Professional Baseball Strength & Conditioning

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T-Spine Exercises
Derek Somerville, MS, RSCC – Arizona Diamondbacks

Thoracic spine mobility is extremely important for safe, effective performance in all athletes, especially throwing athletes like baseball players. While there are several effective T-spine exercises and drills, the Arizona Diamondbacks prefer to focus on closed-kinetic chain exercises where we can activate the serratus and obliques and focus on moving the ribs down, back and in. This helps create a better position to rotate and move in while also working on extending ROM through the T-spine. The D-Backs perform the following 6 exercises on the field, especially when on the road with minor league players. Many of these exercises have been developed utilizing Postural Restoration Institute® concepts.

1. Bench Oblique Connects

• Assume a push-up position with your arms fully extended, neck in a neutral position and eyes looking at the ground
• Set your core and take a deep breath
• Extend your arms and push into the ground to move the scapula around the rib cage
• Exhale until all the air is out and your feel your obliques turn on
• Drive your left knee forward to your left elbow

• Return your left foot to the starting position and then drive your left knee up toward the mid-line of your body
• Return your left foot to the starting position and then drive it up and slightly outside the right elbow

• Return to the starting position and repeat the sequence on the right side
• This is one set
• Perform 2×5 on each side before or after practice 2-3 times each week

2. Hammy Rachets

• Lie down on your back with your left knee flexed to 900 and your right leg extended up at about a 450 angle
• Set your core and push your left heel into the ground to lift your butt slightly off the ground
• Exhale all of your air until you feel your obliques turn on
• Inhale and reach your left hand over and outside your right knee
• Pause 1-2 sec and then rachet to reach a little farther outside your knee
• Pause again and then rachet again to trying to reach a little farther
• Pause again and then rachet again to trying to reach a little farther
• Perform 4 rachets, relax and repeat on the opposite side
• This is one set
• Perform 2×5 on each side before or after practice 2-3 times each week

3. T-Spine Disconnector
• Start in a push-up position
• Exhale and push the ground away from you with your hands and feet
• Set your core, inhale and then exhale as you walk your feet around the outside of your right hand
• The first step is with your left foot and then alternate your feet each step
• Walk your feet back to the starting position and repeat on the left side
• This is one rep
• Perform 2×5 on each side before or after practice 2-3 times per week

4. T-Spine Connector

• Start in an all-4s position with your feet slightly wider than your hips
• Exhale and drive your hands and feet into the ground to activate serratus
• Set you core to stabilize your torso, then inhale as your reach forward with your right arm and extend your left leg
• Bring your right elbow back toward your body and touch it to your left knee as you return your left knee to the starting position
• Perform 5 reps, return to starting position and repeat the on the left side
• This is one rep
• Perform 2×5 on each side before or after practice 2-3 times per week

5. Oblique Mountain Climbers

• Start in a prone position with your weight on your elbows and toes and your knees and elbows close together
• With your palms on the ground, push through your forearms and push your ribs away from the ground
• Inhale and walk your feet one at a time away from your body until you achieve a plank position
• Exhale until your obliques turn on as you walk your feet one at a time back to the starting position
• This is one rep
• Perform 2×5 reps on each side before or after practice 2-3 times per week

6. Adductor T-Spine

• From a standing position with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, bend forward at the waist
• Put your left elbow inside your left knee and left fist inside your right knee
• Use your adductors to squeeze your left arm between your legs to keep your hips in place
• Exhale and reach your right hand across and outside your left foot
• Pause, and reach your right arm up and back as high as possible
• Rest and repeat on the opposite side
• This is one rep
• Perform 2×5 on each side before or after practice 2-3 times per week

To see a video link to the aforementioned exercises, go to:

http://baseballstrength.org/t-spine-exercises-part-1-by-somerville/ and

T-Spine Exercises part 2 By Somerville

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Derek Somerville, MS, RSCC, LMT, CSCS, FMS, USA-W, FRC, is a Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

 

 

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