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✅ Final part of the 3 part series on fixing your squat, this is the final step to master your squat and fix that stubborn forward lean. So far we’ve covered ankle mobility and hip tightens and lastly we’ll go over thoracic mobility and strength. Poor thoracic mobility and strength often lead to an excessive forward lean to compensate while keeping the spine neutral. Otherwise the low back may extent while the thoracic spine remains with a kyphotic curve which will look like a mess.

✅ To fix this, we must first open up our thoracic spine this can be done by performing exercises like the Cat/camel and doing thoracic extensions on a foam roller. These should be done in sets of 3, 20-30 reps each. With the thoracic extensions I would recommend holding your neck, and locking your elbows together to ensure the cervical spine moves together with the thoracic.

✅ Lastly an often overlooked part of improving thoracic mobility is improving the strength in the extended position of the spine. The erectors in that area are weak most of the time and cannot support the T-spine in extended positions for a prolonged period of time. To strengthen these I perform a exercises I came up with to strengthen my overhead squat. It is performed by getting into a squat with a band looped around your back under your armpits. Next step back while in a squat to create tension in the band that would be pulling you forward. Now lean forward in your squat to avoid using your bodyweight to hold the tension, and extend your thoracic spine to hold the force of the band, and hold for 20-30 seconds. Upon completion you should feel more upright as your back muscles are pulling you back. Also another very useful exercise for thoracic strength are superman’s as they incorporate T-extensors and glutes together.

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