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Basic anti-rotation exercises: what they are and 3 to try | Well + good

InEveryone knows core strength is very important, but knowing exactly how to construct it could be confusing, especially for beginners. Do crunches? boards? What concerning the favorite latest social media buzzword: anti-rotation exercises?

While core rotation prevention exercises have been utilized by athletes for years, the term has recently develop into more of a buzzword – especially amongst “fitfluencers” who promise solutions to back pain. However, most individuals are still undecided what “anti-rotation exercises” actually are.

Well, because it seems, anti-rotation exercise challenges the core to resist rotation. “Anti-rotation exercises are core and shoulder exercises that require you to resist rotational forces while maintaining a particular position – whether standing, sitting or lying in your back,” she says. Luke Greenwell, DPT, physiotherapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist in RecoverRx Physiotherapy. “The resistance can come from cable machines, resistance bands, or free weights.”

Dr. Greenwell says that because anti-rotation exercises require the torso to resist rotation, they are great for isolating 4 major areas of the body:

  1. Shoulder stabilizing muscles: deltoid, pectoralis major, rhomboid, trapezius, and rotator cuff.
  2. The major rotational muscles of the core: internal and external obliques.
  3. Deep core muscles: transverse abdominis muscle in front, multifidus and erector spinae muscle in back.
  4. Hip stabilizing muscles: glutes, hip abductors and adductors.

How can anti-rotation exercises help relieve back pain?

Since anti-rotation exercises strengthen the core muscles, they are one of the crucial effective ways to protect your spine and avoid back pain.


“The spine is a really mobile structure, moving in lots of planes of motion. Therefore, he needs each passive and lively stabilizers to protect him from injury,” explains Dr. Greenwell. “In many cases, we are required to lift or resist rotational forces throughout the day, so we want to construct resilience to reduce the danger of injury.”

Dr. Greenwell says anti-rotation exercises are so effective compared to other core exercises because they require your core to be fully engaged while also stabilizing against multiple directional forces. In contrast, something like a sit-up or sit-up actively contracts just one set of muscles in a single plane of motion.

“By strengthening the muscles within the arms, core and hips, we are able to increase the load we are able to placed on the spine,” says Dr. Greenwell. “The muscles of the shoulders, core, and hips are connected by fascial planes that help keep the spine stable.”

Three anti-rotation exercises to try

Try incorporating anti-rotation exercises into your routine a couple of times every week to start and regularly increase to three or 4 times every week. “I see the best success with doing these exercises in the center or at the top of a workout if you’re a bit drained, because that is when your body is usually more likely to get injured and needs to be strengthened during that point,” Dr. Greenwell says.

He suggests selecting one anti-rotation exercise while standing and one while sitting or supine. Try to make it as functional as possible – which suggests it should mimic your day by day movements. Here are the three moves he recommends:

1. Pallof press

This anti-rotation exercise works your core and shoulders.

  • Attach a resistance band to a pole or stationary object, or use a rope exercise machine. You can perform the exercise in a kneeling or standing position, however the band ought to be at chest height. You ought to be far enough away from the anchor point that the webbing is taut.
  • Hold the band towards your chest.
  • Bracing your core and tightening your glutes, straighten your arms, pushing them away out of your chest against the stress of the band.
  • Hold the upright position throughout the inhale, then slowly return your arms to your chest.
  • Do 12 to 15 repetitions. Rest a minute. Do three sets.

2. Dead bug stopping rotation

“It’s a bit harder than the Pallof press because your feet aren’t attached to the bottom,” says Dr. Greenwell.

  • Lie in your back in a dead insect position together with your knees and hips bent at 90 degrees and your hands in your chest, holding a cable tie or handle. You should feel the stress within the band, as with Pallofa Press.
  • Using the identical pressing motion, press the wristband or cable handle straight up toward the ceiling without letting the wristband pull your arms or body to the side.
  • Do 12 to 15 repetitions. Rest a minute. Do three sets.

3. Lunge with anti-spin grip

  • Keeping the anchor line or resistance band at your side, push the resistance band away out of your body and lunge without allowing the band to rotate your torso towards the anchor point.
  • Continue alternating lunges, keeping your core activated and torso as stable as possible.
  • Do 12 reps per side (24 total lunges). Rest a minute. Do three sets.

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