Thoracic Spine Crunch Exercise


The Thoracic Spine Crunch Exercise stretches and helps to improve mobility in your torso, specifically your thoracic spine – your middle and upper back.

Thoracic spine mobility is an extremely important, and often times overlooked, component of a great golf swing.

Poor thoracic mobility can very easily lead to pain and increase the potential for injuries in the shoulders, neck, lower back, and hips.  Unfortunately, our daily habits and posture make us all very prone to poor thoracic spine mobility.

The Thoracic Spine Crunch Exercise forms part of the Golf Mobility series of innovative and dynamic exercises that will help to improve your joint and muscle mobility, improving your range of motion while increasing functional strength within the entire range of that motion – thus helping to prevent injuries and building the foundation for a consistent, accurate, and powerful golf swing.


This exercise requires a “peanut” made by taping two tennis balls together – see Figure 1.


Figure 2.  Thoracic Spine Crunch Exercise Video.



  • Start by lying on your back with the peanut (see above) under your spine, just above your lower back, and your hands behind your head.
  • Crunch your torso, pulling your chest and pelvis together to flex your spine and lift your shoulders slightly off the ground, using the peanut as a pivot point.
  • Slowly return to the starting position, extending your thoracic spine around the peanut.
  • Repeat for 3 or 4 repetitions.
  • Move the peanut up your spine by one vertebral segment and repeat.
  • Continue moving the peanut up and repeating until the peanut is just above your shoulder blades and below the baser of your neck.


Keep your abdominal muscles engaged and do not allow any movement in your lower back or hips throughout this movement.

This may be a little painful at first, it’s like getting a deep sports massage in your middle and upper back.  As your mobility improves it will become easier.


How Will It Benefit Your Golf Swing?

The Thoracic Spine Crunch Exercise is great for keeping your spine mobile and helping to reduce stiffness in your back.

Spine mobility is crucial for a good golf swing.  It enables you to maintain proper posture throughout the swing, and to rotate your body safely and efficiently.

Developing poor posture or stiffness in your back will reduce your ability to rotate properly and will alter your swing mechanics, leading to faulty swing patterns and increased risk of injury.

For more information on the perfect golf posture, see Golf Swing 101 – Setup: Basic Posture and Golf Swing 103 – Setup: The Perfect Golf Spine Angle.


Target Muscles

This exercise mainly involves your erector spinae and your abdominal muscles.


If you have any questions or comments about this or other articles on Golf Loopy, please send us an email.


You May Also Like

Golf Performance Programmes – the most effective golf-specific fitness regimens on the planet, guaranteed to make you a better golfer!

There are a number of other golf-specific mobility exercises in the Golf Loopy Train like a Champion System.


Introduction to the Swing like a Champion System.

Golf Swing 101 – Setup: Basic Posture.

Golf Swing 103 – Setup: The Perfect Golf Spine Angle.

Golf Anatomy and Kinesiology, a collection of articles describing the roles of the muscles involved in the golf swing.


» Train like a Champion home page.

» Swing like a Champion Home Page.

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