STARTING POSITION: Position the cable handles approximately level with the top of your head and grasp each handle firmly. Stand tall in a split-stance position with one foot forward of the other. Brace your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Pull the shoulder blades down and back. Do not allow the back to arch. Maintain these engagements throughout the exercise.
Press both arms down and in front of your body to a level just below your chest until your elbows are straight. In a slow and controlled manner, slowly open your arms upward and outward to your sides. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows, with your wrists in a straight line with your forearms. Do not allow your hands to move behind your armpit.
Exhale. Slowly squeeze your chest muscles to pull your arms forward until your hands meet below the level of your chest. Maintain the slight bend in your elbows, with your wrists in a straight line with your forearms. Your trunk should be vertical throughout the movement.
Return to your starting position, opening your arms out and back in a slow, controlled manner. Maintain the slight bend in your elbows, neutral wrist position and vertical alignment of your trunk throughout the movement. Repeat.
Exercise Variation: This exercise can be progressed in several ways including:
- Bringing both feet together to increase the need to stabilize your core.
Performing the same exercise while standing on an unstable surface (e.g., balance training device).
- Standing on one foot
- Performing the exercise unilaterally (one arm at a time) while avoiding any trunk rotation.
Avoid the tendency to lean forward during this exercise as this increases the stress within the shoulder joint, which happens frequently when the resistance used is too heavy. To protect your shoulders from potential injury, lower the resistance, align your trunk vertically and follow the instructions provided.