Starting Position: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie on your back on a flat bench with your feet placed firmly on the floor or on a raised platform so that you can keep your spine in a neutral to flat position. If working with a spotter, signal the spotter for assistance in handing you the dumbbells.
Pull your shoulder blades down and back so that they make firm contact with the bench. Your head, shoulders, and butt should make contact with the bench and your and feet should make contact floor throughout the exercise. Signal the spotter for assistance in moving to the starting position. Grasp each dumbbell with palms facing forward and thumbs wrapped around the handle. Press the dumbbells to a position shoulder-width apart with your elbows straight. Turn your arms so that your palms face inward, with a slight bend in the elbows. Keep the wrist in neutral position. Do not bend at the wrist joint.
Downward Phase: Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells in a wide arc until they are level with your shoulders or chest. Keep the dumbbells parallel with each other during the movement. Keep your elbows slightly bent, and wrists in neutral position. Maintain all points of contact with the bench and keep your feet firmly on the floor/riser throughout the exercise.
Upward Phase: Exhale and slowly return the dumbbells toward the ceiling in the same wide arc pattern of the downward phase Keep your elbows slightly bent, and wrists in neutral position. Maintain all points of contact with the bench and keep your feet firmly on the floor/riser throughout the exercise.
Safety is very important in this exercise. A spotter should adopt a split-stance position or half-kneeling position with the hands positioned as close to the most distal (wrist) joint. Keep the hands near, but not touching the wrists unless needed.