Exercises You Should Be Doing: TRX Anti-Rotation Press
Peruse any Facebook wall of someone who’s into fitness and you’re bound to see any number of running themes, status updates, or stories on:
1. CrossFit, CrossFit, and more CrossFit (and with it endless Paleo recipes).
2. Intermittent fasting, still (<— that was so 2012).
3. “Do you even lift?” jokes. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.
4. Non-stop shirtless gym selfies. I get why people do it. We all want to show-off our hard work. But sometimes I wish people would just get over themselves and understand that just because it was “arms day,” and you happen to be walking past a mirror, and you happen to have your smartphone with you, and you also happen to have an Instagram account, doesn’t mean you have to snap a pic and share it with the world.
I don’t care how your shoulders look in “Hefe” or how your back pops in “Toaster” or how your pecs look so “pecy” in Kelvin. WHEW. My my my, is it getting hot in here or it just me?
God, your abs, along with that post-workout sweat, just glisten like diamonds when you use the Earlybird filter……..
But, um, yeah, where was I?
Interestingly, I came across THIS article this morning which I felt was a fantastic reality check on the topic of gym selfies.
5. And then there’s this recent Star Wars footage that was released which basically made me destroy the back of my pants.
Okay, so maybe most people aren’t Star Wars nerds like myself…but you have to admit the guy who made that video is pretty baller.
Anyways, it only makes sense that if someone’s interests gravitate towards fitness that they’ll be inundated with more fitness themed stories on their Wall.
But even if that’s not the case, almost always, the topic of core training is covered by the mainstream media and it stitches itself into our psyche
What are the secrets to a chiseled mid-section?
What exercises are best if someone’s goal is to get a six-pack?
Do “X” to get a beach ready body!
And, almost always, at least when it comes to the actual exercises/movements recommended, we get any number of ab crunches, sit-ups, rotations, leg throws, and infomercials advertising these balls of fail: weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
I guess you could make a case for all of it. While none of the above would be my first choice, especially when you consider Dr. Stuart McGill’s research on spine biomechanics and the notion that repeated flexion is the exact mechanism for disc herniation, there are certain situations where they can be a decent fit and I certainly don’t feel anyone will do irreparable harm performing a few crunches or sit-ups here and there.
Having said that….while trunk flexion is one of the functions of the abdominals (along with lateral flexion, contralateral rotation, posterior pelvic tilt, to name the big players), it’s main ROLE is stability.
Stealing a great line from my pal Mike Robertson: “if the main job of the abdominals was to flex the trunk – bringing the sternum closer to the pelvis – by crunching all the time, they’d be hamstrings.”
In looking at the actual anatomy of the torso you can clearly see varying muscle fiber pennation, as well as a web-like appearance of the connecting tissue.
All of this to suggest that the main role of the abdominals or “core” is to stabilize and help better transfer force from the lower body to the upper body (and vice versa). The better someone is able to stabilize, the less likely they’l have force leaks.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the bulk of the core training I recommend is to prevent motion. I.e., anti-rotation, anti-extension, anti-flexion.
TRX Anti-Rotation Press
Who Did I Steal it From?: I think I originally saw this exercise performed by strength coach and resident guy “I would never want to fight…..ever,” Dewey Nielsen.
What Does it Do?: Similar to things like Pallof Presses, chops, lifts, loaded carries, and the like, this is an excellent exercise that trains rotary stability.
Key Coaching Cues: You’ll need a TRX or any suspension training tool to perform this exercise. Assuming a split stance – with the inside foot back – angle yourself at roughly a 45-60 degree angle.
Starting with the handle against your sternum, “press” it away from your body fully extending your arms and come to a slight pause…..all the while resisting the urge to move. There should be very little movement here, and you’ll need to fight hard not to compensate in the lumbo-pelvic-hip area.
Go slow! The objective here is controlled movement, so don’t spaz out.
If you need to make it less challenging, use a more conservative body angle. More challenging = more aggressive angle.
