This exercise works the extreme upper pectorals. It is done on the Free Motion Cable Cross Machine. You adjust the arms of the machine so that the number 10 is showing on each arm with the arms angled downwards. You should adjust the weight to a moderate to light level.
To perform this exercise, start with your arms in the down position holding each handle. Then, raise them up and to the center in one straight movement to about six inches (15 centimeters) over the head.
Here's some video analysis of Nancy Arnold and I performing the exercise. We show both good form and how form can deteriorate in later reps.
Nancy: Video available as Windows Media (1.4 MB), good for all PCs, and a higher quality Quicktime version (576 KB), good if you have the Quicktime player. In her initial reps, Nancy illustrates the form of the exercise well, starting the hands low and bringing them 6 inches over her head. In later reps however, Nancy starts to deteriorate. First, she moves her foot forward and lowers the finish by about 3 inches. Then, she readjusts her feet again and lowers the finish by another 3 inches. We discussed this afterwards, and she noted she was fatiguing. We probably should have dropped weight. She was doing 20 lbs. She later increased to 25 lbs.
A key part of this exercise is squeezing the arms together palm up at the end of the movement. Nancy accomplishes this well throughout.
Bud: Video available as Windows Media (1.6 MB) and higher quality Quicktime (616 KB). You'll hear Nancy telling me to squeeze at the top. That's a real potential cheat in this exercise. You want the motion smooth, culminating in a tight squeeze at the very top of the range. If you hesitate before the squeeze, you're not getting the full benefit, and should drop weight. I was doing 30 lbs. in this clip.
In retrospect, I note a slight back arch. I was trying to keep the workout focused on the pecs, eliminating the possibility of shrugging and getting shoulders.
After reviewing the videos, my overall read is that good form is hard to achieve here. Unlike the traditional cable cross, knowing where to finish is not obvious. I should have kicked Nancy's butt more. I did later on weighted push-ups where what good form is is clearer.