Starting Position: Sit with your back firmly supported against the backrest. If adjustable, position the handles so they are level with your shoulders. Grasp the handles and position your hands level with your upper chest or shoulders. Keep your wrists in line with your forearms (neutral) throughout the exercise. Plant your feet firmly on the floor to stabilize your body. Brace your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Maintain the natural arch in your low back. Do not press your low back into the backrest or allow your back to arch away from the backrest. Pull your shoulder blades back and down. Maintain these engagements throughout the exercise.
Gently exhale. Press the handles forward and straighten your arms forward and upward, level with your forehead or top of your head. Keep your head aligned with your spine. Do not allow the shoulders to round forward.
Press until the elbows are straight, but not locked. Pause. Bend your elbows and return to start position in a slow and controlled manner. Stop when the handles lightly touch, or are close to, your upper chest. Repeat.
Exercise Variation: To increase the exercise intensity and involve additional muscles, perform the following variations:
(a) Perform unilateral (one arm at a time) presses
(b) Sit upright off the backrest, which will require a greater effort to stabilize your trunk as you perform the press movement.
Because a cable movement allows more freedom in the movement, it is important that you concentrate to control the speed, range and direction of movement during this exercise.