Exercises You Should Be Doing: Side Lying Rib Roll

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I realized yesterday while at CP that It’s been a few weeks since the last installment of Exercises You Should Be Doing. So without further ado, lets get right to it.

NOTE: Sorry for the hastiness, but I’m making this quick because I’m attempting to make dinner for my girlfriend tonight. I’ll need at least four hours to figure out how my oven works. No worries, the fire department is on stand-by. So is the police department. And the CDC for that matter.

What Is It: Side Lying Rib Roll

Who Did I Steal It From: I initially came across this exercise while watching Gray Cook’s Secrets of the Shoulder dvd a while back, and it immediately became a staple with many of our clients who suffer from shoulder pain/lack sufficient t-spine mobility. Not surprisingly, being the nimrod that I am, after a few months (and a couple hundred written programs later) I “forgot” all about this exercise.

On an aside, Brian St. Pierre and I were discussing this just the other day- how we often forget about certain exercises. It’s perfectly normal when you think about it, given the endless spectrum of exercises available to us- whether it’s from a book, an article, a dvd, or youtube for that matter. As it were, it’s always amusing when I go through old programs we’ve written, and come across an exercise that I had totally forgotten about.

However, as luck would have it, I was re-introduced to this particular exercise while reading Patrick Ward’s blog a few weeks ago. Patrick drops some major knowledge bombs, and if you’re looking for another blog to bookmark so that you actually don’t have to work, I highly encourage you to check it out.

What Does It Do: As mentioned above, this particular exercise is fantastic for helping to improve t-spine (thoracic) mobility. Likewise, it serves as an excellent alternative for those trainees where the side lying extension-rotation is too painful.

Key Coaching Cues: It’s important to place either a medicine ball or a foam roller underneath the knee to prevent any excessive lumbar rotation. Furthermore, you also want to be cognizant that the knee should be placed at (or a little above) 90 degrees of hip flexion. From there, while supporting your head with one hand, grab your ribs with the other, and simply extend back towards the floor as far as you can.

I like to use this is a “filler” exercise during rest periods of squats or deadlifts. Sets of 8-12 reps per side should suffice.

UPDATE: Meatloaf and mashed sweet potatoes garnished with ginger is romantic, right? You bet your ass it is!!!!!! *Fingers crossed/grabs Boyz II Men cd*

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