Within the body, the fascia is in a constant state of remodelling and change as we saw in the video “Fascia 25x”, taken from the full documentary “Strolling Under the Skin”. (Have another watch here if you’ve forgotten). In your thorax, the fascia is constantly changing, stiffening and releasing as we go about our lives. As the fascia around the muscles around the spine stiffen up, this causes all the muscles to consequently stiffen up in sympathy. Nothing could be worse for your flexibility than having a tight back. Limited range of motion throughout these muscles and fascia is going to cause others to stiffen up and soon you’ll find that you’re actually losing flexibility.
Doing these thoracic mobilisers is going to help keep all those structures working optimally and performing at top capacity. You’ll find that there are lots of area where you have a large range of motion but in other directions, you’ll be tighter than you thought. Maybe you can bend backwards really far but have real trouble rounding your back. Doing these exercises not only allows you to ascertain where you have restrictions but also points out where you have excessive motion.
We like to call these mobilisers “exercises” as they combine stretching and strengthening into one movement. Being conscious of what you are doing allows you to recognise what correct movement patterning feels like. Doing this enough will embed this patterning into your subconscious so you won’t have to think so hard about your technique when dancing and can focus on performing.