Written by 2 Athletes
Penguin Heel Reach Basics
Primary Muscles Worked: Obliques
Synergist Muscles: Rectus Abdominus and Transversus Abdominus
Equipment: Open Floor Space
How To Perform Penguin Heel Reaches
- Lay with your back flat on the ground.
- Place your arms against the side of your body and extending toward your legs.
- Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground and a 45-degree angle is made at your knee joint.
- Crunch up and lift your upper body a few inches off of the ground. You will maintain this elevated upper body position throughout the exercise.
- Rotate to one side trying to touch your fingertips to your heel by sliding your hand across the ground.
- Once you have touches your heel, rotate to the other side with your other hand and touch your heel on that side.
- Repeat the alternating touches with your fingertips to your heels until you have completed your goal amount.
Penguin Heel Reaches Tips
- Keep your neck in alignment with your back while performing the penguins. Don't rotate your neck forward to assist your abdominals with the isometric hold of your upper body.
- If you can't reach your heels, that is okay, just try and get as close as possible with each reach.
Penguin Heel Reaches and Sports Application
The penguin reach exercise teaches you to reach or extend on one side of the body while incorporating lateral movement of the abdominals. This is important for any sports that requires rotational movement but can be best seen in swimming where a diver reaches with the arms for an extended stroke during the free-style stroke. This exercise is also create for beginner athletes who have less than optimal oblique strength because the resistance the obliques must overcome to move laterally is minimal.