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Shoulder Extension Exercises

author image Jolie Johnson
Based in Austin, Texas, Jolie Johnson has been in the fitness industry for over 12 years and has been writing fitness-related articles since 2008 for various websites. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and philosophy from the University of Illinois.
Shoulder Extension Exercises
A bodybuilder using a cable machine. Photo Credit Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images

The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body. It can perform several movements, including shoulder extension, which involves pulling your upper arm down and back from above. If you hold your arms out in front of you so that they are parallel to the floor and then pull them down to your sides, you are performing shoulder extension. Shoulder extension exercises work the lats, rear delts, chest and triceps.

Cable Straight-Arm Pull-Down

Use a high-pulley cable or a lat pull-down station with a straight bar attachment. Grab the handle with your palms down and your hands about shoulder-width apart. Start with your arms extended in front of you at shoulder height. Position your elbows in a slight bend and maintain this joint angle throughout the movement. Exhale and press down against the weight, pulling the bar in an arc until it rests in front of your upper thighs. Pause for a count and squeeze your back. Do not bounce the bar off your thighs.

Decline Cable Pullover

The decline cable pullover provides an increased range of motion because you start with your arms overhead. Set a declined bench in front of a cable station with a straight bar attached. Lie on your back with your head closest to the machine. Have a workout partner hand you the bar and grab it with a shoulder-width overhand grip. Extend your arms overhead with a slight bend in your elbows. Don't move your elbows during the exercise. Pull the bar up and over until it touches your upper thighs or pelvic area.

Exercise Machine Pullover

If you have access to a commercial gym, it may have a machine pullover station. Sit in the machine and adjust the resistance by sliding the pin under the desired weight. Grab the handles above your head and press down against the weight. Sit up straight. Do not lean forward or round out your lower back.

Kneeling Band Straight-Arm Pull-Down

You don't need access to a cable machine to perform the kneeling band straight-arm pull-down. Use a resistance band and anchor it above your head. Kneel in front of the band, but position your body far enough away so that your arms can be extended in front of you with your palms facing the floor. Press down against the resistance until your hands touch your thighs.

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