Just out of reach...
Katelyn Sander

Just out of reach...

Living Well

Oh how it tantalizes, teases, even frustrates: When something is just out of reach. Wouldn’t it feel so good – so empowering, such an accomplishment to be able to reach just that tiny bit further… and grab hold?


There’s lots of amazing ways of getting stronger. One of the most effective and transformative ones – both in relation to being able to lift better AND lead a more fulfilling life – is training your end ranges.

Typically, you are beautifully strong at the beginning and throughout 85-95% of your usable range. That is your limb, joint, part of your body has the ability to be passively extended into various ranges, but your muscles and nervous system can only control a certain extent of that movement. So, under load – you can only reach so far.

Training that additional 5-15% of motion will tap into huge reservoirs of strength potential and can drastically increase your mobility. Remember the difference between flexibility and mobility from last week? This is exploring more of exactly that phenomena: Flexibility being 100% of your range. Mobility being that 85-95%.

Try standing up straight and raising one bent leg in a controlled manner as high as it can go. This is your active range of motion. But try swinging it, or having someone else support the lift a little higher, and guess what? You can actually move your leg higher – gain more hip flexion – than you think. But not without help. The challenge is, since we don’t often use the full extent of even that 85-95%, we may be constantly losing our mobility, our ability to access and control our full range.

Which doesn’t support optimal lifting or living.

One of the easiest, most effective, and safest ways of increasing your active range is through isometrics.

Try raising your knee up towards your chest again. When you reach the highest point where you can hold it, press both hands down into your thigh with only about 5 lbs of pressure for 5 seconds. Release. Repeat 3-5 times. See if you can now go a little bit higher. Repeat the exercise again. You now have slightly more hip flexion than you did before. If you now head right away into your leg workout, you will periodically access that extra range, illicit new neuromuscular activation within that range, and increase your strength potential.

We can also use training to protect the range that we have. Ensure the weights you are using are light enough that you can control through the entire range of any given exercise. Or don’t use any weight at all! Pause at the end point of each exercise for 2-3 seconds to ensure you can really control what is typically the hardest part of the lift. The weight will suddenly feel quite a bit heavier. You likely won’t be able to do quite as many. And you are getting so much stronger!

Suddenly a few more things are just within reach.

Inspiration of the Day

“Dare to reach your hand into the darkness. Pull another hand into the light.” – Norman B. Rice

Live Workout of the Day

Happy Monday! Penny’s workout is here to brighten your lunchtime!


Join Penny today for her Total Body Conditioning workout! Challenge your cardio and strengthen your muscles from head to toe with this incredibly effective no-nonsense bodyweight training.

Recommended equipment:

  • A chair
  • Dumbbells if you have them, if not…
    • 2 full wine bottles, if not…
    • 2 full water bottles

*Modified moves will be shown throughout the workout if you don’t have the equipment.

Join Penny at 12:00pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 864 5295 2847
Password: 991724


Click here to view our weekly schedule.

If you have questions about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren.

Trainer Moves of the Day

Join me for a few examples of how you can use isometrics to increase your active range and then reinforce that little bit extra to give you a little more reach.

For questions about today’s Trainer Moves you can connect directly with Meg here.


Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.

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