Variation #4: Reach and Pull

Variations on Six Conventional Exercises #4

Reach and Pull

In the video series “Variations on Six Conventional Exercises”, I demonstrate and teach unique fitness sequences to freshen any workout program. This guide takes you by the hand through Variation #4, Strengthening Biceps and Triceps or as I have renamed it, “Reach and Pull.” This variation expands biceps and triceps work by using big movement through space to enhance the load rather than conventional “pumping”.

My goal is to support personal trainers and 3-D Workout™ instructors as they build their knowledge and confidence for teaching the movement. The mechanics of a sequence are where we start but if you’re teaching, you should also know the concepts behind the mechanics.

Benefits of Reach and Pull
WARM UP quickly with multiple repetitions and big reaching and pulling movements
BUILD awareness of whole-body alignment especially during the angled phase
STRENGTHEN the long back and leg muscles of the posterior chain and all the muscles of the upper extremity.
HYDRATE the fascial matrix with the rhythmic reaching and pulling action
IMPROVE balance as you shift weight and adjust to changes in centre of gravity
BREATHING helps your balance, timing and coordination; exhale to reach upward, inhale to fold downward

Practice Tips
LEGS: first, learn and practice lower body movement to hone your balance, weight shift and grounding
ARMS: secondly, learn and practice the reach/pull, the hand rotation, and shoulder abduction; complete the elbow extension all the way into the back space.
ROTATION: the rotation of the hand leads the shoulder rotation—internal on reach, external on pull.
SHOULDER ELEVATION (arm opposite the ear) is complete at the end of the angled reach
IMAGINE a long straight line from hand to heel elongating the fascia matrix through the reach phase
PUSH firmly into the floor with your back forefoot as the torso becomes erect, the psoas lengthens, and the elbow extends into the back space.
ALIGNMENT: use a mirror or a practice partner to check your head/tail/heel connection
LOADING: Practice without weights at first; load gradually when you know the movement.
TIMING: slow down and move completely through each phrase. Enjoy the measured, rhythmic process of reaching and pulling through a big space.

Movement Ideas enhance the mechanics of the sequence
MOVEMENT PATTERNS: Reach/Pull is one of two ever-present patterns in body movement; the other is Yield/Push. These binary patterns are the ways we connect with and relate to our environment—the environment being the space around us (R/P) and the surface that supports us (Y/P).
EXPLORE the rhythmic contrasts of opposing arm/leg, hand/foot, near/far, angled/upright.

STRENGTHENING in 3-D Workout™ uses SPACE as a partner to enhance loading. In this sequence, a. the forward lean and long lever of whole body; b. big ROM in elevation and extension of the shoulder joint; c. using the sagittal and transverse planes + upright axis.