Reach Thru + Rotate (How To & Variations)


Reach Thru and Rotate

Reach Thru and Rotate is a warm-up exercise that stretches and warms up the shoulders, back and chest. It’s an easy-to-learn upper body movement that is one of the most effective rotational exercises that you can include in a warm-up routine.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to properly do Reach Thru + Rotate, give some common mistakes and provide a couple of variations.


How To Do Reach Thru + Rotate


Equipment Needed

  • None

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Start on all fours (hands and knees) with a flat back. Knees under hips, hands under shoulders.
  • Keeping the left arm straight, reach the right arm through the hole made the left arm and left leg.
  • Reach as far to the left as possible, stretching the shoulder and back.
  • Now pull the arm back and rotate the arm vertically to the sky.
  • Follow the arm with the eyes as the torso rotates open.
  • The finished position, optimally, is with the fingertips and eyes looking straight up.
  • Continue alternating between reaching thru and rotating open until all reps are completed then switch to the other side.

Coaching Points

Keep the arm of the hand on the ground straight throughout the movement. The biggest mistake I see with Reach Thru + Rotate is bending that arm, especially when trying to reach thru and across the body.


Reach Thru + Rotate Variations


Here are a few variations to the Reach Thru + Rotate movement that you can also try out.

Reach Thru and Rotate from Plank

If you want to up the challenge to Reach Thru + Rotate, then try the exercise from a plank position. Instead of being on all fours, get into a pushup position and then reach thru and open and rotate.

Holding the plank position puts a much greater strain on both the core and the shoulders, making this version of the movement much more difficult.

Catcher’s Squat + T-Spine Rotation

This is an alternative torso rotation movement that doesn’t require the lifter to brace on their hands. This makes it a good substitution for anyone who cannot brace on their hands (perhaps due to injury).

Drop into a full squat, similar to a baseball catcher, with feet flat and chest as upright as possible. Brace the elbow into the inside of one leg and open and rotate towards the other side. Try to take the fingertips and eyes as vertical as possible while maintaining the squatting position.

Alternate back and forth until all reps are completed.


More Links and Info


Need more Warm-up Exercises? Check out the Warm-up Section of our Exercise Library. It’s full of exercises – all with complete step-by-step instructions and all for free.

Ryan Horton

Horton Barbell was created by Ryan Horton who has served as a Sports Performance Coach for almost 20 years. My mission is to create a training resource to help as many coaches and athletes as possible maximize athletic potential.

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