|Hip drive, shoulder separation, not twisting!|
Extreme range twisting is not what happens in throwing or most athletic events. Rotation is what happens as opposed to twisting. It is malpractice in my opinion that many coaches use twisting types of exercises in an effort to improve rotational force. Below is a recent post (on Testosterone.com)of an interview with Dr. Stuart McGill, a widely recognized expert on low back disorders and how to prevent and correct them........
Excellent, Stu. That's essential information for any physical therapist or corrective exercise trainer. Speaking of twisting injuries, there seems to be some debate on your position regarding dynamic rotational core training. Care to elaborate?
SM: Injuries form clusters that help reveal the cause. If a baseball team has more than one stress fracture, I look immediately at the strength and conditioning program. There you'll find the cause – poor exercise choice and programming.
Usually, there will be loaded twisting rotation at excessive speed. I consulted for an Olympic sprint squad from one country that was compromised because of lateral medicine ball throws into a wall. These athletes were rotating around the lumbar spine, which either delaminated the layers of the annulus or caused stress fractures in the pars. It was the fault of the trainer/coach who didn't know better, and the importance of technique when recommending a power exercise.
What they needed was better training techniques to reduce the spine motion and emphasize hip drive. This is a very important point: I notice which teams have specific injury patterns when other teams that play the same sport do not.CW: So how do you recommend that T Nation readers train core rotation?
SM: I begin by quantifying the demands of the sport, and then the capabilities of the athlete. I design a training program to address any deficiencies between the two. Therefore, each program is different.CW: Yes, that's the risk we take whenever we recommend an exercise. What might be ideal for one guy could be problematic for another. But throw us a bone and give us some recommendations.
SM: Okay, here are some examples. I might begin with shadow boxing to enhance the timing of muscular pulses to stiffen the core to enhance shoulder and hip explosive power. Then I might build some endurance with standing cable single-arm pushes and pulls, emphasizing core stiffness and crisp deliberate shoulder pulses.
In order to build more strength, I might use a modified bench press with the right side of the body on a bench and the left side suspended. This requires intense gluteal muscle drive as the heavy dumbbell is driven up in the left hand. This technique is also performed with the left side on the bench while you press with the right arm.
This is labeled as "twisting", but is actually rotation and not harmful..
This is a recipe for disc degeneration, especially if done with weights...