The Stability-Mobility Continuum
The following list Is a non-exhaustive list of areas on the Mobility-Stability continuum that need to be very decent not just for rotational strength and power but also for general health.
Scapular Stability & symmetry
Thoracic rotational mobility
The most common issues I see is poor mobility in both rotational and extension thoracic positions. This would be very common with officer workers.
Many of these areas are dealt with by simply getting up and moving regularly. Lunch time walks, getting up every 20-30 mins (our muscles start to switch off approx 20 mins into sitting) and thru basic stability and compound exercises common to most programs like Bird Dogs, face pulls, step ups, squats, hinges, push ups etc. sometimes though if chronic poor movement has a negative effect then more specific exercises are needed.
In terms of rotational movement and power I would suggest ankle, hip & thoracic mobility are in line with the decelerating needs of lateral flexion, extension and rotation.
To put it in very simple terms if we do not have the mobility of the thoracic spine we may not have the movement to rotate enough, but if we do not have the decelerating properties trained as well then we may over rotate. Sitting and general inactivity is a negative for both. So simply going to the gym and knocking out squats, dead’s, bench & chins won’t cut it for anyone with a sedentary job.
Building dynamic stability, understanding anti-rotation, anti-lateral flexion and anti-extension and their relevance to skill in rotational sports and even sprinting.
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We are starting a little series on rotational strength & Power. Going on what I see around the web and in programs there is still some bit of a belief that throwing a Med Ball off the wall from a side on position is developing power. However this is only one part of the puzzle and very often is just an expression of rotational power. Rotation training sits inside a general S&C or gym program and can be easily programmed in supersets with other more demanding compound exercises or indeed in warm ups. It really depends on what stage of the process you are.
What’s probably less realized is that if you do a thorough program your rotational training can have a direct effect on skill and skill development.
In hurling, rugby, Baseball, Cricket, Boxing and others the ability to decelerate with impact and clever use of angles and isometric forces is what the best athletes have developed over years. If those genetic freaks get top quality training then that’s what may separate them from the good. But for us average joes it can have an even bigger impact on such movements like deadening the ball in hurling or delivering the perfect pass. The ability to decelerate in rotation is critical to these skills and that’s where these 3 critical component come in;
- Anti Rotation
- Anti Lateral Flexion
- Anti Extension
These are all related to the functioning of our trunk (or commonly known as The Core). Very often though the lack of control here leads to excessive rotation, lateral flexion or extension which can lead to injury. But equally importantly having these in check enhance skill and rotational power.
As well as those 3 movements, we need to understand that basic stability and mobility may be restricting us before we ever move onto specific strength & power exercises.
Next: We will talk about the Mobility-stability continuum and how it can enhance or reduce Rotational Power
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