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Mobility: "Reach, Roll, Lift"

Reach, Roll, Lift-1
Hand on ground with palm down

Hand on ground with palm rolled up

Hand leaves ground as you lift

OBJECTIVE: Open up front shoulders & lats.

  1. Shift hips back towards feet--or "sit back on heels" and reach overhead with straight arms as far as possible (like a Child Pose in yoga). 

  2. Use your fingertips to "crawl" your arms out and away from shoulders--the idea is that you have a maximum overhead reach out in front of body and shoulders.

  3. After maximum reach is obtained, roll the palm of one hand straight up towards ceiling then lift from shoulder joint ONLY—do NOT flex elbow, bend spine, or move hips!  Make sure the movement comes from the "shoulder joint" so you get the opening stretch in front of shoulder as you lift.

  4. Repeat all reps without pause on one side then go to opposing side.

  5. Perform 10 reps on each side.

Exercise Figure Tips: Do not compensate by twisting back and flexing elbow as you lift the arm!  This one is hard for most people because their shoulders are tight in the front.  If you simply cannot "lift" the back of your palm off the floor, just practice the "reach and roll" part until you open up enough to actually lift the hand off floor.  If you do this one right you'll feel the front shoulder open and stretch--and especially with the "lifting" phase.

  • I probably see more compensations with this mobility exercise than any other one I do with people.  Don't go there!  This one is for SHOULDER mobility--nothing else!  That means NO back, NO elbows, or no other compensations--got it?!  When I first tried this one I could not lift my hand off the floor--within just a couple of days I had opened up enough to lift off the floor.  Lesson of Day: Don't quit!  Just modify as needed and keep going!

  • Mobility Exercises (Directions)
  • Mobility Exercises (Organizer List Only)

*Note: This exercise is intended for "normal healthy" individuals.  If you have an injury, or abnormal pain is present,
see your physician or a certified physical therapist before continuing your exercises. 

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(Updated 5-31-05)

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