The ability to open the paretic hand is greatly affected after a stroke. The loss of especially finger extension has been previously reported during isolated finger movements. However, activities of daily life require the combination of reaching and grasping which will require shoulder abduction. Shoulder abductor activity will result in concurrent elbow, wrist and finger flexion which is also referred to as the flexion synergy. Therefore as part of this study the effect of of shoulder abduction (SABD) loading on volitional finger extension in individuals with chronic stroke is investigated. We expect to observe that shoulder abduction loading will further decrease the already impaired volitional finger extension in individuals with chronic stroke. A total of four moderately impaired individuals with chronic stroke and three age-matched able-bodied subjects participated in this study. Finger extension was recorded during hand open while subjects kept their arm extended at the end of a reach. The preliminary data showed that the maximal volitional finger extension was significantly decreased by increasing the SABD loads in individuals with chronic stroke, but not in age-matched able-bodied subjects.