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Prone T Raise Exercise 2023

The Prone T Raise Exercise is a bodyweight workout targeting the shoulder muscles and upper back, specifically the rhomboids, deltoids, and rotator cuff muscles.

The T raise is the second exercise for the shoulder stability drill, which is part of the Army Physical Readiness Training.

Shoulder stability exercises can help improve posture, prevent shoulder injuries, and enhance performance in activities that involve shoulder movements.

There are four more exercises in the shoulder stability drills:

The T Raise exercise is simple yet effective, targeting your shoulders and upper back muscles. It’s a great way to build strength and definition in these areas, and it’s suitable for people of all fitness levels.

Shoulder Stability Drill, Exercise 2: T Raises

T Raise
Prone T Raises


  • This exercise develops shoulder strength and stability 

Starting Position: 

  •  The starting position for the T raise is the prone position with arms lying on the ground straight out from the shoulders at 90 degrees to the trunk. 
  • This is the T position.

Cadence: SLOW

Here’s how to perform the Prone T raise in a formation at a slow cadence. 

  1. Begin in the prone position (lying face down) with your arms extended straight out from your shoulders, forming a T shape with your body (This is the T position)
  2.  Your palms should face the ground, fingers and thumbs extended and joined. Keep your feet together with your toes pointing towards the rear. Slightly elevate your head off the ground.


  1. On Count One: Raise both arms 3 to 6 inches off the ground while keeping your elbows straight. Your head should remain in its starting position.
  2. On Count Two: Lower your arms back to the ground to return to the starting position.
  3. On Count Three: Repeat the lifting motion of count one.
  4. On Count Four: Return your arms to the ground, resuming the starting position.
  5. Repeat this sequence for a total of five times.

Precaution: Keep the head slightly elevated throughout the exercise, and do not jerk the body into the up positions on counts 1 and 3.

Check Points:

  • At the starting position, tighten the abdominals to stabilize the trunk. The head is slightly elevated and aligned with the spine.
  • On counts 1 and 3, keep the back generally straight with the head up.
  • Throughout the exercise, the arms should be fully extended, and the trunk and legs should also be aligned.

Dumbbell T Raises

You can also perform T raises with dumbbells. Using dumbbells increases resistance, and just like the shoulder flys, it effectively targets the upper body muscles, specifically the deltoids (shoulders), trapezius (upper back), and rhomboids (upper back), among others.

How to Perform the Dumbbell T-Raise Exercise

Performing the T Raise exercise is easy, but proper form is essential to getting the most out of the practice. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells.
  2. Bend forward at the hips, keeping your back straight, until your torso is almost parallel to the floor.
  3. Raise your arms to the sides until they’re similar to the floor, forming a “T” shape with your body.
  4. Hold this position for two seconds, then slowly lower your arms.

Remember to keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the exercise. Avoid shrugging your shoulders or swinging your arms, as this reduces the workout’s effectiveness.

Muscles Worked in the T Raise Exercise

The T Raise exercise primarily targets the following muscles:


  • Your deltoids, or shoulder muscles, are responsible for raising your arms to the sides and rotating your arms.


  • Your trapezius muscles, or traps, are located in your upper back and neck. They’re responsible for moving your shoulder blades and supporting your posture.

The T Raise exercise can help you build a strong, defined upper body by targeting these muscles.

Benefits of T Raise Exercise

Incorporating T Raise exercises into your fitness routine offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Improved shoulder strength: The T Raise exercise is an effective way to strengthen your shoulder muscles, which can help improve your posture and reduce your risk of injury.
  • Increased shoulder definition: Working the deltoid muscles can help define your shoulders and give them a more sculpted appearance.
  • Improved posture: The T Raise exercise targets the muscles in your upper back that support your spine and improve your posture.
  • Reduced risk of shoulder injury: By strengthening your shoulder muscles, the T Raise exercise can help reduce your risk of shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears.

T Raise Exercise Variations

If you want to increase the intensity of the T Raise exercise, try these variations:

Bent-over T Raise

  • This variation is similar to the standard T Raise, but you bend your knees slightly and lean forward more at the hips to increase the work on your upper back muscles.

Lateral Raise to T Raise

  • This variation involves raising your arms to the sides and then up to form a “Y” shape before lowering them back down. This adds extra work for your shoulder muscles and upper back.

Resistance band T Raise

  • This variation uses resistance bands instead of dumbbells to provide variable resistance throughout the movement.


The T Raise exercise is a simple yet effective way to target your shoulder muscles and upper back to build strength and definition. 

You can reap numerous benefits by performing this exercise correctly and regularly, such as improved shoulder strength, increased shoulder definition, improved posture, and a reduced risk of shoulder injury. So try it today and enjoy a more muscular and defined upper body!

George N.