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Y Raises

What Is A Y Raise

How To Do Incline Y Raises

The dumbbell Y raise, also known as dumbbell incline Y raises, works the traps, rhomboids, and rear delts. This exercise involves maintaining the torso at 45 degrees and raising the dumbbells until the elbows are in line with the ears.

Y raises can be done standing by holding a hip hinge, or using a bench for chest support. Using a bench minimises momentum and ensures the tension remains on the rear delt and upper back, while the standing variation recruits more posterior chain strength to maintain the position and stability.

Commonly Asked Questions On Y Raises

  • Y raises challenge the rear deltoids and muscles of the upper back including the traps and rhomboids. In the standing variation, the hamstrings, glutes, and core are also engaged.

  • To perform standing Y raises, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand using a pronated grip (palms facing towards you). Hinge forward at the hips until your torso is at a 45 degree angle, then raise the dumbbells until your arms are in line with your shoulders and your body creates a Y shape from the front.

  • Y raises can be used to build strength and stability in the upper back and rear delts, which can help improve poor posture, build strong and stable shoulders, and improve pulling strength.

Y Raises Tips

It’s important to use a load that allows you to move through the full range of motion with Y raises as this allows you to challenge the muscles most effectively. Stopping before you lift the dumbbells to the correct height means the rear delts are not challenged.

If you find the weight is too heavy and you are having to throw the weight up, rather than with control, lighten the load until you can raise the dumbbells without using momentum and while maintaining a neutral spine.

When performing the Y raise it can be tempting to use momentum to throw the weight up which often occurs when the lifter is using a load that is too heavy. If you’re opting for the standing Y-raise, be mindful of your torso and head positioning, if you find they begin to sway or are unstable it’s likely you’re using momentum to lift the weight. Lighten the load and maintain a neutral spine as you lift.

How to do Y Raises

  1. Set up a bench at a 30–45-degree incline.

  2. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, face the bench and lean forward until your torso rests against the bench and you are on the balls of your feet.

  3. Hold your arms straight down so that the dumbbells are a little in front of your body.

  4. To start the rep, raise the dumbbells up until your elbows are at the same height as your ears, thinking about sweeping them upwards towards the ceiling.

  5. Reverse the movement by bringing the dumbbells down, making sure to control this descent.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.