You might be able to lift a mountain load of weight and your muscles might bulge like beach balls, but if you don’t feel good moving around, both in your training and in everyday life, you’re missing a key component of your workouts. Mobility is important, too, since you’ll be able to do everything better once you’ve mastered exercises like the spiderman lunge to thoracic spine rotation.
This is not your average warmup. The name is a bit of a mouthful, and executing the move, a dynamic stretch meant to help open your hip flexors and chest, isn’t as simple as showing up to the gym floor and getting into position. “It is a tricky move, especially because we have to create tension in key places in our body to really get the most out of it,” says Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. “It is not simply stretch and touch your toes—it is a stretch that takes some work.
Here, Samuel and MH fitness editor Brett Williams, NASM walk though the notes you should keep in mind anytime you bring the spiderman lunge to thoracic rotation into your workout. You’ll be able to add a totally new dimension of mobility to your bodyweight training with the move, so make sure to pay attention.
How to Do the Spiderman Lunge to Thoracic Rotation
Hand Placement Is Essential
Even though you might be more concerned about nailing the lunge and rotational portions of the movement, starting with a solid base will be the key to your success. That means that your hands are placed directly below your shoulders in the starting pushup position (with your glutes and core engaged as well, of course).
Once your hands are in place, turn the pits (the insides) of your elbows forward to turn on your lats and mid back.
Squeeze on the Back Leg
Once you step your lunging leg up to place your foot near your hand, you can’t just focus on the top of the stretch. To make the most of the movement, make sure that you’re continuing to squeeze the quad and glutes of your rear leg. That will help to create tension and drive your back hip into extension, which allows you to open up your front hip, according to Samuel.
Reach Through, Then Up
Rather than just turning your torso to reach up to the sky, give your thoracic spine some more action. Reach the hand of the side of your body that you’ve lunged with through your other arm, take a deep breath, then rotate to reach straight up to the sky. Keep your eyes on that hand throughout the movement, so that by the end you’re staring up at your pointed fingers.
Want to master even more moves? Check out our entire Form Check series.
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