A-Frame

A-Frame

The A-frame exercise is a highly effective movement that enhances upper body strength, core stability, and shoulder mobility. Inspired by the structure of an A-frame, this exercise targets the shoulders, triceps, and core, emphasizing proper body alignment and controlled movement. It’s particularly beneficial for athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking to boost their performance in sports requiring shoulder and upper body stability, like swimming, rock climbing, and gymnastics.

This exercise promotes functional movement patterns and muscular endurance while reducing the risk of shoulder injuries by reinforcing proper movement mechanics. The A-frame exercise can be modified to accommodate various fitness levels, making it a versatile addition to any workout routine. Whether you’re aiming to improve your shoulder mobility, enhance core strength, or build overall upper body resilience, this exercise is an excellent choice. Incorporate it into your training regimen to refine your upper body stability, strengthen your shoulders, and increase functional movement capacity.

Equipment Needed:

Yoga mat or open floor

 

Instructions for the a-frame exercise:

  1. Start in a plank position
  2. Simultaneously press your arms overhead while hinging at the hip
  3. Maintain a neutral spine and as straight of legs as possible as your hips rise 
  4. At the top, your chest should be pushed through your arms so that your spine and arms form a straight line
  5. Hold the top position for a 3+ count and return to the starting position

Common Errors:

The most important thing to remember is that your back should be flat or neutral throughout the whole movement. If your back starts to round as you approach the top of the position try bending your knees slightly.

a-frame Progressions / Regressions:

If this is too challenging:

  • Perform the movement with a smaller range of motion
  • Start with just a plank and over time begin working in this A-frame movement

If you want more of a challenge:

  • Try the A-frame toe touch variation
  • If the toe touch variation is still too easy try performing the movement with one hand

 

 

A-frame toe touch

A-frame toe touch

The A-frame toe touch exercise is a progression of the A-frame exercise that further challenges core stability and mobility. By reaching across your body to touch the opposite foot while in the A-frame position, this variation emphasizes the obliques, shoulders, and hip mobility. It also requires significant coordination and balance, making it excellent for enhancing core strength and functional movement patterns.

Ideal for athletes and fitness enthusiasts seeking improved rotational stability, the A-frame toe touch is beneficial in sports requiring agility, core strength, and body control, such as tennis, soccer, and gymnastics. This exercise helps correct muscle imbalances by training each side of the body independently, promoting symmetrical development. It’s a versatile and adaptable addition to any fitness routine, building shoulder strength and increasing flexibility while reducing the risk of injury. Adding the A-frame toe touch exercise to your regimen will improve your balance, rotational core strength, and overall mobility, providing a well-rounded boost to your fitness.

Related Exercises

90/90 Hip Stretch

90/90 Hip Stretch

90/90 Hip Stretch90/90 hip Stretch The 90/90 hip stretch is a powerful exercise designed to improve hip mobility, flexibility, and overall lower body function. This stretch targets the hip internal and external rotators, and the glutes, making it ideal for athletes...

Prone Angel

Prone Angel

Prone AngelProne Angel The prone angel is a powerful exercise designed to improve upper back strength, shoulder stability, and overall posture. Performed while lying face down, this movement mimics the motion of making snow angels. It specifically targets the scapular...

Band Pass Through

Band Pass Through

Band Pass ThroughBand pass through The band pass through, also known as the band shoulder pass through, is an effective exercise designed to improve shoulder mobility, flexibility, and stability. This exercise involves using a resistance band to perform a controlled,...

Related Posts

Building Accessory Programs – Part 6

Building an accessory program is a great idea if your training isn't well balanced or if you have specific goals that aren't being met. This article is the final part of a series all about how to build and implement accessory programs for functional training like...

Unilateral exercises: accessory programming part 5

Functional training programs are intended to make your body move well as a whole, not just as individual parts. Unfortunately many programs still lack movements that are helpful in sport and in life.  Adding unilateral exercises into your training with accessory...

Lateral movements: accessory programming part 4

Functional training programs are intended to make your body move well as a whole, not just as individual parts. Unfortunately many programs still lack movements that are helpful in sport and in life.  Adding lateral movements into your training with accessory programs...

Horizontal Pulling Movements – accessory programming part 3

Functional fitness programming often has a great deal of pulling movements.  Unfortunately programs like Crossfit neglect horizontal pulling in favor of vertical pulling.  For this reason, we recommend adding horizontal pulls to your accessory programming. To learn...

Rotation exercises – crossfit accessory programming part 2

Rotation exercises are key to generating power in movements like throwing or swinging and they also play an important role in muscle balance and healthy joint mechanics.  Unfortunately, they are often missing from many functional fitness programs like Crossfit.  If...

Anti-Rotation Exercises: Accessory Programming Part 1

Crossfit is a constantly varied fitness program that focuses on intense functional movements but it lacks some that may help you stay healthy. This post will help you learn how to program anti-rotation exercises into your accessory programs for Crossfit. Doing this...

The best mobility programs use these elements

Just like a diet needs a caloric deficit to make you lose weight, a mobility program needs certain things in order to help you move better.  In this article we will explore the top 5 things that the most effective mobility programs should have to be as effective as...

Banded Ankle Mobilization: Improve your ankle mobility

Banded ankle mobility mobilizations are simple and effective drills you can use to improve ankle range of motion.  Most of us could use more ankle mobility, especially those of us who sit most of the day and then try to train functional exercises like the squat....

Thoracic Extension Mobility: The Ultimate How To Post

Thoracic spine extension is a crucial spinal movement that is required for shoulder, neck, and low back health as well as athletic performance. In this article, I will discuss what thoracic mobility is, how to assess thoracic mobility, and what thoracic mobility...

Push Pull Ratio: Prevent Shoulder Injuries

What is a push-pull ratio? The push-pull ratio can help prevent shoulder injuries by helping you maintain a balance in the muscles around the shoulder girdle. It is exactly as it sounds- a ratio between how many pushes you are doing compared to how many pulls you are...

Follow Us On Social