Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rotational work is not dangerous.....

A while back I posted a video of the Full Contact Russian Twist and alternatives and there arose some debate about the safety of twisting.

Vern Gambetta has put up a good post today about rotational movements:

Rotation is bad?
Let’s put this silly and absurd idea to rest immediately, rotational movement are not bad! Just like anything it is dependent on context, mode and where they are placed in the training program. Remember there are three cardinal planes of movement, sagittal, frontal and transverse and the body must be able to move through all three planes without restriction at will. A significant amount of force reduction against gravity occurs in the transverse plane, therefore to prevent injury avoiding rotational movements would be a huge mistake. Modes of exercise like medicine ball, kettle bell and stretch cords enable rotational movements to be trained in various patterns that can prepare the body for the demands in the specific sport or movement you are preparing for.

Remember a simple rule of thumb – you are what you train to be. You do not play in a phone booth, sport and life is ballistic, reactive moving though wide ranges of movement in demanding postures, don’t eliminate rotation build your program around rotation.

1 comment:

Dan Hubbard, M.Ed., CSCS. said...

Rotation is important for many athletes (baseball players), but look at the athlete. Are they immobile in the thoracic spine? Compensating in the lower spine? Going to end-range of motion? Using too great of loads? Working on acceleration and deceleration? Have a good understanding of proper technique?

All of these issues should be addressed prior to someone just seeing an exercise on the internet and going at it. This is especially true if you are not an athlete and sit at a desk 10 hours per day. The Full-Contact Russian Twist may not be the best option for them (or with this load or at this time in their training program).

Vern is right, the body is made to rotate, but some injuries, weaknesses, or just a sedentary lifestyle may make a loaded twisting exercise a higher risk exercise. I am sure Vern would agree to assess the athlete prior to just giving him or her the exercise.