You don’t always have to go to the gym or even stand up to exercise. Discover how to do T raises, their benefits, and more.
The first thing to note is that there are different movements with the name T raises.
For this article, I will consider T raises to be an exercise where you lie on your stomach with your arms spread out and then raise your arms.
This movement mainly works your middle trapezius (upper back) and back deltoids (shoulders).
However, one downside of T raises is that your muscles go through a small range of motion.
This is generally less optimal for getting training results.
Additionally, the T raise position makes it relatively hard to add weights to the movement. Again, this can reduce your results.
In short, most people want to avoid T raises and go for something like a bent-over rear delt fly.
How to do a T raise
Doing T raises on something soft like a yoga mat can make the movement more comfortable.
That aside, take the following steps to do this exercise:
- Lie down on your stomach with your arms at 90-degree angles to your body. The exercise gets its name from the T-shape you are in.
- Slowly raise your hands as far as comfortable. Ideally, you keep looking down for neck comfort.
- Lower your hands back to the position of step 1 in a controlled motion.
Besides maybe keeping your neck in line with your upper body, T raises are a relatively straightforward exercise.
T raises muscles worked
T raises mainly work your middle trapezius (upper back) and back deltoids (shoulders).
That being said, there are a few things you still want to keep in mind when it comes to resistance training exercises like this.
First of all, you still need to do T raises with enough weight and repetitions.
While you can do weighted T raises with equipment options like wrist weights or small dumbbells, these are not ideal either.
Secondly, T raises make your muscles go through only a small range of motion.
A bigger range of motion tends to be more effective for training results.
That being said, T raises, potentially with weights, could still be enough to grow and strengthen the muscles you work.
T raise benefits
The things above are still true but T raises will still typically offer benefits over doing nothing. Some of these are:
- Stronger muscles: Doing T raises in a good exercise plan can help you grow and strengthen your trapezius and back deltoid muscles.
- Can improve posture: Strengthening the muscles you work with T raises can make it easier to avoid a suboptimal posture.
- Can make daily activities easier: Making daily activities like sitting upright easier is another potential benefit of strengthening the muscles you work with T raises.
There will be other exercises that offer these T raise benefits to a larger extent too.
However, if you really like doing T raises and the positive effects above align with your goals, you could still consider them.
T raise alternatives
At the same time, you may also want to know what these more effective T raise alternatives are. Some of these include:
- Reverse fly
- Bent-over rear delt row
- Bent-over row
What muscles you want to focus on and what exercises you like doing will influence your decision between these T raise alternatives a lot.
Are T raises a good exercise?
T raises can be a decent exercise to work your middle trapezius and rear deltoids.
At the same time, it is hard to really call T raises a good exercise because your muscles go through a small range of motion and it is hard to add weights.
In reality, most people will prefer the effectiveness of something like a bent-over rear delt fly over T raises.
That being said, if you like doing T raises you could still consider this exercise. Consistency partly comes from choosing movements you like to do.