How to Fix Upper Back Pain (NO MORE KNOTS!)




How to Fix Upper Back Pain (NO MORE KNOTS!)

About This Class

Have you ever wondered how to fix upper back pain? You know, that spot on your back where it feels like you have knots for days. In this video, I am going to breakdown why you are experiencing upper back pain and 5 moves you can do to fix it for good. There is no need to live in chronic pain when there’s a solution that will have your back feeling better right away.

More often than not, when it comes to pain in the upper back, it doesn’t have to do with the muscles in the area (the rhomboids). Instead it has more to do with the joints in the area and that is namely the thoracic spine. When there is a dysfunction in the thoracic spine, you will often feel it in the surrounding muscles, but because they are not the root cause, we aren’t going to be targeting them directly. Instead, the brunt of our focus for this video will be on mobilizing the thoracic spine.

The first move that you can do to deal with your upper back pain is called the rhomboid pushup. While not actually targeting the muscles in terms of strengthening them, they are active throughout the mobilization of the thoracic spine. By allowing your chest to drop down towards the ground, you are contracting the muscles through their range of motion and as you protract to reach the top end of the pushup, you are placing them on stretch. Taking these muscles along for the ride as you move the thoracic spine will be the first step in eliminating that pain in the upper back.


Next, you are going to need to stand close to a wall and perform the wall splat. The key takeaways for this move are to keep your arms spread wider in order to alleviate any potential shoulder discomfort, driving your knee towards to the wall, and sinking your hips into the movement as you try to bring yourself closer to the wall. Doing the last two will help you to feel to move your thoracic spine deeper through the range of motion as you come closer to the wall. You will feel this almost instantly and will be good feedback on what your upper back should feel like when it has full range of motion.


The third move that you should perform in order to get rid of upper back pain is a mobilization drill that I like to call “can openers”. Simply get down on your knees and elbows, place one arm behind your head and rotate your upper back so that that arm is now pointing towards the ceiling. Hold at the top for a few seconds before returning to rest and then repeating the move again. Something to note in this move is the actively retract the shoulder blade of the arm that is bent behind the head. Repeat on the other side to make sure you avoid any imbalances.


This stretch, the 11:15 stretch (as I like to call it,) not only works great, but feels great too. One of the biggest points to make note of on this move is to not only make sure that your arms are in the right position, but to retract the shoulder blade of the arm that is in the 15 position. Just like with the can openers, while you want to reach out as far as you can in this position, you also want to actively retract that scapula. This willl help to reinforce the mobilization of the thoracic spine which is key in order to fix that upper back pain you’ve been going through.


The last move that you can perform here in this sequence is one that I’ve suggest that you should do every day in order to feel amazing. This is called the bridge and reach over. Not only does this movement help to mobilize the thoracic spine with the reach over, but it also allows for the entire kinetic chain to get involved so that you are moving multiple parts of your body in concert. From your feet all the way up to your head, you are working everything in tandem and making sure that everything mobilized. I think this is one of the best things you can do for any back pain, especially in the upper back.


If you are looking for a complete workout program that will fix your aches and pains while also helping you to build a ripped athletic body, be sure to head to via the link below and check out the program selector to find the right program for you.


For more videos on how to fix back pain as well as any other joints that might be bothering you, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel using the link below and remember to turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.


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Meet Your Teacher





Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS served as both the Head Physical Therapist and Assistant Strength Coach for the New York Mets during the National League East Championship 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons and coached some of the game’s most accomplished players including future hall of fame pitchers Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez, and perennial all-stars Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Billy Wagner to name just a few. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).


Jeff received his Masters Degree in Physical Therapy and Bachelor of Science in Physioneurobiology / Premedicine from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT (one of the top 5 universities in the country in physical therapy and sports medicine). Off the field, Cavaliere is a much sought after author and lecturer, speaking on the topics of baseball injury prevention and sport specific conditioning and has appeared numerous times in print media writing (including many of the top Fitness Magazines) on the topics of sports training, injury rehabilitation and prevention. Consistent with his desire to leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of creating the “complete and functional athlete”, Cavaliere also possesses an extensive knowledge of nutrition that he has simplified for the masses and both practices and preaches with outstanding results.


In the weight room Jeff is known for his unique and cutting edge approaches to functional strength and conditioning and has been called the actual “brains behind the brawn” for putting real muscle science back into training. Cavaliere’s physical therapy background is his greatest asset and what separates him from most all other trainers, as it provides him with the ability to apply his knowledge of bio mechanics, muscle anatomy and function in order to create some of the most effective (and often never before seen) exercise combos and programs around…while prioritizing safety and injury prevention always. His creativity and credentials are second to none in the game. When the goal is reaching peak performance and maximizing all that the body has to offer, Jeff is at the very top of the game.


Outside the gym, Cavaliere is an accomplished author having penned both the Major League Insider Training Manual (a strength and conditioning must for all professional baseball players and aspiring pros alike) and the Teen Sports Nutrition Blueprint (an insightful look at the worrying state of youth nutrition and childhood obesity…and more importantly…solutions to change this!)

Amongst his peers, Jeff is recognized as a respected authority who never lets ego stand in the way of education and continued learning which helps him to stay on the cutting edge of his field of expertise.


Cavaliere realizes that not everyone that steps into a gym has athletic aspirations, but finds that there isn’t a guy around that wouldn’t want to have a ripped, athletic body. Taking the exact methods and techniques used to forge some of the greatest, most explosive and strongest physiques in pro sports and now applying it to you…Jeff has now made it possible for everyone to look like athletes with his complete ATHLEAN-X Training System. If you want to unleash your inner athlete, build sculpted muscle head to toe, and finally get that shredded core…then it’s time to join the rest of TEAM ATHLEAN and get started today.

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