STARTING POSITION: Position the cable handles approximately level with the top of your head and grasp each handle firmly. Stiffen (“brace”) your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine, and attempt to avoid any arching of your low back throughout the exercise. Press both arms down and infront of your body to a level just below your chest until your elbows are fully extended.
Assume a staggered-stance position (i.e., walking position, with one leg forward) to stabilize yourself and align your trunk vertically. Allow your arms to slowly open , moving upward and outward to your sides. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows, neutral wrist position (i.e., wrists aligned in a straight line with your forearms) and do not allow your hands to move past the midline of your body (level of your armpit).
Exhale gently and 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, neutral wrist position and vertical alignment of your trunk throughout the movement.
Pause momentarily then slowly return to your starting position, allowing your arms to move back outwards 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 the movement.
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
- Perfoming 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 stresses 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.