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John M. Holcomb 04-11-2007 01:02 PM

I'm new to CrossFit, but above average in knowledge of exercise. And like most things in my life I know just enough to be dangerous, but as I look at the WOD's and the list of exercises I see few if any movements with twisting in them. Isn't this a basic human movement pattern? Throwing, swinging a club or bat, starting a lawn mower all have a twist in them.

This quote got me thinking about it some more, 'In Dorothy Voss's book, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation,she states that muscles are connected to bones in spiral and diagonal patterns, not in straight lines. These patterns of muscle attachment should be reflected in the way we strengthen our muscles. Most traditional exercises, however, assume a straight-line connection, and many standard machines force the body to move in straight lines.'

So, why no twisting movments? Is it a equipment limitation in an effort to keep it simple?

Anthony Bainbridge 04-12-2007 04:09 AM

The WOD is an example designed to be usable by a wide range of people/gyms. You never see tire flips, sledgehammer work, throwing, swimming, punching, etc. ... but all of those are heavily recommended.

Also, Cosgrove says in his book "The New Rules of Lifting" that preventing your body from twisting has similar benefits as actually twisting.

Bradford Green 04-12-2007 06:01 AM

"Vertical force translates well into rotational force"--Greg Glassman

Anthony is right. Also, Dan John is a thrower from the word "go," but if you check out his workouts and the stuff he wants his throwers doing, it's things like squats, deadlifts, cleans, and tons of overhead squats. There's certainly a place for exercises like windmills, windshield wipers and russian twists, but I don't think those movements can really compare to the lifts I mentioned. If they're good enough for a high level discus thrower (and that's about as "twisting" as it gets), then they're good enough for me. }

Daniel Doiron 04-12-2007 09:48 AM

I guess I will play Devil's Advocate and express the fact that I believe the rotational and 'resistance' to rotational forces are VERY important to incoporate into your workouts in order to complement CrossFit WOD. We MUST keep in mind that the WOD is only part of a fitness / conditioning routine. Many of us need more, less or adaptations of the WOD in order to improve and maintain on different facettes of fitness.
I regularly incorporate 1 side / 1 arm work (resistance to rotation), and rotational throwing / pulling / flexion (actual rotation). I also use un-even BB loading, etc...

As for the throwers who get enough 'rotation work' from DL, squats, etc... We must keep in mind that I am certain Dan John, Coach, etc...won't be giving us EVERYTHING they do, try or think of as far as training programming goes. I am also certain that if we would all put in 5 hours of discus (and other) throwing each week...we would also be able to exclude rotation work in our daily conditioning! that would be rotation work enough for most of us to end up with disfunctional obliques (and more!) by the end of week one!

Keep in mind that One arm OH Walking lunges is a great example of exercises that will improve your 'rotation' strength!

Leonid Soubbotine 04-12-2007 02:43 PM

By Charles Poliquin:

There's some research saying the obliques have a very low potential for strength development. It's actually been shown that the obliques have the least amount of potential for hypertrophy and strength. This is why I'm against those Tornado Balls and other things recommended by coaches who can't get anybody strong. The core is most recruited by squats and deadlifts, even though there's no rotating action.

Nathan Stanley 04-12-2007 05:25 PM

I know Dan John said that despite doing a lot of rotational work at one point in time, it never helped him (or his athletes) improve. FYI

Ian Holmes 04-13-2007 01:43 AM

If you want core strength that translates... do walking overhead lifts. Or overhead lunges *grin*...

Daniel Doiron 04-13-2007 07:13 AM

Looks like I stand alone on this one !

I have difficulty to believe that some one who performs only linear lifts / exercises will be able to generate the same rotational power as someone who practices throws, martial arts, etc...

But hey, we all have our own thoughts and theories on this art of exercise and conditioning...

Matthew Bryer 04-13-2007 08:32 AM

Fellers- I think that functionality plays a role. If your a baseball player, a golfer or any athlete that uses rotation a considerable amount doing rotational resistance exercises would be hugely beneficial in generating power for a golfer, or baseball player. I wonder what Tiger does for generation more power on his golf shots? And mostly every sport uses rotational movements.

Michael Tong 04-13-2007 08:55 AM

Daniel - you're not alone. I also train rotational strength. Hanging windshield wipers, core twists on decline bench holding a 45lb plate, and heavy bag work for rotational power.

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