These exercises are for strengthening generally weakened muscles. Do not perform these exercises unless the tension and or pain has been removed from the muscles involved. Remain in a neutral position for each of these exercises. Do not to move around and lean as you perform these movements. IF you begin to struggle, do not continue the exercise. You do not want to compromise perfect reps for quantity of reps.
These W-T-Y exercises focus on strengthening the muscles of your upper back. When your upper back becomes weakened, your muscles start to stretch and fatigue due to being overpowered by your likely over tight chest and shoulder muscles. Your upper back muscles are largely responsible for keeping your shoulders and spine from slouching so once they become stretched and fatigued, they are unable to assist in holding you upright. Muscles to be strengthened- rhomboids, Middle and Lower trapezius, Thoracic erectors, latissimus dorsi.
W’s- This motion can be done against the wall, on the floor or even on an exercise bench. You simply make the letter W with your arms and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Getting a nice 4-5 second hold each rep will allow more muscle fibers to be recruited. 8-12 reps.
T’s are done in a similar fashion. keep your palms facing up, relax your shoulders, and focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together
Upside down Y’s–relax your shoulders , palms facing outward. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Banded pulls are great for upper back muscle activation. Do these exercise prior to starting a heavy back routine or shoulder routine to warm up typically neglected muscles. These are recommended for those whom have poor posture and those whom sit prolonged periods at a time throughout the week.
In a standing position, start with both thumbs facing diagonally towards the ceiling on the band. Notice one arm is shoulder level, the other slightly lowered. Pull the band apart, focusing on using your back muscles to initiate the movement, try not to simply just pull using your arms. Your arms should remain straight the entire time meaning there should be no bend in your elbows. Squeeze for a 5 second hold then return to the starting position. 2-3 set 8-15 reps.
Very important muscle group to strengthen. The rotator cuff muscles Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Subscapularis, and Teres Minor are often neglected muscles and when weakened, it may cause shoulder impingement, bursitis, tendonitis, or potentially frozen shoulder. Do these exercises before chest and shoulder workouts. 2-3 set of 12-15 reps
Internal Rotation– Keep your arm at 90 degrees, place a towel between your arm and ribs, very slowly bring the band towards your abdomen and slowly resist back toward starting position.
External Rotation–Arm at 90 bent at 90 degrees, pull the band away from your belly while keeping your arm bent. Remember not to raise your shoulders as you do this exercise. Start with lighter weight.