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Rotation exercise and sports performance

Rotation exercise and sports performance

Written by: Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CKTP, CGFI

 

Want to crank up your sports performance to a “10”?  Try some rotational training.  Sports and peak performance require strength and coordination.  You can go hit the gym and perform your regular training on circuit training machines, but you’ll be missing out on reaching your potential.

Think about it.  Life never happens in a singular plane, meaning that our daily activities aren’t always set out directly in front of us.  There are many instances where we have to reach or bend sideways or diagonally to accomplish the simplest task.  Washing dishes?  Where’s the dishwasher in relation to the sink?  I’m sure that it’s not set up directly in front of each other.  When you stand at the sink, rinse out a dish and then place it in the dishwasher, there’s some rotatory movement there.  Take it further and apply it to sports and recreational activities.

Football, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf… They all have evident rotatory components.  How about running?  You run in a straight line for the most part, right?  Well, every step you take, there’s a rotatory component to the movement, it’s not as large and blatant like other sports, but trust me, it’s there.  The key to the rotatory movements is the whole body.  I’ve written about multi-joint training and exercise before, this takes it a step further.  The whole body gets involved, not just one joint.

When the foot in on the ground, it’s the stable base.  The leg and hip muscles generate the power.  The trunk and core transmit that power to the shoulder and arms.  This is the kinematic sequence that most sports have in common.  And you can’t train the rotatory components of movement lying on a bench.

One exercise that I like to have my patients try is the “chop and lift”.  It’s essentially a diagonal movement that pulls in the whole body.  These exercises can be done in a variety of positions, depending on your level of difficulty.  You can start with standing in a squat position with both feet on the ground, move into a lunge position, a kneeling position, and finally try a half-kneeling position.  All you need is a cable column weight stack or a resistance band.  When doing the “chop and lift”, always engage the core, and stay as stable and balanced as you can.  It’s not a heavy weight exercise, it’s a movement training exercise.

If you would like more information, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417.  Our offices our located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ.  You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit with us.

 Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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