We just got a new batch of interns at IFAST, and as I watched Intern Brandon Brown do a Half Kneeling Cable Press the other day, I started to get this sick feeling in my stomach because it was basically terrible.

Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it needed to be fixed.

The first video here shows you how he was performing the exercise B.C. – before coaching.

I understand that this nuance is subtle. If you go back and forth between the videos a few times (second one will be here shortly), this will make more sense.

I want to point out the movement of his shoulder blade. This pressing exercise is just straight forward/backward motion, yet he is downwardly rotating excessively as he rows the weight back toward his body. This is easy to see in person because his scapula just jumps away from his rib cage. I even expect to see this on Brandon is because he walks around with sad shoulders and because he hasn’t been coached much.

Take a look at his row A.I. – after intervention.


And he will be more happy because now he’s not doing a boring half kneeling cable press for no reason AND because his neck muscles are going to stop pulling on his head.

So what was the fix?

Well, I need Brandon to know what it feels like to be in the right position. For someone whose pattern is pretty ingrained, trying to do this with words is difficult. Instead, we let go of the weight and I have him show me his normal row. Once that crappy thing is in place, I’ll set him to where I want him to be. It’s a posterior tilt, upward rotation, and slight external rotation of the scapula (holy serratus, Batman).

Don’t forget the scapula’s foundation: the rib cage. I mentioned before that the scap runs away from the rib cage, but it could be the rib cage that is doing the running. So I will likely have to cue the ribs back on that side as well.

QUIZ TIME! For those of you familiar with PRI, which rib cage will I need to hold back more than the other? What muscle is going to do that?

Answer in the comments below!