• Published: 16 June 2019
  • Be prepared to hear a loud back crack and pop as Jesse gets his upper back mobilized and you learn how to do the same thing to yourself. In this video, I’m going to show you how to restore thoracic extension so that you can stand up straighter with better posture and perform some of your bigger lifts more effectively. The squat, front squat, row, overhead press and deadlift are just a few of the exercises that require that you have adequate thoracic extension to perform them properly. This self mobilization will make sure you do every single time.

    It start with understanding how the spine is set up. The spine is divided into three different zones; the cervical, thoracic and lumbar areas. The cervical spine consists of 7 vertebrae and runs to about the level of your shoulders. The thoracic spine consists of 12 vertebrae and runs down to about the navel. Keep in mind however, the curve in this area is not all convex. This will be key when it comes to performing this adjustment properly. Finally, the lumbar spine has 5 vertebrae that ultimately meet with the sacrum at the level of the pelvis.

    When we perform weightlifting, the demands of thoracic extension are high. In order to properly elevate our arms overhead without compensation or maintain a proper posture we have to make sure that we maximize the full available extension through the thoracic spine. Unfortunately, it is quite common that we start to round our shoulders and assume a slumped posture that limits our ability to keep the proper posture when we need it the most.

    That is where the self adjustment comes in here. You want to be able to push your vertebrae that are in the rounded, flexed position back into extension. You may never actually get into extension with the mobilization but you will be extending them from the flexed position they are stuck in. First, it is easiest to visualize if someone else does it for you.

    You can see that this is what I’m doing to Jesse in the video. I ask him to lay flat on the floor on his stomach and rest his arms at his sides. This will open up the thoracic spine and get the shoulder blades out of the way to allow for a good spinal adjustment. I feel for the area of stiffness between the level of his shoulders and the bottom of his shoulder blades. I ask him to take a deep breath in and then slowly exhale. While he does, I direct the sides of my hands down and up to create an anterior force which will generate the extension.

    To perform this yourself, all you need is to have a heavy medicine ball or object that you can place on your chest and a foam roller (a weight plate will do as well, but you just need to remember to hug around the plate to create the space needed in the back when the shoulder blades are cleared). Line up the area of your upper back that feels most stiff and slowly allow the ball that starts resting on your chest to drop over and back down towards your chin. This will drive you into a posterior direction that will accomplish the same thing as the partner assisted mobilization.

    If you perform this a few times to the areas that are stiff just prior to training, you will find that all of the exercises mentioned earlier will be easier to perform properly and your posture will be much better. If you are looking for a complete program that puts the science of physical therapy back into every workout you do so you get better results, click on the link below to start training like an athlete today.

    For more videos on joint mobilizations for working out and the best way to loosen tight hip flexors and hamstrings, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on RUclip below and turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

    Build Muscle in 90 Days - athleanx.com/x/my-workouts
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Comments • 2 017

    ATHLEAN-X™   1 months back

    *NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY* - Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Attention whiners it's NOT THE FIRST 100, but 100 randomly selected WITHIN the first HOUR the video is published. Don't b*tch if you're not one of them :) Just try next time. Click to see if you’ve won. Good luck! 

    If you don’t win, no worries. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

    • Xplicit
      Xplicit  4 weeks back


    • Adrian
      Adrian  4 weeks back

      Hey Jesse, if I spelled your name right this time, will you shave so you don't look like the man who begs next to the entrance to my gym?

    • iamsmartmethinks
      iamsmartmethinks  4 weeks back

      Very generous man! Now I know!

    • ElHandi 18.7
      ElHandi 18.7  4 weeks back

      @Oscar Healy it's bad to grip with your fingers. He talked about it in a video. Whenever you pick up a dumbell you should hold it deep into your Palm. Not putting all the pressure on the fingers but deep into the palm. Check out the video he made on elbow pain when curling.

  • Cam S
    Cam S  7 hours back

    Why do the bones make a pop sound?? 😮. I thought you would just be loosening up the muscles.

    • Mison Lee
      Mison Lee  8 hours back

      He’s flexing so hard I can feel his power like DBZ from here

      • Kanyan Hodges
        Kanyan Hodges  9 hours back

        Physical therapist < Chiropractor

        • meesa magill
          meesa magill  10 hours back

          That sound was so satisfying

          • Derek Rose
            Derek Rose  20 hours back

            @houston chiro please stop this man!!

            • jew hawk
              jew hawk  23 hours back

              The whole middle section of my spine sticks out of my back 3 centimeters why is this

              • ArnobMD
                ArnobMD  1 days back

                Crackheads gonna luv this

                • Workout Crown
                  Workout Crown  1 days back

                  5:46 if you want to see how to do it by yourself

                  • Driving in Argentina *Fed Sher*

                    So pleasant either when someone does it to your back or doing it to somebody else... anyway I still find it kinda hard to feel the same way doing it all by myself...the closest to that feeling I could experience was...trying it against the back of a chair while seated, not bad 😆

                    • Ofir L
                      Ofir L  2 days back

                      OMG thank you soooo much !!!!

                      • Flappy Fortnite
                        Flappy Fortnite  2 days back

                        I’ve done this to my partner and he’s dead

                        • driftindwnhill
                          driftindwnhill  2 days back

                          Thought it was Aaron Rodgers

                          • Thinking Emoji
                            Thinking Emoji  2 days back

                            instructions unclear
                            became quadriplegic

                            • nolimit _mf
                              nolimit _mf  2 days back

                              Do you guys suggest a video on lower back pain and extreme stiffness, also some exercises for my knees hurting?

                              • Khalil
                                Khalil  2 days back

                                Thought this was Arda Turan

                                • David Ivey
                                  David Ivey  2 days back

                                  7:25 Jeff so cut his face has veins 😂😂

                                  • FreshAsImIz
                                    FreshAsImIz  2 days back

                                    Who else thought it was Aaron Rodgers 😂

                                    • mitch Alff
                                      mitch Alff  2 days back

                                      Lol this worked

                                      • Hoang MVP
                                        Hoang MVP  2 days back

                                        correction: in and up, not down and up lol

                                        • BobSamurai
                                          BobSamurai  2 days back

                                          did this on a pool noodle, not big enough to get a lot of movement, but as soon as i laid back on it i heard a ripple of cracks. going to invest in one of these larger rollers. thanks for the video!

                                          • Gen Luna
                                            Gen Luna  3 days back

                                            This gives me an idea. I can do this with the back massager

                                            • James Pavlov
                                              James Pavlov  3 days back

                                              Probably one of the most helpful videos I have ever wanted

                                              • Giovanni Andrade
                                                Giovanni Andrade  3 days back


                                                • WonderDoc, LLC
                                                  WonderDoc, LLC  3 days back

                                                  Jeff has crossed the line. Might have to unsubscribe and report to google. He should be fined or arrested for practicing physical medicine without a license. Anyone can stand on your back to get a crack just like anyone can reset a broken bone or dislocated shoulder. Some might get relief like in this video. But most will experience pain, strain and a dependency due to joint hypermobility. For those considering, do yourself a favor and leave it to the pros.

                                                  • WonderDoc, LLC
                                                    WonderDoc, LLC  3 days back

                                                    @shurdi3 Then he's an ignorant one and should know better.

                                                  • shurdi3
                                                    shurdi3  3 days back

                                                    He's a physical therapist...

                                                • German Fenton
                                                  German Fenton  3 days back

                                                  In Myke Tyson's voice: " I broke my back, spinal! "

                                                  • Kiba
                                                    Kiba  3 days back

                                                    I noticed that my entire back 'cracks' when doing a one handed push up

                                                    • CynDaVaz
                                                      CynDaVaz  3 days back

                                                      I'm able to crack my back pretty good with a knobby roller.

                                                      • Natasha Thomson
                                                        Natasha Thomson  3 days back

                                                        ah-mazing. I figured out that someone could crack my back so got my partner to crack it for years. Now I can do it myself. Woop! I have always wondered how it is created though. I thought it was due to lack of exercise (sitting in an office 8 hrs a day -.- )

                                                        • Ruben Rodriguez
                                                          Ruben Rodriguez  3 days back

                                                          Can you make a video for sciatic pain? Lower back and left leg have a lot of pain

                                                        • Technical Baatein
                                                          Technical Baatein  3 days back

                                                          4:56 literally who came to see the thumbnail

                                                        • Kapil Bhardwaj
                                                          Kapil Bhardwaj  4 days back

                                                          I have a small gym setup at mu home and stay fit , but i started this nagging pain under left shoulder blade , then i saw ur band pull apart exercise for pain and it really worked and the pain was gone , but whenever i dont do it for 2-3 days the pain comes back , what to do ??

                                                          • Diaz diaz
                                                            Diaz diaz  4 days back

                                                            Walter and Jessy are back with more Meth ... I mean muscles 😁😁

                                                            • Mist'er Johnson
                                                              Mist'er Johnson  4 days back

                                                              I just used the armrest of my sofa and my kid hahaha. Seem like a little relief.

