Physical Therapy Assistant Guide

Welcome to the PTA Guide, a physical therapy assistant education & career resource. We have everything you need to become a licensed PTA in your state. A few of the helpful things that you'll find here are information resources by state such as tools and info on PTA Schools, PTA license requirements, PTA Jobs, PTA salary data for states & major cities.
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WOW #2: Dumbbell or Cable Wood Chops


Work Out Wednesday #2: Dumbbell or Cable Woodchops

Last week we did Kettlebell Swings, now we are onto another full body movement that is also great for strength and flexibility – the dumbbell wood chop. (the name is misleading because wood chops can be done with a barbell plate, dumbbell, medicine ball, or a cable machine!)

Wood chops are a great full body workout that targets your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, deltoids or delts (shoulders), and your entire core. I have always enjoyed wood chop workouts because they get my blood flowing as it is a full body movement that requires quite a bit of energy to perform. Wood chops also require using your full range of motion from a squatting position to fully standing with arms fully extended above your head with your abs and core engaged and stretched completely. A complete movement such as this is great for increasing strength, flexibility and overall movement for less general pain throughout your body.

You should perform wood chops without weight a few times to get used to performing the movement. It is important that you are executing the movement correctly, so practicing without weights first to just focus on your form is a good idea. Once you are comfortable with the movement, find 1 light dumbbell, barbell plate, or a medicine ball you can also use a cable machine. Holding the light weight or cable handle now perform the movement lifting the weight from low to high, fully extending each repetition.

How To Do A Dumbbell Wood Chop

How To Do A Cable Wood Chop

To begin, start with a light weight like 5 to 10 lbs for most women or 15 – 20 lbs for most men. Try doing 10 reps per body side, so 20 total: 10 in each direction. You can increase weight and/or reps over time to build more strength.

Have you tried dumbbell wood chops? Do you tell your therapy patients to do dumbbell wood chops? If so, tell us about it in the comments below! 🙂

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