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  • Derrick Woods

Anti-Rotational/ Lateral Training

Bench Press, Squats, and Deadlifts, stop me if you have heard this before. No joke -just stuck thinking, it's quite prevalent in the exercise community if you look at the age of the mainstay exercises we do. However, I say training requires intention. So let's get to anti-rotational/ lateral training. I'll explain what is it, what it's good for, and how to do it.


Anti-Rotational/ Lateral training is quite a simple concept. Instead of loading the body evenly, you load it unevenly. Depending on the position of your body, it will either be anti-rotation or anti-lateral. (Bent over or laying is typically anti-rotational and standing is anti-lateral.) So what is the benefit to these two types of under utilized training methods, besides balance. Well first and foremost, it emphasizes glute and core activation. If you are doing a row, deadlift, bench press, lunge, etc you will have to use your core and glutes to stabilize your body due to the uneven weight. Let's take one of my favorite anti-rotational exercises -the offset bench press, as an example. In order to keep from falling off the bench towards the loaded side of the bar, you must plant your foot and really engage the glutes, while also contracting your core before you even begin to lift. Then you still have to press while holding those muscles in tension. Same goes for uneven anti-lateral exercises, which are done standing from a squat or lunge position. The purpose is to stop the lateral shift of the hips by recruiting the core and glute muscles to stabilize.


Why should you implore these two techniques, besides wanting stronger glutes and core muscles. It's good at fixing imbalances. We all have imbalances due to lifestyle, injuries, or simple wear and tear of our bodies. And, it has been shown that most injuries happen in the transverse plane or rotational plane because our exercises are often only front and back focused. We literally ignore the fact that most of our natural movement is rotational when working out. (This is insane!) For those who care about traditional lifts like squats, deadlifts, bench press, etc or strength training in general, you understand having a strong core and highly functioning glutes and hamstrings only work to your benefit. Let's even bring it down to people who don't like spending much time in the gym because they think exercising muscles in isolation is a waste of time. Using anti-lateral/ rotational workouts, you engage multiple muscles, meaning you require less exercise time to get a good workout. So if you normally do 8 isolation exercises you could literally do 4 anti rotation/lateral exercises and cut your workout load in half. It's far more efficient and challenging than traditional lifts. That's all for now, but remember- single leg workouts aren't always for balance. Until next time keep it RAW



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