Courtesy of CrossFit Invictus
“What does thoracic mobility have to do with pull-ups?” Almost everything, when you’re talking chest-to-bar…
Picture your typical office dweller – slumped over a computer, slouching with a hunched upper back and rounded shoulders – glued in a crappy position for hours on end. Now take that person -with their turtle shell back – and ask them to touch their concave chest to the bar at the top of a pull-up. They try and try, managing chin over bar pull-ups with ease but are unable to extend their thoracic spine to stick their chest out enough to make contact. Make sense?
Besides making chest-to-bar pull-ups nearly impossible, crappy shoulder and thoracic mobility mean that you can’t go overhead without straining or loading your lumbar and/or internally rotating your shoulders.
The bottom of a pull up IS the overhead position and you can tell if you’re “that guy” if you are always getting reminded by your coaches to fully extend your elbows at the bottom of your pull-up.
But how many people do you know who spend an equal amount of time counteracting that crappy position? Very Few!