LOVE this exercise!
This targets the mid traps, lower traps and rhomboids. Great for shoulder stabilization and strength. It is also fantastic for re-education of the muscle firing patterns within the body and decrease the upper traps from doing everything and causing neck and shoulder pain.
Thumbs up and in a T position = Mid Trap
Thumbs down and in a T position = Rhomboids
Thumbs up and in a Y position = Lower Traps
Laying on the ground roll up a towel and place it under your forehead so you can breathe without having to turn your head to one side, this will help prevent a strain in your neck. Arms at shoulder height and thumbs up – lift your arms up and squeeze your shoulder blades together (you should feel this in your mid back). Then in the same ’T’ position, put your thumbs down and lift your arms up off the ground (you should feel this in your mid back). The last position is in a ‘Y’ position, put your thumbs up and lift your arms off the ground (you should feel this in your mid to lower back).
Once you become really good at this exercise you can then add tension from a resistance band and do this exercise standing up (such as what you can see in the attached video below).
IMPORTANT: Be sure you are contracting your shoulders back and down with a chin tuck before each repetition, it is important to be firing the right muscles with this exercise. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you go into the resistance, this may help to decrease over firing of the upper traps. You should not feel this exercise in your upper neck or into your head, if you do, reset your shoulder blades and chin tuck and try again.
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