Prone robot arms for intrascapular muscles

Prone robot arms is a seemingly simple exercise that requires a lot of upper back support to do well.

If you have weak shoulders or a tight upper back, this is a great exercise to help build strength so you feel great!

Prone robot arms usually works best after thoracic rotation and some scapular mobility exercises like sagittal/lateral arm arcs, prone front crawl or quadruped shoulder blade glides.



Teach in this sequence

  • Position: lie face down with face resting on small pillow or rolled up towel
  • Core: pull abdominal wall in to provide a base of support for the upper body
  • Shoulders: lift the shoulders away from the mat to place the arm bone in an optimal position at the shoulder joint
  • Arms: lift arms as if they’re weightless

Key points to remember

  • Prepare for this exercise by lifting the shoulders away from the mat a few times.
  • Do this exercise without strain. If the neck and shoulders are tensing up, it’s a sign there’s not much support from the intrascapular muscles. Take a rest and do the “preparation” several times before lifting the arms
  • Make sure elbows and wrists are lined up with the shoulders
  • Your power comes from the back of torso between the shoulder blades