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Back to the basics !
I, Y, T, W’s- are most often the go to exercises for those in shoulder rehabilitation or simply if you are warming down from a workout.
The initial three and eventually the fourth, the (W) which is often used when programming for clients and patients with shoulder weaknesses.
These movements are great for working on your shoulder strength and resilience. The focus is on the back muscles. The major muscle is in the middle and lower part of the trapezius or as every gym BRO KNOWS, YAH TRAPS.
They also hit all rotator cuff muscles which include the infraspinatus, subscapularis, teres minor, and supraspinatus muscles. To put it simply these are all the muscles that work in unison to stabilize the shoulder and move the arm.
The I – I n this position if one is looking from above you will be in the shape of the letter I
You should be on your stomach face down, with both arms comfortably over your head. Your thumbs should be facing up and side of the palm on the ground. Using the scapulas, pick the arms off the ground without bending the elbows. (Arms parallel to each other)
What to feel: Feel your scapula’s traveling down your back.
The Y – The entire body is in the shape of the letter it stands for. A Y.
Lay face down on your stomach. This allows the focus to be on the back and shoulders, and not on where your feet are or arching your back. Engage your core, squeeze your glute muscles, and press the legs together.
What to feel: You should feel this between the bottom part of your shoulder blades when you slightly raise your arms.
The T focuses on the middle trapezius and rhomboids (depending on if your arm is thumbs up or thumbs down position but it’s more of an emphasis than turning off/on).
The body position for this is pretty self-explanatory. You are in the shape of a T.
As a side note, any of these can be done in a bent over standing position once you can control your range of motion and core from the floor.
Keep arms straight and squeeze scapulas together to raise arms.
What to feel: Feel scapulas squeezing together.
The W This movement is meant to mimic an overhead pressing position and really allows you to focus on control and engagement of the shoulder and lats.