                                                              • Zap Zap
                                                                Zap Zap  4 days back

                                                                I love my foam roller.. whenever im crazy tight ( long years of back pain )
                                                                i use it and just roll all over my lower / upper back.
                                                                Legs/ Shoulders / Chest for like 2 hours ~ 7 days a week for a month.
                                                                And boom im pain free for like 3 months.
                                                                I mostly got chronic back pain because i sit by the computer all day long from gaming pretty much my entire life+ heavy lifting job.
                                                                So my arms are always extended and putting a strain on my Back/Shoulders.

                                                                • Suresh Kumar
                                                                  Suresh Kumar  4 days back


                                                                  • FacelessMan6212
                                                                    FacelessMan6212  5 days back

                                                                    Osteopathic physicians approve this message!

                                                                    • MrSomehowHuman
                                                                      MrSomehowHuman  5 days back

                                                                      Jeff It's amazing what you can teach us! Thanks this really helped me a lot !

                                                                      • Michele Porcu
                                                                        Michele Porcu  5 days back

                                                                        Jeff's a legend, period.

                                                                        • Artan Saliu
                                                                          Artan Saliu  6 days back

                                                                          If i have disc hernia how can i do stomach exersises?

                                                                          • Khalid Mhameed
                                                                            Khalid Mhameed  6 days back

                                                                            you are the best :0

                                                                            • M I
                                                                              M I  6 days back


                                                                              • Terran Paul
                                                                                Terran Paul  6 days back

                                                                                Can you also do a video for the lower lumbar and pelvis area? I need that please

                                                                                • David Jimenez
                                                                                  David Jimenez  5 hours back

                                                                                  Same man , my lower back always gets so tense

                                                                              • Xabre2th
                                                                                Xabre2th  6 days back

                                                                                5:00 for the pop

                                                                                • tommy77903
                                                                                  tommy77903  7 days back

                                                                                  Why jesse still skinny

                                                                                  • IceWolve
                                                                                    IceWolve  1 weeks back

                                                                                    Chiropractors everywhere cringing at him teaching people how to do it themselves lmao

                                                                                    • Caleb Fortenberry
                                                                                      Caleb Fortenberry  8 hours back

                                                                                      Khan Hasnaan pt’s manipulate, they don’t adjust or use neurological indicators to support why they are manipulating. They also don’t adjust nearly as much as a chiropractor or chiropractic student does on a daily basis. They get like one class in it. If I need to be cracked I will go to someone who is a master at their craft, not someone who took a 3 hour class at PT school

                                                                                    • Nicholas Johnston
                                                                                      Nicholas Johnston  2 days back

                                                                                      Khan Hasnaan everything you said about DPT is also true in the US. This chiropractor doesn’t know what he is talking about and he isn’t worth arguing with.

                                                                                    • Jose Hernandez
                                                                                      Jose Hernandez  2 days back

                                                                                      Marc DeGennaro actually everything you just said is flawed. I am the president of a 3 very elite chiropractic schools in Washington and 2 in California. I literally wrote a book on self practice of cracking your own back so with all do respect You can suck my ass. Nothing I said is true. You’re a nerd and you’re taking this too serious no one is going to hurt themselves quit being a pansy this isn’t a super complicated movement. Most people watching this channel are fit people I would assume they aren’t going to break their fuckken bones doing this shit relax. No they won’t make their own heart explode it’s not that serious unless the people trying this are 12 year old skinny kids they aren’t going to cause any damage. It’s like any other rolling stretch with a little extra weight .

                                                                                    • IceWolve
                                                                                      IceWolve  2 days back

                                                                                      @Shining I work at a chiropractic university, any time i crack my own neck or back they give you this look like "no!" they are like you don't really know what you are doing and place stress on muscles etc... Also money etc... You can also injure yourself trying to do this yourself. or on some one else.

                                                                                    • Khan Hasnaan
                                                                                      Khan Hasnaan  2 days back

                                                                                      @Marc DeGennaro I'll check it out for sure.

                                                                                  • Jye Mitochondrion
                                                                                    Jye Mitochondrion  1 weeks back

                                                                                    Sweet, I got a foam roller but no idea what to do with it. More tips would be great!

                                                                                    • SuperEpicTimmy
                                                                                      SuperEpicTimmy  1 weeks back

                                                                                      Did this to my friend and he slept so soundly