I like to shoot for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps per side.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Comments for This Entry
July 9, 2014 at 11:12 am |
David BrombergNice write up Tony! I integrated these on the fly in my TRX class a few weeks ago, the first time through my clients had tough time finding what angle they needed to be at, but by the second set they had adjusted to it and gotten the hang of it.
July 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
TonyGentilcoreYeah, there's a little bit of a learning curve with it....but once people get the hang of it it's an excellent option. Thanks for chiming my man!
July 10, 2014 at 7:41 am |
RobBeen doing this one for a while. Whenever I demo to clients they initially laugh at how easy it looks. Then I have them do it, correctly, and they decide they no longer like me.
July 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
TonyGentilcorehahahahaha. So true.
July 10, 2014 at 7:42 am |
MarcusI feel stupid but could someone explain the mike Robertson quote? Thank you
July 9, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
TonyGentilcoreHamstring flex the knee. If the role of the abdominals was just flexion (in this case, trunk flexion...which is what sit-ups and crunches train).....then they'd be called hamstrings. As I noted the abdominals (RA, obliques, TA, etc) do much more than just flexion.
July 10, 2014 at 7:43 am |
MarcusAhh ok thank you
July 10, 2014 at 7:53 am |
Elsbeth Vaino, CSCSSomehow this has fallen out of my regular rotation. Thanks for the reminder. And good call on not wanting to fight Dewey. But you probably do want to have a beer with him.
July 9, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
TonyGentilcorehaha. Dewey is an awesome dude....so hopefully people don't think he's a big meanie head. Thanks for chiming in Elsbeth!
July 10, 2014 at 7:44 am |
JustinThank you for another informative post Tony. I have always performed the exercise with the inside foot forward. Any specific benefit to going inside foot back? Thanks
July 10, 2014 at 11:24 am |
Eric SanfordHaving the inside foot forward rather than back would be easier as the hips would be in a more stable position relative to the rotation. Also, if you notice, he is on his outside foot heel and inside foot toes, making this harder than keeping your feet flat.
July 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
TonyGentilcoreWhat Eric said.....
July 15, 2014 at 8:35 am |
Dustin BaughI have not tried these. I have been doing an overhead press version, though, to resist lateral flexion. They are a lot of "fun." lol
July 10, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
EmilyJust when I had seen it all....now this!!! ;) Looking forward to integrating this into my Basic Training program. The Pallof press is a staple of my program. Looks like this may very well be the next best thing. ;) Thanks Tony! Emily
July 11, 2014 at 7:38 am |
Shane Mcleanspaz out...................classic mate.
July 13, 2014 at 9:25 am |
Adrian DayTony. Just brilliant. I have a student at the School that will definitely have a love hate relationship with these. Thanks for sharing!
July 13, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
TonyGentilcoreNo worries, and glad you enjoyed it. Can't say so much for your student......;o)
July 15, 2014 at 8:33 am |
Adrian DayTo quote the student "They don't look tough, but damn they work everywhere!" I used power rings and made sure that the rings pointed in straight by using my hand as a guide. If my hand ended up inside the ring, all was good.
July 15, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
Scottie2FitNice exercise! I have been doing the cable anti rotation exercises regularly since you posted on them and will definitely give these a try.
July 16, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
TonyGentilcoreCool - let me know how you like it!
July 17, 2014 at 6:45 am |
Paul BruceTony, this looks like a great exercise. Do you think it would be awkward to try and add in some thoracic rotation at the top of the rep, so trainees can learn to dissociate thoracic rotation with lumbar rotation (like in a chop)? Do you think it could be useful?
September 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
TonyGentilcoreI can see that working. I can see it working as a nice progression.
September 8, 2014 at 7:05 am |
Paul BruceWhen you're increasing the angle, and your feet can't stay flat on the ground, are you supposed to invert/evert at the ankles, or do you just change the exercise at a certain point?
March 2, 2015 at 10:07 pm |
TonyGentilcoreAt that point I'd probably switch to something else.
March 4, 2015 at 9:36 am |
Santiago LiébanaThe most nearly exercise to Pallof Press. Very good articule :D
December 18, 2017 at 2:38 am |