Core Training Exercise – UEFT

Stephen Holt, Timonium personal trainer

Millions of readers of national fitness magazines including Shape, Women's Health, Fitness. Woman's Day, Family Circle, Runner's World, (and many others) have made their exercise programs both more effective AND more efficient with fitness and nutrition advice from "America's Baby Boomer Expert," Stephen Holt.

UEFT stands for Upper Extremity Functional Test.

[Back off, PTs. We’re not using this as a true test.]

The UEFT (sometimes called CKCUEST or Closed Kinetic Chain Upper Extremity Stability Test by fancy-pants therapists) is technically a test of shoulder stability. Clearly, calling it a core training exercise is far sexier.

It’s a perfect fit if you’ve have shoulder pain in the past (that’s PAST, as in there’s no longer any pain whatsoever) and you’re ready for a core exercise more advanced than the lame plank.

Working on core stabilization AND shoulder stabilization is not only more efficient, it’s more effective because the two work together.



Technically speaking, you make two marks 3 feet apart. Some people use tape on the floor. We use a yardstick.


Start with your hands between the marks. Assume a push up position.

Keeping both arms straight (not quite locked, though), reach one hand out and across to the opposite marker. In other words, if you’re moving your right hand, it crosses your body toward the left marker.

Switch hands.

In this particular exercise, we go at a speed that challenges your core stability.

Too fast (for our purposes here) and it becomes FAR more of a shoulder exercise and FAR less of a core exercise. Find a speed that challenges both appropriately. I’m trusting you here.

In the true physical therapy level Test, you go as fast as possible in 15 seconds. In this psuedo-UEFT exercise, we typically go for 30-35 seconds.

Give it a try.


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