Video Transcript:

In order to open up our posture, to really pull our posture back, we really need to start to strengthen some of the inter-scapular muscles. The YTW exercise is a great movement for that.

So what the heck is the YTW exercise?

It literally means Y, T and then W, because those are the positions which you’re going to put your arms in and that’s going to help us strengthen some of these upper back scapular muscles.

The first one is Y. So literally you take your arms up to roughly 135 degrees, and you pull them back like this and you’re contracting in your mid back scapular area throughout. So you’re literally squeezing that midback area, maintaining the Y position as you bring your arms back. I’m going to hold that for about two or three seconds and then I’m going to come back towards neutral.

For the next part, I’m going to rotate my thumbs out this time and I make a T.

I’m squeeze my arms, or squeeze my shoulder blades together in the back to really squeeze some of those scapular muscles. I’m hold this again for about three seconds, three to five seconds and come back towards neutral.

For the last part of the YTW, I’m going to bring my arms back like this, so I’m bringing them back into a row. I’m squeeze this position through here, and I’m hold it three to five seconds.

I try to do each one of those movements about five times, holding it three to five seconds, so this does not take a lot of time.

The YTW exercise is a great exercise to really target all of those specific muscles in your upper and mid back area. The upper fibers ,the middle fibers and then really getting the middle and lower fibers with that W portion of the exercise.

It will take you time to really start to open this posture up. Some of those postural patterns, postural habits have been literally forming for years, so take your time with this.

You want to try to do this a minimum once per day, ideally twice a day is even better.

Take your time with it. This shouldn’t be painful, if it is please stop. Consider pushing back with less force, and doing less repetitions.

Any questions about any of it, please ask.

What is the YTW Exercise?

The YTW exercise for scapular retraction is designed to strengthen the inter-scapular muscles between your shoulder blades, to help retract or pull your shoulders back, helping to maintain proper upright posture.

YTW Exercise Instructions:

  • Step 1

    Start in neutral standing posture.

  • Step 2

    Bring your arms up to roughly 135 degrees for the Y position, slightly in front of you, then bring your arms backwards by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Refer to the video for a visual demonstration.

  • Step 3

    Concentrate on squeezing the shoulder blade or scapula contraction at the end range of motion, holding this position for 3-5 seconds. Then release.

  • Step 4

    Bring your arms down to roughly 90 degrees, rotate your thumbs outwards, and bring your arms backwards by squeezing your shoulder blades again with scapular retraction. This is the T component of the YTW exercise. Hold for 3-5 seconds, squeezing at the end range.

  • Step 5

    For the W component, keep your arms around 90 degrees, but bring them backwards in a slight W position, squeezing at the end range, focusing on the middle and lower inter-scapular fibers. Hold again for 3-5 seconds.

  • Step 6

    Repeat all the exercise movements for 3-5 times or repetitions.

  • Step 7

    If any of this is painful, please stop, as some modification may be required.

  • Step 8

    To further aid the YTW strengthening exercise, refer to the Wall Angel exercise video, and the Standing Pec stretch video, to help pull your posture and shoulders back.

  • Step 9

    To help further with posture, refer to the Neck retraction exercise video.

Read More About YTW Exercise For
Scapular Retraction Below

In this video you will learn how to do scapular retraction by the YTW exercise. Shoulder blade exercises are great for scapular strengthening, and to help fix poor posture, particularly to help fix rounded shoulders. This is a significant postural issue these days, with all the sitting so many of us do, and all the screen time.

This shoulder blade exercise can be done either standing, as shown in the YTW video, or prone on the ground, facing down. Scapular retraction and shoulder retraction exercises should be done slowly, and in a focused, deliberate manner. Do not rush through the YTW exercises, take your time with them.

At the end range of the movement, squeeze your shoulder blades together, for a better contraction of your shoulder blade muscles. Repetition of these exercises on a daily basis is key, and expect posture correction to take time.

If any of these movements causes pain, please stop, and consider using less force, or discuss with us alternative scapular retraction exercises.

To assist with your scapular retraction progress, consider adding a standing pec stretch to your routine, to open up your chest, and to make retraction more effective.

Any questions, please ask.

For further posture correction exercises and stretches, please refer to our neck pain Toronto condition page here:

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