Evaluating Thoracic Whips Effectiveness in Restoring Spinal Mobility using EasyAngle

  • , by Marko Dombi
  • 3 min reading time
Evaluating Thoracic Whips Effectiveness in Restoring Spinal Mobility using EasyAngle

Have you heard of Thoracic Whips Exercise?

It is a more advanced spinal mobility exercise that I have found to be extremely effective in quickly restoring mobility and reducing pain in my performing arts/athletic population. In this case study, we used Cory, a stunt performer and client of mine with mid-back stiffness after a long day shooting on a movie set. If you’ve never been “on set”, days can be quite demanding. From fighting 20 people, to being thrown on the ground and being ratcheted across stage multiple times throughout the day, the life of a stunt performer can take a toll.


Cory was experiencing some mid-back stiffness and needed a way to address it while working. Using a digital range of motion device from Meloq called the ‘Easy Angle’, we detected a 12 degree difference in thoracic rotation mobility between sides. For context, I have had clients come to me with complaints of stiffness that only revealed 3-5 degree differences between sides. For those in tune with their bodies, 12 degrees is massive.


 Using the Meloq EasyAngle, we measure at the bottom and top of the thoracic spine and calculate the difference to determine the rotational motion occurring in the thoracic region.

Enter the thoracic whips. It is a great exercise for him as it can be done from a standing position in less than a minute, requires no equipment and mimics his activity (think punching, kicking and reacting to strikes). For the general population, thoracic whips are also quite effective in restoring spinal extension and rotation after hours of screen time.

To perform this exercise, simply clasp your hands together and press them to your sternum. With your feet planted and elbows out to the side, perform a quick, pain-free rotation to one side for repetitions. Use your eyes to guide the movement. Repeat in the other direction. We typically recommend 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps.

Thoracic Whips


You may hear or feel your spine ‘pop’. While a ‘pop’ is not necessary to experience the benefits, this does speak to the joints in the spine opening up and allowing for more mobility. In this case study, we wanted to quantify the range of motion improvement from the thoracic whips. My reasons for this were three-fold; to make sure this exercise would provide Cory with meaningful change before sending him home with it, to educate Cory on his improvement and to motivate him to keep it in
his routine, especially while on set with limited equipment.

As you can see, in only 2 sets of 10 repetitions taking less than a minute, he has restored his thoracic mobility to equal the other side


Even the best exercises are useless if they are not practiced consistently. In addition to the thoracic whips, the Easy Angle device made it easy for Cory to see his progress and get motivated about our treatment plan moving forward. Since using the Easy Angle, I have found it very helpful in engaging with clients on their current abilities and future goals.

About the Author

Neil Toussaint, PT, DPT, cert DN is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, tricking athlete, stuntman and owner of TrickStrong, LLC. TrickStrong helps athletes and artists get back to doing what they love, optimizing their health, performance and longevity along the way. Dr. Toussaint is currently based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Learn more at trickstrong.com and Instagram.com/trickstrong


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