This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
The butterfly swimming stroke, as any swimmer knows, works your shoulders through a full circular motion. Here you replace the resistance of the water with dumbbells.
Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet hip distance apart. Bend your knees slightly and press your hips back as you incline your chest forward, until you are standing with your chest parallel to the floor, bent at the hip, with your weight in your heels and your center engaged. Hold the dumbbells straight out in front of you, with your palms facing the floor (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, begin a butterfly swim stroke with both arms. Sweep both arms down and then back along your sides, then outward, up, and over, until your arms are extended back in front of you at the starting position (see Photos 2 to 6).
- Hold momentarily in the extended position with your arms straight out and palms facing down, and then move into the next butterfly swim stroke. Be sure to keep your core engaged to maintain your chest's position throughout (see Photos 4 to 6 ).
If you find this exercise to be too hard on your back, you may want to try doing it on a flat bench. Lie face down on a flat bench with your legs to either side of the bench, knees bent, and feet on the floor behind you. Your chest should be flat on the bench. From this position, perform the butterflies as above.
About Mike Clausen: Clausen is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. He has been actively involved in sports and weightlifting since high school, and continues to use that knowledge when training his clients. Clausen is both A.C.E. and N.A.S.M. certified and has been training clients professionally for six years. He enjoys making his clients stronger, both physically and mentally, giving them the tools to create an efficient body and to do things they thought were not possible.