The Importance of Rotational Training
|Our lives are dictated by a series of events that shape who we are. Those events are dynamic pieces to the puzzle that make us who we are. All too often we get comfortable in a bubble that is what “we know” and “what we know we can do.” With exercise this often looks like going to the gym and performing a routine that is within what we know.|
Bench press, squat, push-ups, curls, chest fly’s etc.…
|Humans are dynamic creatures. We walk, run, jump, lift, and bend every day of our lives. These innate movements are inherently related to rotation and proper rotational stability. Whether you stock boxes, work at the home office, or frankly perform any other job task, you are performing movements that require trunk rotation and rotational stability. The most basic human movement of walking involves a rotational element we completely take for granted. Failing to address this rotational component, present in even our most primal movement patterns like walking, can and will lead to injuries.|
Studies have shown that performing rotational exercises will improve core stability, muscle development, and total body coordination (1). This is paramount to how we move on a daily basis. We do not operate in a single plane of movement and not having the strength and coordination to control our movements of daily life can lead to injury. Too often, training focuses on sagittal plane motions, and fails to address multi-plane, rotational movements.
|In addition to the ability to move in rotation, it is also important to have rotational stability to avoid excessive or unwanted rotational movements. Unwanted rotational movement of the spine can adversely affect the hips and knees in movements like overhead squats, back squats, pull ups, etc (2). If you are performing squats having rotational strength leads to improved spinal stability and an overall reduction of stress placed on all joints involved.|
The human body is made up of stability and mobility joints from your feet to your hands. Ankles, hips, trunk, shoulder, and neck are the most mobile areas of your body that require rotational strength to handle the daily grind, and any weekend warrior activities.
- Lunges with twist: Perform a stepping lunge, keep core engaged, and twist the torso at the bottom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnXpXbIQSjQ
- Woodchoppers and lifts: Using a weighted pulley system or resistance bands. Power the rotation through your trunk and hips. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKFHw415Vdw
1. McGill, S. (2010). Core Training: Evidence Translating to Better Performance and Injury Prevention. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 32(3), 33-46. Doi:10.1519/ssc.0b013e3181df4521
2. Willson, J, D,, Dougherty, C. P., Ireland, M. L., & Davis, I. M. (2005). Core Stability and Its Relationship to Lower Extremity Function and Injury. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 13(5), 316-325, doi: 10.5435/00124635-200509000-00005