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  • Writer's pictureKeep It Moving PT & Wellness

Week 4: Split Stance Cable Rotational Chest Press

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

Purpose: To coordinate thoracic spine rotation and scapular protraction/retraction while utilizing deep core activation and control to maintain a stacked ribcage over pelvis alignment in a narrow base stance position. Limiting movement in the sagittal plane (aka flexion/extension) and frontal plane (aka elevation/depression, sidebending) is another main objective

What It Targets: Internal Obliques, External Obliques, Serratus Anterior, Pectoralis Major/Minor, Latissimus Dorsi, Triceps, Mid and Lower Trapezius, Rhomboids


  1. Stand with one foot in front of the other, with the front foot flat and the back heel up (Split Stance Position). 80% of your weight should be on your front leg

  2. With the arm opposite your front leg, grab a cable or resistance band anchored behind you and overhead, in line with your arm

  3. Keeping your spine in a straight line with pelvis tucked and ribs anchored toward your belly-button, lean your trunk slightly forward by hinging at your hips. Core should be on and focus should be on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth

  4. Press the cable forward by driving your fist in an angle parallel with the source of the resistance, while simultaneously bringing your opposite elbow and shoulder blade back. The working arm presses the resistance forward, allowing full protraction of the scapula, while the opposite arm emphasizes returning from full protraction to full retraction of the scapula.

  5. Exhale as you press the arm forward, and inhale as you bring it back

  6. Repeat as prescribed and perform on the other side

Main Cues:

  • Maintain posterior pelvic tilt and front lower ribs anchored down towards belly button

  • Focus movement primarily in the transverse plane, emphasizing rotation of the thoracic spine

  • Allow full protraction and retraction of the shoulder blades with each repetition

  • Press your fist forward against the resistance on the EXHALE

  • Slowly control the resistance back to the start position on the INHALE

Common Compensations/Adverse Effects:

  • Thoracic spine extension when returning the cable after each repetition

Correction: Maintain ribs anchored down throughout the whole set using a strong exhale

  • Shoulder or scapular elevation at any point

Correction: Envision keeping your shoulder blade in your back pocket

  • Too much weight on your back leg

Correction: Lean your whole trunk forward and focus on putting weight through your front heel

  • Excessive trunk sway in any direction

Correction: Focus your gaze on one spot on the floor throughout the entire exercise

Why We Love It:

  • Promotes maintenance of core engagement throughout a higher level controlled mobility task

  • Restores ribcage expansion and thoracic spine flexion to provide a domed surface for the scapulae to glide upon

  • Restores reciprocation of mainly the upper extremities (arms and shoulder blades) necessary for locomotion (walking)

  • Improves dynamic balance

*Disclaimer: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and participation in novel activities may increase the risk of adverse effects such as pain, soreness, or injury. Please consult with your Physician or a local Physical Therapist prior to attempting any exercise you feel uncomfortable performing. If adverse reactions occur, discontinue performance of the exercise and consult your physician or trusted clinician for evaluation.


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