In a weight-bearing spine, but non weight-bearing hips in a split stance, the purpose is to express full cervical and thoracic rotation and extension, as well as flexion/rotation/lateral-flexion.
Start in a unilateral offset sitting position, hands and arms supporting the trunk, elbows straight.
Perform head, neck and trunk turns (whilst keeping palms anchored), breathing out with each turn. Repeat each side. Work the side that is least mobile a few extra reps, using deep and long bi-basal breathing to unlock further range.
Place a hand under the hand closest to the front hip. Keeping the elbow bent, lay down away from the stance arm, aiming to get shoulder to the floor with each exhalation.
The first modifier is to permit the stance elbow to bend whilst “scooping and sliding” the opposite arm under the armpit, lowering the shoulder to the floor with each exhalation.
The second modifier is to extend the front knee as tolerated.
There is a strong elongation of anterior longitudinal and spiral fascial lines in the thoracic extension/rotation position and posterior longitudinal and spiral flexion/rotation position, providing an opportunity to highlight “tight spots” for treatment or self-treatment. There is also an opportunity to use facilitated breathing techniques to improve mobility in uncomfortable end-points.
Common errors and corrections:
The “stance arm” displays scapulothoracic dissociation, with the scapula elevating. This loss of static stability reduces the stability of the anchor point to rotate around, or to express mobility around this axis. The correction is to cue shoulder packing.