Trouble Sleeping? Always Hunched Over At A Desk? Tension In Your Upper Body? Try This Exercise!

Trouble Sleeping? Always Hunched Over At A Desk? Tension In Your Upper Body? Try This Exercise!

– Hi, it’s Dr. Brett Boddicker from Cornerstone Health. Myself and Denny Wongosari are athletic trainers for Cornerstone Health and today we’re gonna be talking about an upper-body mobility exercise called T-spine opener. Now, if you have difficulty sleeping and are feeling tightness or tension in your upper body, if you work at a desk, or at a computer all day in a hunched over position, or if you are a person that likes to engage in overhead activity such as a overhead serve in tennis, throwing a ball, rowing, for example, or if you have a stiff upper back with your golf swing, this is an exercise that you can utilize for all of those different ailments to feel less pain and more flexibility in your mid back.

Okay, Denny and I are now gonna demonstrate our T-spine opener exercise that we utilize at Cornerstone Health. Denny is in a split-stance position, in this example, his left knee will be forward and we are going to be focusing on his left shoulder. Denny, I would like you to place your hands down onto the floor. This is the starting position for our T-spine opener exercise. If you feel hunched over, or if you’re feeling any pain in the mid back region, you can utilize yoga blocks or books if you have them at home to elevate your hands and create a flatter back. We are targeting the upper back and the mid back in this exercise. So, from this position, Denny is going to move his left hand up, and he’s gonna rotate towards the ceiling, following his hand with his eyes. Once he reaches here, he’s gonna push his right hand into the ground, and reach that left arm up to the ceiling. This is gonna really open up and stretch our mid back. We want to avoid as much rotation in the lumbar spine, or the low back as we can. And come back down. Perform five to six repetitions on each side. If you would like to increase the level of difficulty, or the increase the level of tension, we can add a TheraBand. You will place the TheraBand on your hands. From this position, you will add resistance from the TheraBand as you go into the rotation. This will increase the stretch and increase the level of opening in your mid back and create more range of motion in your joints. If you are interested in getting a TheraBand at a wholesale price, consider contacting us and we can get you set up with the right length and the right resistance for your TheraBand.

All right, now that Denny and I have gone through the T-spine opener exercise with you, we’d like to talk about recommended dosage. As we’ve mentioned, five to six repetitions on each side is ideal. For general health, perform them in the morning or in the evening before you go to bed. And especially if you’re getting ready to engage in overhead activity, add them in as a part of your active warm up. Again, we would like to emphasize, if you are experiencing upper and mid back tightness, pain or discomfort, with your work, with your sleep, or with your general activity, consider utilizing this exercise on a daily basis to improve your level of function.


Monday – 7AM–5:30PM
Tuesday – 7AM–7PM
Wednesday – 7AM–5:30PM
Thursday – 7AM–5PM
Friday – 7AM–3PM
Saturday – By Appt. Only
Sunday – Closed


1030 Davis St. Suite 100
Evanston, IL 60201
(Intersection of Davis & Oak)

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