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Bend and Reach Exercise 2023

Bend and Reach Exercise
Bend and Reach Exercise

The Bend and Reach exercise is part of the Army’s physical fitness regimen and is included in their Physical Readiness Training (PRT) preparation drill.

Bend and reach exercises are simple movements that involve various body muscles and joints. It’s considered an advanced practice for squatting. 

  • Army designs this exercise to improve flexibility and mobility in your lower body and core muscles.

Bending and reaching require activating various muscles like the back extensors, abdominals, glutes, quadriceps, and arm muscles. 

Bend and reach are exercises that can help you improve your squat skills. 

  • You need to practice this exercise a few times a week; you will feel the effectiveness with a tightened waist and several health benefits. 
  • This article will bring more knowledge to those who want to practice the bend and reach exercise.

Army Bend and Reach Preparation Drill

Bend and Reach Exercise
Bend and Reach Exercise

The bend and reach is the first exercise in the 10 Army Preparatory Drills; this exercise develops the ability to squat and reach through the legs. 

  • It also serves to prepare the spine and extremities for more vigorous movements, moving the hips and spine through full flexion. 

Starting Position: 

  • Straddle stance with arms overhead, palms facing inward, fingers and thumbs extended and joined.


  • SLOW


  1. Squat with the heels flat as the spine rounds forward to allow the straight arms to reach as far as possible between the legs.
  2. Return to the starting position.
  3. Repeat count one.
  4. Return to the starting position.

Check Points:

  • From the starting position, ensure that Soldiers have their hips set, their abdominals tight, and their arms fully extended overhead.
  • The neck flexes to allow the gaze to the rear. This brings the head in line with the bend of the trunk.
  • The heels and feet remain flat on the ground.
  • On counts 2 and 4, do not go past the starting position.


  • This exercise is always performed at a slow cadence. 
  • To protect the back, move into the count one position in a slow, controlled manner. 
  • Do not bounce into or out of this position in a ballistic manner, as this may place an excessive load on the back.

How to Bend and Reach at Home

Here are the basic steps to bend and reach:

  1. Standing straight, make your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your arms straight up.
  2. Bend forward, and lower your upper body (from the waist) toward the floor. When bending, try to keep your back and knees straight. 
  3. At maximum bending forward, try to stretch your hand to touch the ground. If you can not touch it, try to hand it down as far as possible. 
  4. Hold this position for a while. Stretch your hamstrings and lower back. 
  5. Return to your starting position and repeat the movements. Control your breathing. Do now try to stand up and sit down too fast. It will put pressure on your heart and your breathing.  

Benefits of Bending and Reaching

Bend and reach exercises can provide you with a lot of benefits for health and bodybuilding, as follows:

  • It’s an excellent warm-up exercise before practicing heavy movements.
  • It can help you reduce bone dryness. Moving will be difficult when you get bone dryness because they are too rigid.
  • I can help avoid back, neck, and shoulder fatigue.

What do I Need to Prepare and Buy for the Bend and Reach Exercise?

You may think that preparing the equipment for the bend and reach exercise wastes time and money. However, the preparation for bending and reaching is very simple; you need these things below:

  • One specialized yoga mat
  • One pair of sports shoes for easy movement
  • The soft suit protects the body from injury when exercising by protecting your thighs and wrists.
  • Specialized sports clothes. Avoid wearing casual clothes that make exercising difficult.

Bonus tips: You should also find a spacious space to perform this exercise. Besides, get help from an experienced trainer if you need to learn how to do this.

Some Tips for Bending and Reaching

Below are some helpful tips for practicing the bend and reach exercise:

Practice with Reasonable Frequency.

  • 3/4 times or more a week on this exercise is good. However, too much bend and reach exercise may cause more fatigue than health. 
  • Let’s feel your body condition or ask a personal trainer for advice; then, you can decide the frequency.

Things to Be Cautious about

Pay attention to some cautions below:

  • This exercise must be done slowly
  • When switching to a counting/starting position, start slowly, steadily controlling your body. 
  • Do not jump in and out of this position immediately and repeatedly. It can put pressure on your back, causing invisible damage.
  • Avoid bending over in the wrong direction. The wrong direction can hurt your back and lower hips.

Follow these steps correctly, and congratulations on completing the bend and reach exercise. 

George N.