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Do the T-Spine Smash

Do the T-Spine Smash

Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CGFI



If you’re a desk jockey, then chances are that this self mobilization technique is for you.  This is a standard tool in my treatment arsenal when addressing shoulder range of motion or postural issues, especially for people who spend most of their day sitting.  You can use this to improve your posture, improve your overhead flexibility and positioning, increase the stability in your shoulder joint, and improve global extension throughout your spine.


Step 1:  Grab a foam roller.

Step 2:  Lie down on your back, knees bent, with the foam roll perpendicular to your spine.

Step 3:  Wrap your arms around your chest and position the foam roll at the base of  your ribcage.

Step 4:   Create a stretch force by arching back, dropping your head and shoulders band and down to the floor.  Spend as much time as necessary extending and flexing over the roll until you feel a change in the area. (about 2 minutes)

Step 5:  Keeping your arms wrapped around your body and as much weight on the foam roll as you can, sit up as if you’re doing a crunch.  Then scoot your hips towards your feet, sliding your back down the roll, moving onto a new area.

Step 6:  Continue and repeat step 4, until you no longer feel any change in the segments you are trying to stretch.

Step 7:  Enjoy your newfound suppleness.


This is just the basics of mobilizing your thoracic spine and getting out of a slumped-over position.  So many functional movements and physiological processes depend on your ability to create an erect and stable spine.  Put in the effort, make the change, and your body will thank you.

If you would like more information, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417.  Our offices are located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ.  You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit us.


Image courtesy of Rachel Kramer Bussel /

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