Do We Need To Train Rotation? [Stick Mobility ISO-Rotation Drill]

Do We Need To Train Rotation? [Stick Mobility ISO-Rotation Drill]

Short answer: Yes, but it depends HOW.

Yesterday, @michael_boyle1959mentioned how some people have become “anti anti-rotation” and have even started saying it’s problematic and would favor active lumbar rotation drills for core training.

Now let’s be clear that the spine needs to be able to rotate just like it needs to flex, extend and laterally flex. However, doing so repeatedly and under load with hopes of improving core function is not only misguided but potentially problematic for a few reasons.

Many people, lack fundamental rotary mobility and motor control. Asking these individuals to participate in repeated rotational exercises will often lead to segmental motion beyond ranges of control and high torsional stress at the spine. We should look to develop necessary mobility (not as much as possible), anti-core competency and integrated hip-core rotary strength.

For those that argue the need to train isolated rotation for sports performance I would ask you to consider the following approach as an alternative to active isolated rotation drills.

1️⃣: If indicated, develop mobility as needed at the segment with a medical professional.
2️⃣: “Anti” core train to develop basic competency. (Anti: Extension/Rotation/Flexion)
3️⃣: Train Iso-Rotary Drills (shown in video) to develop active rotary forces isometrically. 
4️⃣: Train integrated rotary drills that couple motion from both the HIPS & LUMBAR spine like medicine ball throws, Dynamic Keiser push-pull, & Dynamic Kesier chop & lift. (I can’t think of a single sport where lumbar rotation is not coupled with hip rotation.)
5️⃣: Continue to develop rotational adaptations from progressive exposure to sport. (ie. Take an intelligent approach to progressive practice)
The drill shown above is one of my favorites from the @stickmobilitycourse I took last year. It allows us to create active rotary force without repeated end-range rotation at the spine. I think this is an important bucket in the rotary strength formula. Typically, I program these for 10-30 seconds per side.