The reverse snow angels is a strength workout that targets the external rotators of the shoulder and stabilization musculature.
Reverse snow angels imitate the motion of the typical snow angels, except you will be facing down in this case. The reverse posture puts stress on the back muscles.
The intuitive form may seem awkward for a beginner, but it is essential to execute the workout with the proper form.
The main muscles engaged in this exercise are the traps and lower back, though some other muscles, including the obliques and deltoids, are also involved as you execute the movement.
Targeted Muscles: Traps, Lower back, Hamstrings, Deltoids, Glutes, Obliques
Exercise Type: Strength, Cardio
Exercise Mechanics: Compound
Difficulty level: Beginner
Place a mat on the floor.
- Lie on the mat on your stomach and straighten your legs behind you. Stretch your arms by your sides and place your palms on the mat.
- Move your shoulder blades towards each other and raise your arms just above the floor.
- Brace your mid-back and lats. Move your outstretched arms towards the front of your head.
- Meet your thumbs above your head, then move your arms back to your sides to resume the starting position to complete a full rep.
- Repeat until you achieve the desired set of reps. If you are a beginner, aim for three sets of 12 reps and rest for 2 minutes.
- Maintain your elbows straight and ensure your arms reach the maximum throughout the movement.
- Ensure you warm up well before commencing this drill because lifting the limbs at the same time puts tension on the spine.
- If your training surface is smooth, you can put some pads below your arms and legs to perform the sliding variation of this drill.
- Emphasize your glutes, adductors, then abductors.
Do not underestimate the fitness benefits of reverse snow angels. The abs and core play a stabilizing role, and they are well trained as you work out as well.
This drill isolates and stably stretches your deltoids. Avoid restricting the shoulders to minimize the probability of shoulder pains and injury.
Try working out adjacent to a mirror to help you monitor any wrong movement patterns in the lower back, shoulders, and hips.
MUSCLES WORKED BY REVERSE SNOW ANGELS
Reverse snow angels stretch the deltoid and lats in a controlled and isolated fashion. The workout primarily targets the lats and traps, strengthening the core and shoulders due to the stabilizing nature needed when executing each movement.
The other muscles worked include:
- Rectus Abdominis
BENEFITS OF REVERSE SNOW ANGELS
The reverse snow angels is a hypertrophy workout for the external deltoid rotators and stabilizer muscles. When your shoulders and stabilizer muscles are strong, pulling your shoulders back will be easier. This will improve your strength for general deltoid functions, overhead lifts, and even day-to-day activities.
ALLEVIATE SHOULDER AND NECK PAINS
When the shoulder and neck muscles are inactive, they become deconditioned, making them tight and weak. Weak and tight muscles are susceptible to sprains, so keeping them active is essential. Reverse snow angels activate the shoulder and neck muscles simultaneously, helping alleviate the pains that these muscles are likely to encounter. Working these muscles will also keep them fit and smoothen other workouts after that.
Reverse snow angels help define and shape the back and shoulder muscles and aid muscle symmetry in the upper body. These muscles are responsible for good posture. Proper posture reduces strain on the spine by maintaining body balance. The musculoskeletal balance protects the body support mechanism, preventing damage or progressive posture deformation.
ALTERNATIVES TO REVERSE SNOW ANGELS
Check out these alternative exercises with the same benefits as those of reverse snow angels.
Specifics: Do not attempt this exercise if you have back issues.
- Fold a towel and place it on the floor.
- Lay on the floor with the towel in front of you.
- Stretch your arms and place them at a shoulder-width stance on the towel.
- Plant your elbows on the floor firmly and brace your core as you slide your body towards the towel.
- Remember to hold your head in line with your spine. Your hips will be contacting the floor the whole time. Ensure you only move with your upper body.
- Slide back to the initial position and repeat until you achieve the desired sets of reps.
Tip: You can add challenge to the exercise by performing it with one arm.
PRONE COBRA EXERCISE
- Lie on your stomach facing the floor and spread your arms to your sides to form a T shape.
- Keep your head in a neutral position and begin lifting your upper body as high as possible while externally spinning your palms upwards.
- Pause at the top position for a few seconds and gently resume the initial posture.
- Don’t relax on the ground completely.
Maintain the legs and glute tension for stability. Engage your core by pressing your tummy out against the floor.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN DOING REVERSE SNOW ANGELS
Watch out for the following mistakes when executing the exercise:
CRUNCHING YOUR LOWER BACK
Avoid crunching your lower back as you work out since the position only adds unnecessary stress on your spine and can cause back and spinal injuries. Correct the mistake by positioning your arms correctly. Engage your upper arms and legs and drive your feet firmly into the floor. You can alternatively place a folded blanket below your hips. This will help keep you in the correct position as you work out.
OVEREXTENDING YOUR NECK
One goal of this workout is to build core strength. Ensure you don’t stick your neck too far to avoid excessive neck tension. Maintain a pitch between the deltoid blades to alleviate the neck pressure. Keep your gaze right ahead in the direction of the ceiling and focus on your breathing.
Reverse snow angels are versatile exercises that you can integrate with your everyday workouts. This exercise will stabilize your muscles and your shoulder rotators and build your strength. It will also improve your posture and alleviate joint shoulder and neck sprains. You should try this workout if your foal is to train several muscle groups at once. Remember to eat well and rest enough for muscle repairing and be consistent to enjoy the benefits of this exercise.
Best of luck!