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Mobility: "Behind Back Reach"

Behind Back Reach-1

Behind Back Reach-2    Behind Back Reach-3

OBJECTIVE: Open up & assess shoulder mobility.

  1. With one hand and arm, reach "back and over" shoulder towards mid-back.

  2. With other hand and arm, reach "back and up" under the arm pit towards mid-back.

  3. As you reach with both arms, try touching fingertips of both hands together.

  4. Alternate arm reach directions with each rep i.e. right over the top then left over the top.

  5. Perform 3-5 reps per side with minimal pause as you touch together.

  6. If you canít touch, reach as far as possible without "unhealthy" pain.

Exercise Figure Tips: Believe it or not, for optimal and healthy movement in shoulders, you should be able to touch fingertips going both directions--most people cannot even come close.  You'll probably find that one side is a lot tighter than the other side too.  The idea with proper training and joint function is that you have balance with left/right, top/bottom, front/back.  This exercise is a great "reality check" or assessment to let you know how your shoulders are working.

  • When I shifted my own training a few years ago to the functional and multi-planar movements, I could NOT touch my hands together both ways.  I can now.  Don't get frustrated if you can't touch--just use my list of mobility exercises to help restore full ranges of motion in shoulders so you CAN touch fingers someday or at least come much closer to proper shoulder mobility.

  • 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 5-28-05)

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