Exercise #4: Table Hold

Are You Training Shoulder Extension?

If you read the phrase above and thought to yourself, “shoulder extension? What the heck is that?”; then you definitely need this next exercise in your life— like right now. I often jokingly tell my clients that the table hold is the reverse action of sitting. While my sad attempts to be funny usually fail to impress, the content of what I am saying is no joke.

In fact, the table hold can improve your mobility the two critical areas that often need it the most. Your shoulders and your hips. Far too much of our time is spent with the limbs out in front of the body. The table hold take these two muscle groups into extension, or behind the body. This has a balancing effect on the body and can actually reverse complications from prolonged sitting.


Step 1: Start in a seated position on the floor. Pace your hands on the ground behind you. Then bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor in front of you.

Step 2: From this starting position, squeeze your shoulder blades together to elevate your chest to the ceiling, squeezing your glutes on the way up. 

Step 3: Hold the top position of your table hold with your torso should run parallel to the floor beneath you. Your arms and legs should be stacked vertically like the legs of a table.

Step 4: If you are comfortable with the static table hold, then you can turn it into a dynamic movement by walking forwards and backwards; like a crab.

Scaling Tips:

  • If you experience elbow pain as you lift up into table, then you can turn your fingers out to face sideways to relieve pressure from your joints.

  • Do not worry if you are unable to lift your hips into full extension initially. This will improve over time if you remain consistent with your training.