F.I.T. Tips - Fix Your Shoulders With The Reverse Table Top

With Gavin Buehler


For this month’s F.I.T. Tip I decided to post a “How To” video for the reverse table top.


I love this movement for a few reasons:

1. Shoulder extension (bringing arms up behind your body), is the most under-utilized range of motion available to us in the shoulder joint and as a result, the lack of use and strength creates imbalances and instabilities within that joint. This exercise promotes shoulder extension as well as loads that position to gain strength and stability.


2. It’s a scalable movement so it’s great for any level. You can start with very little extension and load and gradually build up.


3. The positioning allows you to incorporate core, glute and hamstring activation working on full body engagement and muscle sequencing. These are other key muscles that are notoriously under utilized in today’s general populations.


4. It really opens up chest and biceps muscles that are commonly in shortened positions throughout the day for most people, providing much needed circulation and relief.


Give this exercise a try as a warm-up or cool down movement. It can also be a great practice to incorporate into your daily routine.


Recommended protocols:

1-3 sets, 3-6 reps, 5-10 second holds/rocks/rep.


-Start seated on the ground with knees bent about 90 degrees and place hands with finger spread flat on the ground about 2-3 hand lengths behind hips.


-Hands can be placed with fingers forward toward feet, out to the sides (neutral and easiest position) away from each other, or face back away from feet. Choose position that best suits your abilities and goals.


-Keeping arms straight, press through the ground with hands opening chest and thinking of gliding shoulder blades back around ribcage keeping space between shoulders and ears.


-Press through the ground with feet engaging glutes and hamstrings to lift hips off the ground to a level within your abilities. If you can achieve torso being parallel to ground that will be your end range. Try to have shoulders stacked over hands and knees stacked over ankles.


-In top position, use glutes and hamstrings to slowly glide torso forward within your capabilities, then use shoulders and arms to contract and slowly glide torso back.


-Hold top position for specified time then reset and repeat for specified reps.


As always, this video is for educational purposes only. Please consult a health professional before attempting new exercises or protocols, as the following suggestions may or may not be appropriate for you.