How do I do a YTA exercise?


  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and bend slightly at the waist.
  2. Keep your abdominals tight.


  1. Lift arms in front of body to shoulder height at a 45-degree angle keeping thumbs up (palms facing each other) and pinching shoulder blades back and down (Y).  
  2. Move arms straight out to side with thumbs up (T).  
  3. Move arms to the side of the body with thumbs up, retract and depress shoulder blades (A).
  4. Return to the start position and repeat.

YTAs are a great combo exercise to help improve the rounded posture many of us develop as a result of sitting at a desk for hours in front of a computer. This exercise feels great, can be performed with or without weighted resistance and truly helps open up the chest get you to sit up straighter.

Soup cans, 3 or 5 lbs weights will suffice…you can even do this without weights to begin with and then work your way up. It’s NOT about using heavy weights, it IS all about performing the movement properly.

The YTA name just comes from the position of the arms when performing the movements...the exerciser basically creates a Y and T and A during this combo exercise.

Here’s how you can do YTAs:

  • Stand with your toes pointing forward, draw in your abdominals (think navel to spine), and look straight ahead
  • With your arms by your side, hold the weights in your hands with your thumbs pointing out and slowly raise your arms overhead in a “Y” position (without tipping the weights keep the thumbs up); hold for 2 seconds
  • Move your arms straight out to the side in a “T” position (level with your shoulders) – still keep the thumbs up (without tipping the weights); hold for 2 seconds
  • Move the arms back and down behind you to form the “A” – remember to keep the thumbs up – still no tipping! You’ll really feel this one open up the chest; hold for 2 seconds
  • Relax and repeat all the way through; start with 2 sets, 1215 reps per set

Remember to breath! Your shoulders and posture will thank you. This one is sure to become one of your favs!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.