After looking at Thoracic mobility last week, this week let’s look at Thoracic stability.
Thoracic stability is a major part of core stability. Stability in the Thoracic Spine (think mid back/rib cage) enables effective shock absorption of the horse underneath you and assists you in keeping level front to back and left to right; the stacking of your rib cage directly over your pelvis. Which incidentally is what helps with the shock absorption but also with keeping your horse straight both on straight lines and turns and circles.
When training the Thoracic Spine region for riding specifically we want to bear in mind it’s just of resisting forces and maintaining straightness so here are a couple of exercises I like to use to do just that. You will also note that the abdominal muscles are involved in these exercises as they are attached on the rib cage and therefore form part of this stabilisation network.
Dart. Lying on your front, you can keep your hands under your shoulders for support if you wish. Looking straight ahead lift your chest forward off the mat-think forward not up! . Keep your bottom rib on the mat and peel the ribs away as if you could separate them.
Pallof press-using a band attached at the side / or a cable machine if you are at the gym. Take a step sideways away from the band and then with the handle in both hands push it forward straight in front of you resisting the sideways pull from the band.