Chest Openers versus Back Openers

I’ve talked before about having Scoliosis.  Its something that causes me minimal discomfort, but is still there lingering.  One of my most prevalent issues is a lack of thoracic mobility.  I feel tension between my shoulder blades a lot.  I had been focusing a lot on exercises that could strengthen my back or open up my back.  I was focusing on cat and cow in yoga….and paying extra attention to anything that was supposed to relieve back pain.

Then one day in yoga, we did a chest opener.

Eureka!  I was thinking about my thoracic mobility issue all wrong.  I didn’t need to do exercises that opened up my back, I needed to do chest openers!  I started focusing on opening up my chest and my shoulders, and found that those exercises were much more productive.

I still don’t have the upper thoracic mobility to get the fullest benefit from a lot of chest openers, but I’m accomplishing things in baby steps.  Eventually, doing more chest opening poses will start to open up that thoracic spine.

I know these seems like a small revelation, but it was a massive discovery for me.  Yoga has continued to surprise me.  It doesn’t matter how long you practice it, you are always discovering new things and learning more about your body.

What was the last revelation you had about your training or workouts? Do you practice yoga?


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