Login | September 18, 2021

Importance of rotational movement in your workouts

Pete’s World

Published: August 30, 2021

I can almost guarantee that when most people think about the exercises that make up their resistance training regime, they probably don’t consider whether any of those exercises address rotational movement.
Yet think about it, our bodies are designed to function rotationally. Many of the daily tasks we perform ad infinitum are rotational…and a great deal of the sports we participate in involve some form of rotation.
Thats why it’s so important to incorporate rotational movements in your exercise program. And just a few of these exercises added to your weekly program can not only help you to feel safer when lifting, but they can also help you to improve your overall strength, help you gain more confidence when performing simple tasks like climbing stairs, hopping in and out of a car, doing outdoor chores, and help you with something as easy as picking up your children.
And for you athletes, improvements in your ability to move rotationally can enhance torso stability, gait mechanics, jumping power, and running speed in such sports as baseball, golf, mixed martial arts, tennis and many, many more.
So by now you might be wondering what rotational movement entails?
Well, let’s start with the simplest of definitions, which states that rotational motion means a body is turning around itself. Now when we zero in on rotational movement with respect to the human body, we’re talking about movements made about the longitudinal axis and in the transverse plane. This longitudinal axis is an imaginary vertical line running down the centre of the body perpendicular to the transverse plane (an imaginary dividing line that separates the top and the bottom half of the body).
Rotation can occur within the vertebral column via a twisting motion, at a pivot joint (where one bone rotates in relation to another bone), and at ball-and-socket joints like the hip and shoulder.
Okay, now that we’re straight on the definition, I’d like to zero in on several key areas of the body where rotational movement exercises can be very advantageous - the hips, thoracic spine and core. Below is a selection of four really great rotational exercises that address the aforementioned areas. And these are easy exercises to incorporate into your regular workout regime.
Reverse Lunge with Med-ball Rotation - aka Atlas Lunge
* Stand with the feet about hip-width apart, and hold a medicine ball in a vertical position directly in front of the chest.
With elbows close to the rib cage and back straight, step backwards with the left foot and lowering the left knee almost to or to the ground.
At the bottom keep back tall then twist the medicine ball over the right leg. Twist back to center, press the right foot into the ground and step the left leg back to to starting position.
Do threes sets of 10 reps per leg.
Rotational Barbell Landmine
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hips back, and knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell at head level with hands overlapping and arms extended.
Engage the core and swing the barbell down to hip level from side to side. Remember to rotate your shoulders while keeping arms locked out and allowing the end of the barbell to rotate around your body.
Repeat the side-to-side rotation without pausing for three sets of one minute each.
Dynamic Plank Tap
Begin in a push-up position with your weight on your forearms, elbows directly beneath your shoulders, and forearms parallel.
Without rounding your back, raise your right foot, rotate your hips and draw your right knee forward diagonally under your body, tapping it with your left hand.
Return to the starting position, then repeat tapping your left knee with your right hand.
Do three sets of 15 reps/side.
Hanging Bent Knee Windshield Wiper
Grab a chin-up bar with an overhand (palms forward) grip that’s slightly wider than shoulder-width, and hang at arm’s length.
Bend your knees 90 degrees and raise them to waist height.
Rotate your hips as your dip your knees from side-to-side in an arc like a windshield wiper.
Do three sets of 20 reps with each sideways “wipe” equaling one rep.
Yes indeed, rotational movement is super important…heck, it’s the fundamental essence of human movement. So whether you’re walking, running, lifting or simply turning around to wave to a friend, rotation is unquestionably a part of your three-dimensional world.