Ask the Physical Therapist

Denver • Lakewood 

The Key to Physical Wellness: "Chest Lift"

What is a Chest Lift?
A "Chest Lift" anatomically is when your upper thoracic spine organizes into neutral motion.  In relaxed posture we usually allow our upper back to collapse forward. This is a flexed upper back and we opt for this posture because it does not require any energy. 

A "Chest Lift" is accomplished when the upper thoracic spine transfers from flexed posture to neutral through extension of T2-T5.  It requires a subtle sliding of the shoulder blades down into there neutral position on the rib cage. Your chest lifts when done properly.

A "Chest Lift" is not pinching the shoulder blades together. This only gives the visual illusion of health posture by putting the shoulder blades in neutral without changing the alignment of the upper back. It actually locks us into faulty neck loading posture.

To learn more on how to stack the upper back visit Workout #1 



Why us A Chest Lift So Important?
The negative effects of a "Collapsed Upper Back (CUB)" is it results in unhealthy loading of the neck and low back.  In order to look straight ahead when in sitting or standing in a CUB we have to go into a forward head posture which reduces load of supporting our head from 7 vertebrae segments to 2. More destructive it changes the support through these segments from vertebral bodies which are designed for support to facets which are not. 

A CUB also forces faulty loading through the low back.  When we sit for prolonged periods of time and then stand up our upper backs do not miraculously figure out how to “Stack”.  The upper back remains slightly collapsed and in order to stand up right we have to arch our low backs to compensate for the anterior collapse of the upper back. 


Check in next week as we provide video resources on the different levels of the SymFit1 Chest Lift Series as well as hourly and daily exercises to keep your upper back “Stacked”. 

To learn more about how to "Stack the Upper Back" throughout your day watch this video.  Password is symfit1.


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