Workout of the Day:
Overhead Squat – 3-3-3
Seven rounds for time of:
7 Overhead Squats (95/65 lbs.)
(WOD courtesy of the studs at CrossFit NorCal.)
Training for Rotation – Part Two
Written by Calvin Sun
Yesterday’s blog post discussed the reasons for training for rotation from the ground up through the powerful muscles of the lower extremities. But what does that look like? Here’s how I recommend training for rotation (and how not to).
One-Arm Swing (pictured above)
This exercise is a derivative of the standard two-arm swing. Hold the kettlebell (or dumbbell) with one-hand and ensure your back maintains a normal anatomical arch. Pass the kettlebell back between the legs, keep your weight on the heels, and “pop” the hips to drive the load. The arm should remain straight throughout and the kettlebell should be swung up to chest height. The hips should be fully open BEFORE the kettlebell reaches chest height.
Overhead One-Arm Swing
Remember, the primary objective is to resist rotational forces with this movement. Swinging overhead tends to result in more of a vertical “float” thus diminishing the desired training effect.
Standing Med-ball Throw with Hip Rotation
This is a great exercise is to work rotational speed, accuracy, and coordination. Use a light medicine ball, nothing heavier than 6 pounds. You can do this with a partner or you can throw against a wall. The leg of the non-throwing side will be in front. Initiate the movement by rotating the hips and finishing with the throwing arm. If using a wall, the ball should be thrown with enough velocity so that it returns to you.
Supine Med-ball Twist and Throw
For this movement, the athlete typically balances on their sacrum with their trunk and legs elevated. This immediately places the lumbar spine in flexion, combine this with axial rotation and the discs become vulnerable to injury. To make things worse, many uninformed trainers will actually use heavy Dynamax balls for such movements. This only increases the lateral shear force exerted on the intervertebral discs. In addition to being potentially hazardous to the spine, the functionality of this movement is limited. It’s tough to imagine a situation where you would need to rotate and throw an object using only the musculature of the trunk while the lumbar spine is flexed.
References: Nikolai Bogduk, Stephen M. Endres; Clinical Anatomy of The Lumbar Spine and Sacrum