A, Y, T Shoulder Prehab (Complete How To Guide)

A, Y, Ts are a combination of three shoulder prehab movements done back-to-back-to-back. All three movements work in different angles to develop the posterior shoulder musculature to help protect the shoulder from injury.

In this guide, I’m going to explain exactly what A, Y, Ts are, how to do them and give a few additional exercises that also can help with shoulder health.

How To Do A, Y, Ts

Equipment Needed

  • Very light dumbbells (typically 3lb or 5lb) OR Weight Plates (typically 2.5lb or 5lb)
  • Adjustable Bench

Muscles Worked

  • Mid and Upper Trapezius
  • Posterior Delt
  • Rotator Cuff Muscles (Infraspinatus, Subscapularis, Teres Minor and Supraspinatus)

How To

  • Adjust a bench up to about 30 degrees and grab two light weight plates.
  • Lay on your stomach with your head hanging off the top of the bench.
  • Set up in the starting position by engaging the lats and pulling the shoulder blades together.
  • Now, keep the arms straight and raise the plates overhead (like the A in YMCA).
  • Lower back down under control and complete 10 reps.
  • Once all reps are done immediately begin doing Ys by raising the plates at a 45-degree angle, thumbs pointed toward the ceiling.
  • Once you’ve completed ten Ys, finish with 10 Ts.
  • Ts are done by raising the arms straight to the side, thumbs still pointing up.

Coaching Points

Keep the shoulder blades pulled back, but do not shrug up. Shrugging up takes the emphasis away from the focus of A, Y, Ts.

Stay in control of each rep. Do not allow weights to be swung up and down.

How Many Reps?

A, Y, Ts are usually done as part of the warm-up with either 1 or 2 sets of 30 reps each (10 As + 10 Ys + 10 Ts).

A, Y, T Alternatives

Here are a couple of other exercises that also will help improve shoulder stability.

Band Tears

Band Tears are one of the simplest exercises you can do in a weight room, but they are still an effective exercise for the rear delt and rotator cuff.

Grab a thin resistance band on the ends and hold it straight out in front of you. Keeping arms straight, pull the arms straight out to the sides, bringing the band to the chest.

Scap Pushups

Scap Pushup is another great shoulder stability exercise that can easily be incorporated into a warm-up.

Get into a push-up position, keep the arms straight and only work on retracting and protracting the shoulder blades. It may take a few sets to get the hang of not bending your elbows so have patience with yourself.

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More Links and Info

A, Y, Ts emphasis on building strength around the rotator cuff makes it a great exercise for athletes where should health is paramount like baseball pitchers and lacrosse players.

Looking for more upper-body lifts to build strength and stability? Go check out the Upper Body Lifts Section of our Exercise Library. There you’ll find dozens of exercises, all with complete detailed instructions.

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