W-T-A’s Are A Great Way To Strengthen Your Upper Back
In order to prevent muscle imbalance from occurring as a result of upper back weakness and anterior neck and chest tightness, you MUST strengthen your upper back. There is no way around it. The pecs are naturally dominate in most people and the reason being is predominately posture related. They are stuck in a slouching or hunched position (forward head posture) for most hours of the day and for women, their breast tissue adds another element because they deal with gravity on a day to day basis.
With that being said, prior to these exercises, make sure you foam roll the upper traps and pecs. If those muscles are too tight it will prohibit the opposing muscles (mid/lower traps, rhomboids) from functioning effectively. Be sure to stretch after you foam roll.
Performing the Exercises
- Squeeze and hold each rep for at least 4-5 seconds. The longer you hold, the more muscle fibers that will be recruited and activated, which is very important if you are just beginning exercise.
- 3-4 sets of 15 reps for each exercise. Stop the exercises if you experience pain! (Actual pain, not the burning sensation from the muscles fatiguing).
- Point your thumbs towards the ceiling on the T’s and A’s.
- Make sure you avoid only moving your arms and focus on only using your back muscles during these movements.
- Keep your chest in contact with the surface.
- You can perform these movements on an exercise bench, against the wall, with weight or without weight