As part of Phyx’s new Exercise of the Month series, we will encourage you to try a challenging new exercise every four weeks. Loading your muscles and joints in new ways will help to keep them strong, flexible, and performing well. Learning new movements and techniques will challenge your brain and prove the mind-muscle connection. Let us know what you think of the exercise in the comments, or by sending us an email.
Why do the Bent-Over TYI?
When done correctly, the Bent-Over TYI will strengthen one of the most overlooked parts of the body: the mid-back.
For most of us, our daily activities and posture lead to a relatively stiff and rounded upper back. This causes stiffness and tension in the neck, chest, and shoulders while holding the mid-back in an overstretched, weakened position.
Strengthening this area helps to hold us more upright, unloading our upper shoulders, neck, and chest.
How to do the Bent-Over TYI
Use just the weight of your arms to perform this exercise initially, and add light weights to your hands when you are confident with the technique.
Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Bend the knees slightly, then bend at the hips while keeping your back straight until your chest is parallel to the ground. Engage your core by drawing in your belly button. Your arms should be pointing at the floor in the starting position.
Bend the elbows slightly, then squeeze your shoulder blades back and away from your ears as you raise the backs of your hands towards the ceiling, with your arms about 45 degrees away from your body.
Keep your core drawing in during this movement, so that the lower back doesn’t arch. Loo at the ground so that the neck doesn’t arch. Keep your shoulder from shrugging up towards your ears. Raise the hands until the elbows are level with your trunk, and then slowly lower down to the starting position.
Repeat 5 times in the T position, then perform the same movement with the arms in a Y position, 45 degrees away from your head. Focus on keeping the back straight, and engaging the space between your shoulder blades. Finally, finish with 5 reps in an I position, lifting the arms straight out in front of you.
How often should you do the Bent-Over TYI?
Try this exercise 1-2 times per week, performing 3 sets of 5 repetitions in each position. You can us the weight of your arms, or add light weights to make it harder. Id you’re not sure how much weight to use, check out our FAQ on weight dosage.
What to do if you’re having trouble with the Bent-Over TYI
There are a few common mistakes people make when performing this exercise:
- Overusing the upper shoulders. To avoid this, make sure to bend over so that your chest is parallel to the ground, look down at the floor, and keep the elbows and hands soft as you perform the exercise. Gripping the weight too tightly will inhibit your ability to use the mid-back.
- Underusing the mid-back. To use the mid-back effectively, keep the upper back straight as if there was a broomstick running from your neck to your tailbone. Focus on drawing the shoulder blades down and back as you lift, but without arching the lower back too much.
If this exercise is painful to perform, you may need to improve your mobility or strength with some other exercises first. Try these:
Find other exercises like the Bent-Over TYI