The Heel Sit rotation is an exercise used to mobilize the upper or thoracic spine during the warmup. This exercise will help to improve the mobility and flexibility of your thoracic spine.
The Set up
Sit with knees on ground, butt on heels, stomach on upper thighs, right arm extended forward with hand on ground, and left hand behind head. See below, it is important to setup the correct angles, having equal angles with the arm and the thigh.
Recommendation is 5 reps for each side (2-second hold).
Having the correct set up allows the rotation to occur about that upper spine or thoracic spine rather than coming up and down.
The location it should be felt is in that middle area of the back, not rotating around the shoulder or the chest. Aim to rotate solely through the middle of back rather than using the arm.
Some areas that often go wrong:
This is a big problem coming up and rounding the spine rather than actually rotating.
Not Flexing Toes
Second problem is not flexing the toes. How you flex or bend your feet dictates how you can rotate. Lack of lower body flection has been linked with upper body injury risk.
The best way to see if an individual needs a movement like this is through Sparta’s Plank Scan. If you show movement while in the plank position, it is an indicator that you’re trying to stabilize through that thoracic spine.
Regardless of the training day, utilizing the heel sit rotation is a must-add to your warmup routine.