The Firefighter Workout Exercise of the Week is a thoracic mobility drill called “The Gunslinger.” Firefighters tend to have limited thoracic mobility due to the nature of our work. Wearing turnouts, lifting patients, working in SCBA, placing ground ladders are just a few of the many firefighter tasks that may lead to thoracic tension. Thoracic tension that goes unchecked will result in limited mobility, eventually leading to decreased performance and chronic pain. This simple mobility drill may be used as a warm-up prior to training or throughout the day to relieve thoracic tension.
- To begin, stand tall with your spine straight and your hands on the front of your hips.
- Inhale deeply as you expand your chest and pack your shoulders down.
- Fill your lungs completely before you begin your exhale.
- As you exhale, drive your arms forward and your thoracic spine straight back.
- Tuck your pelvis under as if you were pointing your belt buckle towards the ceiling.
- Maintain shoulder pack and a neutral head position throughout the movement.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
- It is critical that your breath be coordinated with your movement as described above.
- Don’t let your shoulders shrug up towards your ears.
- Focus on moving the thoracic spine forward and back (movement should be isolated between shoulders and hips).
- Be sure to incorporate pelvic tilt into the movement.
Check out the video demonstration: