Step 1

Starting Position: Stand holding dumbbells in your hands with a closed, neutral grip (thumbs around the handles and palms facing your body). Position the dumbbells alongside your thighs with your elbows extended or holding a slight bend. Assume either a split-stance position to stabilize your body or position your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.

 

Step 2

Stiffen your torso by contracting your abdominal and core muscles ("bracing"), and depress and retract your scapulae (pull your shoulders down and back), maintaining this position throughout the exercise. Your head position should be aligned with your spine.

 

Step 3

Upward Phase: Exhale and slowly raise the dumbbells up and out to your sides. Your elbows and upper arms should rise together and be slightly ahead of your forearms and dumbbells. As your arms move past 60 - 70 degrees (nearing shoulder level), rotate them slightly upwards so that the front edge of the dumbbells point slightly upwards. Continue raising the dumbbells until your arms are level with your shoulders and approximately parallel with the floor. Maintain your torso erect (no arching your low back) and neutral wrist position (avoid flexion and extension of your wrists).

 

Step 4

Downward Phase: Inhale and gently lower the dumbbells back towards your starting position keeping your elbows slightly extended and holding the neutral grip position. Maintain your foot, torso, shoulder and wrist positions while lowering the dumbbells and rotating them slightly downwards as your arms pass that 60-70 degree mark.

As this exercise traditionally positions the arms into internal rotation during the lift, the slight external rotation initiated at the 60-70 degree mark may reduce potential impingement in the shoulder joint.

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