5 Functional Moves That Make Your Core Work Overtime

//5 Functional Moves That Make Your Core Work Overtime

5 Functional Moves That Make Your Core Work Overtime

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.
  • 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).
  • 2-4 Sets, Reps — I go by feel and technique here, stop at around 15 reps.
  • Loaded carries are 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 dumbbell or kettlebell makes it much harder for your body to stay square.
  • 2-4 Sets, ~20yds/Side
  • The single arm bench press is a great 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 that I feel like you could benefit from as well.

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 —>


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

By |2018-11-14T03:06:03+00:00March 15th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

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