In the practice of Animal Flow, one of the moves we do during our Form Specific Stretches is called Scorpion Reach. This exercise is great for opening up the entire anterior chain while simultaneously activating the posterior chain.
Before we go into the specifics of this exercise, let's look at why it's great for injury prevention. Many of the athletes we work with get injured for the same reasons. Most have tight hips and anterior chain due to bad posture and muscular imbalances. They also specialize in one sport too early and lack proper firing along their movement patterns. The Scorpion Reach loosens up these areas and strengthens areas of weakness.
The Scorpion is also beneficial because at the end position. You lengthen your internal obliques, external obliques, rectus abdominis, latissimus dorsi, hip flexors and the rest of your anterior sling. You also simultaneously activate your glutes, hamstring muscles and the rest of your posterior sling. This is the opposite of the pattern many athletes use during sports. Therefore, it trains a system that is often overlooked but that is vital to all sports. Many of these muscles help with deceleration and anti-rotation.
In my experience, athletes get injured because they cannot decelerate or resist the rotational forces placed on their bodies. The Scorpion Reach is the perfect exercise to correct this issue.
- Start in a push-up position.
- Initiate the movement by bringing the reach knee past the opposite wrist. This movement both flexes and rotates the spine.
- The reach foot travels in a circular motion out and up as your head drops down between straight elbows.
- The reaching leg stays bent at 90 degrees while your base leg stays slightly flexed.
- The last degrees of movement are the rotating of the hips with slight outward rotation of the base foot. Hold this position for about 5 to 10 seconds before returning to the start position.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock