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Thoracic Mobility and Athletic Performance

by Ryan DiPanfilo, ATC/L, CSCS, Steven Candelaria, CSCS, RSCC, Daniel Fifer, CSCS, Michael Locasto, CSCS, RSCC, Derek Somerville, CSCS, Matthew Tenney, CSCS, RSCC, and Nate Shaw, CSCS, RSCC
NSCA Coach August 2019
Vol 6, Issue 2

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Gain a thorough understanding of thoracic spine anatomy, the causes and effects of limited thoracic mobility, and the diverse strategies that may enhance thoracic mobility from the Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball (MLB) Strength and Conditioning Team.

All performance training methods within Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball (MLB) Strength and Conditioning Team’s philosophy share the commonality of aiming to maximize the baseball athlete’s ability to function at their peak capacity and enabling the highest possibility of succeeding in competition. Of the many variables directly impacting the baseball athlete’s performance, thoracic mobility exists as one area deserving special attention. Although targeting mobility seems to be most commonly referenced for the extremities in the performance training world, the thoracic spine is considered a particularly important location due to the wide-ranging effects a freely moving thoracic spine can have on the body’s performance, potentially impacting such critical areas as scapular positioning, shoulder health, rib cage mobility, and diaphragm function. Gaining a thorough understanding of thoracic spine anatomy, the causes and effects of limited thoracic mobility, and the diverse strategies that may enhance thoracic mobility are critical to successfully maximizing the performance potential of the thoracic complex.

This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach »

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Ryan P. DiPanfilo, ATC/L, CSCS

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Ryan DiPanfilo is currently in his 13th season with the Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball team. He is a native of Saugus, MA and received a B ...

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Steven Lewis Candelaria, CSCS, RSCC

Strength & Conditioning Coach, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix, AZ, United States

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Steven Candelaria is from Farmington, NM. He attended Corban University and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. This is his 6th year worki ...

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Daniel Fifer, CSCS

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Daniel Fifer is from New Lenox, IL. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College and earned a Master’s degree in Athletic Training from ...

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Mr Michael George Locasto, CSCS, RSCC

Sport Coach, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix, AZ, United States

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Michael Locasto completed his Master’s degree in Strength and Conditioning/Sports Nutrition at the University of Miami, and completed his undergraduat ...

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Mr Derek D Somerville, MS, CSCS

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Derek Somerville is from Minot, ND. He attended the University of Mary and Liberty University studying exercise science, as well as Cortiva Institute ...

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Matthew Tenney, CSCS, RSCC

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Matthew Tenney earned a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Arizona State University and is a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT). He is now in his 9th ...

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Nathan J. Shaw, CSCS, RSCC

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Nate Shaw has been the Major League Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for the Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball (MLB) organization since ...

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