STANDING CABLE or BAND CORE BRACING I advocate this exercise for improved rotational power as well as reducing risk for injury during rotational movements. The function of the core in rotational exercises is to initiate power and resist movement, and athletes need to be able to prevent rotation before they begin to produce it. Rotational exercises require a braced core, with most of the rotation taking place in the hips. The spine is not meant to twist deeply, a movement that can injure discs, muscles, and tendons in the back. Back problems occur when abdominal and back muscles cannot maintain control over the rotation between the pelvis and spine.
- Adjust a cable to chest level or attach a band to an anchor at chest level. Stand perpendicular to the cable stack or band anchor point.
- Grip the band or cable—one hand clasped around the other—and extend arms straight out from chest. If using a band step to the side enough to keep the band taut (for increased resistance, take another step to the side).
- With knees bent, hips back, shoulders back, and feet a little wider than hip distance, engage the core by tightening muscles as if expecting a punch to the gut. Use core muscles to resist any rotation from spine, shoulders, knees, or hips.
- Maintain Braced Core Position for 10 to 20 seconds. Rotate 180 degrees and repeat the other side.