Exercises You Should Be Doing: Half Kneeling Cable Anti-Rotation Press

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First off, I had the longest day ever yesterday. I left CP early so that I could spend the rest of the day in academic quarantine to prepare my presentations for this weekend. I was due for an oil change, though, and decided I’d take my car in real quick to do that, and I’d be on my way. I’m sure you can tell where this is going – foreshadowing at its best

Turn back the clock roughly two weeks: I received something in the mail from Hyundai telling me that there was a recall in affect for my Elantra (I drive the Beemer on Wednesdays)), and it had something to do with corrosion of the front control arm. Me being me, I just ignored it and figured I’d call the local dealership when I had the time.

So back to yesterday, as I waiting for the guys to finish my oil change, one of them brought me out to the car and showed me two gaping holes rusting through both front control arms. Basically, I needed to get it taken care of sooner rather than later.

I get home, and call the closest dealership to my apartment. The guy was a prick and told me he couldn’t get me in, at the earliest, until June 1st. WTF. Thanks for nothing, dude. Knowing full well that I need my car to drive to and from work everyday, and that I had two fairly long trips to take this weekend, I was starting to feel that I’d have to cancel them. Not an option, really.

Long story short, thankfully, I found another dealership in Quincy that said they could take my car in that afternoon (yesterday), but I’d have to leave it overnight. Done. I drive to Quincy, during rush hour traffic no less (FML), and drop my car off. I had to have one of their technicians drive me back to the T station, and then took the 40 minute ride back to the closest stop to my apartment and walked home. End credits, fade to black, and they lived happily ever after.

So, in the end, my entire day was pretty much a wash, and I didn’t get started on my presentations until 8 last night. In my defense, however, I work better under pressure, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if my “So You Want to be a Fitness Professional” wins the Nobel Prize for awesomeness.

Nonetheless, if you’re actually still reading at this point, I’m going to keep it simple today and share with you a new exercise we’ve been using quite a bit lately at CP.

What Is It: Half Kneeling Cable Anti-Rotation Press

What Does It Do: Given the work of people like Shirley Sahrmann, Gray Cook, Mike Boyle, and a lot of other people who are smarter than myself, it’s pretty apparent that the “core,” should be trained primarily as an anti-rotator. Hell, just look at a basic anatomy chart and it’s pretty evident that that is the case.

As you can clearly see, the abdominal region is more of a cross-hatched web, and has muscle fibers that go vertically AND horizontally. I don’t remember who I originally heard this from, but if your abs were designed specifically for flexion (think crunches and sit-ups) they’d be a hamstring.

Even more importantly, with respects to rotation, it’s important to understand the physiology of the spine. The lumbar spine is not designed for a lot of movement – roughly 13 degrees total to be exact (0-2 degrees per segment). Conversely, the thoracic spine is where most of the motion should come from. Here, each segment elicits 7-9 degrees per segment, totaling roughly 70 degrees of “acceptable” rotation. I only bring this up because as you can see from the video above, any rotation that does occur, comes from the t-spine and not the lumbar spine.

Key Coaching Cues: I have to say, this is probably my favorite anti-rotation movement at the moment. It’s hard, and if you never knew where your obliques where, this exercise will let you know quickly. The set-up is similar to the half kneeling splits and chops – albeit this time, you’ll set up facing away from the cable machine.

– You want to “think tall” throughout the duration of the movement. No slouching. Chest up, shoulders back.

– Your standing leg (the one you’re not kneeling on) should be more towards the mid-line of your body, with toes pointing straight ahead.

– As well, you want to squeeze the glute of the kneeling leg as hard as you can.

– Most of you won’t have access to a core bar (awesome piece of equipment by the way), so use a tricep rope instead. It’s important to keep tension in the rope the entire time; don’t let the rope go slack!

– From there, simply “press” the rope out in front of you, making sure to rotate through the chest and not the lower back.

Perform 8-10 reps per side for 2-3 sets.

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