The “Y” Exercise over Ball is designed to strengthen your lower trapezius muscles, which are essential for pulling your shoulder blades down and in and helping to maintain proper posture. Proper posture of your mid back region helps to prevent thoracic spine compression fractures.
When you perform this exercise over a ball, you also need to engage your lower abdominal muscles to stay stable, leading to increased strength of those muscles as well.
Get into position by lying on your stomach over an exercise ball with your legs extended out behind you so you can balance on your toes. The ball should be located right under your chest and abdomen. Your arms should be positioned in a “Y” above your head to start with your thumbs pointed up toward the ceiling.
If you find that this exercise is too easy and does not cause muscle fatigue, you can progress the exercise by adding free weights. You should begin with very light free weights, such as 1 pound weights. If you don’t have 1 pound weights, you can try using a 16 ounce water bottle in each hand.
To begin, breathe in. Breathe out as you lift both arms up a few inches from your initial starting position by pulling your shoulder blades down and in. The movement should be initiated by your shoulder blade muscles. Keep your lower abdominal muscles engaged. Do not arch your lower back as you lift your arms up. Return your arms to the starting position as you breathe in. Make sure to keep your thumbs pointing up toward the ceiling so you do not stress your shoulders. Do not lift your arms above the plane of your body.