Heyo!

So, last week’s video about not being “that guy” received way more attention and feedback than I thought it would (you can watch it here). The responses have been funny and the overwhelming consensus has been that we need to have a sequel to the video.

With that being said, if you have any other “that guy (or girl)” stories hit reply and let me know ASAP so we can get started on the next one!

Wait, what is this anti rotation and unilateral nonsense?

Anti-Rotation Exercise– Anti-rotation exercises should prevent your spine from rotation or twisting, which is especially important for your lower back.

It is important to note that your lumbar spine (bottom of your spine) is not designed for a lot of movement. Each segment is only supposed to have between 0 and 2 degrees of rotation or a total of 13 degrees.

Unilateral Movements– Unilateral training is a style of training in which you are only working one limb at a time.  In most traditional training movements we use both limbs concurrently to complete the task at hand.

The theme of the article this week is unilateral movements and anti-rotation movements that you may have never heard of or just may not be doing them enough. Unilateral training is fantastic for diagnosing strength and mobility deficits as well as providing huge bang for your buck because while you may be working a single leg or arm you’re also going to be making your core work overtime (which is always a good thing). With these moves you’ll be able to add a lot more anti-rotation work and core work into your programs.

The Movements:

  • These can be used as a warmup to make sure everything is ready to go before your “main moves”, or you can use them as an accessory move to top off your leg day (my preference).
  • You will be able to set your hamstrings and your obliques on fire at the same time with these because you are doing a deadlift (obviously) AND you are having to work hard to stay square because you only have weight in one hand.
  • 2-4 Sets, 8-12 Reps/Side
  • This is one of my favorite combo moves of all time! You get a side plank/bridge AND a unilateral cable row.
  • This move can be inserted at the beginning of your work out (pre main moves) or after as accessory work. To be honest I use them in both spots and have success with either placement.
  • The anti-rotation qualities from the side plank/bridge are only amplified by the horizontal pull being completed during the row.
  • Eric Cressey, one of the greatest baseball strength and conditioning coaches ever uses these a lot for in season athletes who are short on time (and energy).
  • 2-4 Sets, 8-12 Reps/Side
  • Glute bridges/Hip thrusts are my one of my favorite moves to isolate the glutes and build explosion through the hips.
  • The single leg glute bridge isolates the glutes even further by only using one leg at a time (obviously).
  • Again, the double benefit of training unilaterally to find and correct muscle weaknesses and mobility issues paired with the added core engagement that comes from it makes it hard to beat when you are crunched for time. Doing more with less is always a win.
  • 2-4 Sets, Reps — I go by feel and technique here, stop at around 15 reps.
  • Loaded carries are often underused in most programs. You can train grip strength, core stability, and conditioning with various adaptations of the movement. The focus today, though, will be on the suitcase (one arm) carry due to its anti-rotation benefits.
  • Carrying one rather than two dumbbells or kettlebells makes it much harder for your body to stay square, thus making the core work overtime to compensate for one side being weighed down.
  • 2-4 Sets, ~20yds/Side
  • The single arm bench press is once again a great combo move to hammer your core while isolating one pec at a time.
  • There are many variations of this exercise that you can throw in such as; Shoulders and head only on bench while you do an isometric hip extension, shoulders on the bench with head off while you do an isometric hip extension and the hardest (in my opinion) is when you have ½ of your shoulder girdle on the bench while you do an isometric hip extension.
  • 2-4 Sets, 8-12 Reps/Side

Is this a comprehensive list of anti-rotation and unilateral exercises? No. Just a few that I use in my programs a lot and feel like you could benefit from them as well. Regarding the Sets/Reps recommendations, those are just very simple run of the mill guidelines. It does not mean you have to stay within those confines to get the benefits from the exercises.

Remember, though, when using unilateral exercises, they will take up more time than a bilateral exercise so if you need to get in and get out I would try to do no more than 1-2 unilateral movements in a session so you can get more exercises in in your timeframe.

Another great thing about unilateral moves is their ability to work stability safely so you don’t end up looking like this guy —>

bosuguy

If you want more examples of unilateral and anti-rotation exercises just shoot me an email to [email protected] or leave a comment below.


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