead kettlebell squat is much easier due to the thoracic rotation you’ll automatically use to get that shoulder further back. I like to break the news in parts to you, hence the way I write.
If the kettlebell is not directly over the shoulder you’re basically in shoulder flexion all the time, like you see in this bad example of an overhead kettlebell squat. (0.49)
Following is an explanation of what thoracic extension will achieve. If we look at the blue colored area and imagine extension in this area (back bending) you will understand that the kettlebell would move further back and above the shoulder. Yes, a deeper squat in this photo would also assist, but no matter how deep he goes, that kettlebell is not going to move directly above the shoulders/ankles without good thoracic extension.
If you got the time, watch the video below to understand thoracic extension.
You know what really amazes me, shitty videos get the most hits and likes, even on my channel I have videos that I’m embarrassed off, but I leave them because they bring in so many views. I’ll leave a comment in the description not to watch it and check an up to date video, but they watch it anyway….
Following is a goldmine of info with video and instructions to get your thoracic mobility up to scratch, not sure why I’m giving it away for free.
Epitome of Overhead Squat Mobility: Bottoms-up Overhead Squat
Think you got good overhead mobility?
Kettlebell halo reverse lunge and twist
If you only ever include one of these moves in your warm up or mobility sessions, let it be this one!
Best Overhead Squat Mobility—Video + Article
A great drill to improve your overhead mobility.
Kettlebell pull-over into scap opener
This one is part of the Thorax Workout, make sure you check that one out, it’s a winner.
OH Lunge and Twist for Thoracic Mobility
You might like this one.
Kettlebell dead snatch squat and windmill
Just focus on the windmill, it involves thoracic rotation.
Training For The Shoulders, Thoracic, And Hips
The overhead reverse lunge is great for thoracic mobility if you use it right.
I’ve included this workout in a few books I published, it’s an awesome one that you should use regularly.
Thoracic and shoulder mobility
KRONOS WORKOUT For Shoulders, Legs, And Thoracic
A bent-over row with thoracic rotation, you can’t get any better than this.
Spiral Press – Spinal Rotation – Thoracic Mobility
A press with thoracic rotation, you won’t see this often, but you should. It’s not something you would use in a WOD, actually none of what you see here you would include in a fast WOD, this is just not stuff that you do quickly.
Shoulder and thoracic mobility plus core stability
This one is great for the shoulders, but if you use it right and open up the chest your thoracic will benefit too.
Kettlebell Lunge Windmill – Runners Lunge With Kettlebell
Kettlebell Windmill Double And Single Kettlebell
Last but not least, more on the windmill, it might not look like it, but when you come down you need to create thoracic rotation, especially when using two bells. Have a go. And guys, if any of this helped, please leave a comment, like, and/or share.