If you have problems breathing or have poor posture, you may have decreased flexibility through your thoracic region, according to Jeffrey Beck, exercise specialist with the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute. Beck recommends that you complete the following exercises three times per week in order to help improve your range of motion and mobility in your upper body.
1) Seated Lateral Thoracic Flexion: From a seated position, place your right hand on your hip. Place your left hand on your head. Now bend to your right side, feeling the stretch throughout the thoracic area and lats. Return to starting position. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps per side.
2) Thoracic Mobility Stretch: This move also helps improve posture. Kneel in front of a bench or chair. Place your hands behind your head and place your elbows on the flat surface of the bench or chair. Gently sink your chest down toward the floor, feeling the stretch through the thoracic region and lats. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
3) Thoracic Release: Roll up a towel or use a foam roller and place it horizontal on the floor. Lie down on top of it so it is positioned just below your shoulder blades. Simply lie there for as long as you want, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth and feeling that thoracic cavity open up.