View Full Version : Lateral/Rotational Movements

Craig Cooper
11-01-2006, 11:17 AM
My only complaint with CrossFit has ever been the apparent lack of anything but linear movment. Are there functional lateral and/or rotational movements that could be included in a mixed modal workout without compromising it's integrity?

Robb Wolf
11-01-2006, 02:13 PM
Hey Craig!
This was kicked around over at the Cf message board a while back...I think throwing med balls, Thai kicks, windshield wipers, hooks...all these fit in nicely.

Here is a potential WOD with all rotational elements:
10 Thai kicks L/10 Thai kicks R
20 Med-ball punches (throw like a cross, roll hip over completely) 10R/L
6 windshield wipers
rounds in10, 15 or 20 min (10 looks good to me...in the words of Coach Rut: "Stimulate, Don't annihilate".)

Keep in mind that many of these movements lend themselves well to speed work ala Westside dynamic effort (set of 5 reps done as quickly as possible. 2-3 min rest between efforts.

Check out Ross Enamaits book Infinite Intensity for some awesome ideas in this line: http://www.rosstraining.com/infiniteintensity.html

All of Ross's work is Top-Notch.

Ken Urakawa
11-01-2006, 02:16 PM
I usually throw in a variety of movements as part of the warm up--med ball work, plyos, SAQ stuff, renegade rows, combat twist, kettlebells, etc. If the WOD is especially heinous, I'll ease up on some of the metabolic component, but I think doing that stuff usually improves my performance.

Are you looking more for plyometric/resistance movements or footwork/agility stuff?

Craig Cooper
11-01-2006, 03:08 PM
Robb - thanks for the suggestions, I'll give them a try.

Ken - looking for anything that can be incorporated into a WOD. Thanks for the suggestions.

Scotty Hagnas
11-02-2006, 10:59 AM
We use clubbells quite a bit in our WODs, along with med balls rotational stuff. Mostly two handed exercises, as in a class format it works better logistically. (we need more clubs) I use a number of different drills, but I use swipes, side swings, clockwork squats, and hammer swings quite a bit.

I will sometimes use them in complexes with light med ball throws for power generation. Heavy, low reps with the clubbells, followed by med ball throws for max speed and power using a similar movement pattern.

Scott Hagnas
CrossFit Portland

Allen Yeh
11-03-2006, 03:27 AM

Some things I throw into my warmup when I workout at home are the H2H KB exercises.
Slingshots aka around the world, figure 8's and figure 8's pluse uppercut.

I will also throw those into my workout as a "rest" period, i.e. tabata kb swings, tabata slingshots, tabata squats, tabata pullups

Jennifer conlin
11-07-2006, 08:59 AM
Jason C Brown has this rotational move on Youtube. I've been using it and can feel it for sure!

Robb Wolf
11-07-2006, 12:33 PM
Jason is a stud. Good stuff. I like the clean with a rotation. Have ot try that this evening.

Good to see you Jennifer!

Robert McBee
11-13-2006, 07:11 PM
Check out "Functional Training for Sports" by Mike Boyle. He puts a high priority on lateral movement training and core rotational work and the book is loaded with such exercises/drills.

Side note:
Hello all and thanks PM team for the forum. Considering what the monthly has already covered, this forum should be some cutting edge stuff. Cheers!

Craig Cooper
11-14-2006, 10:55 AM
Robert - checked out Boyle's book, sounded good from the description (there's a section in the book on O-lifting), until I saw the cover:


And then I read his wonderful article on "The Functional Controversy", and again was appalled:


This goes back to a discussion started on another thread about the validity of isolation exercises in a functional training program. IMO, they are NOT functional, period.

Robert McBee
11-14-2006, 04:03 PM

"Judging a book by its cover" and "throwing out the baby with the bath-water" aside, what did you think of the lateral/rotational stuff in Boyle's book?

I also have a Ross Enamait book. The cover looks like he zipped if off using an old MS Word program and his first description on how to squat is flat out, totally, "Matt Furey"-esque, wrong. If I'd dismissed it based on this then I wouldn't have it as one of the best anaerobic training manuals I've come across to date.

With regards to isolation v. functionality. IMO, the two concepts aren't always mutually exclusive. An Abmat situp could be labeled 'isolation work' but does that mean it makes no contribution to functionality? Heavy squats tell me they do.

Jason C. Brown
11-14-2006, 07:29 PM
Hey Craig,

Mike Boyle only has best intentions with his ideas. Coach Boyle uses "Isolation" exercises to help turn on muscles that have a hard time firing such as glute medials. It's pretty common to see peoples knees cave in towards their midline when squatting, that is a sign of weak glute medials and/or tight adductors. Mike would correct this using isolation exercises.

He's based in science as well as real world experience. All I'm saying is give him another chance.

Craig Cooper
11-14-2006, 08:31 PM
I know, I know, I'm totally pre-judging him, but I get instantly turned off when I hear someone preaching isolation work as functional. And I've got an answer for someone with weak glut medials and/or tight adductors, push your knees out! It may seem simplistic, but it works, and a hell of a lot better than I've seen isolation exercises work. I really liked Ido's quote from the thread on isolation vs. function, "your body is a system working in integration, and not in isolation." IMO, if you truly swallow the depth of that statement, you would abandon isolation work. I came from the world of isolation work, a 4 year degree in Exercise Science, and 2 years working in a Physical Therapy office. I've seen much better results pre- and re-habing with compound functional exercises than I ever saw with isolation work.

Robert - I haven't checked out the isolation stuff in his book, because I almost threw up when I read his article on "The Functional Controversy", but if you think it's legit, I'll check it out. How are abmat situps isolation work?

Jason C. Brown
11-15-2006, 06:43 AM

Mikes idea of isolation involves strapping a band around the knees and forcing the knees out during squats as you suggest also to help the glute med to fire.

He integrates everything but he likes to turn on certain muscles before using compound drills. I think you'd enjoy his work.

Do you like Stuart McGills work at all?

Craig Cooper
11-16-2006, 08:34 PM
Who's Stuart McGill?

Greg Everett
11-17-2006, 07:48 AM
jason et al make a good point--compound functional movements are ideal in most instances in terms of their ability to develop the athletic qualities we're after, BUT unfortunately there are circumstances in which they're either inappropriate, inadequate or even potentially dangerous. as a trainer/coach, unless you're fortunate enough to immediately land a position in a professional team or similar, you're going to have to deal with individuals with less than ultimate capacity, athleticism and conditioning. in these cases, no amount of brilliant coaching cues or articulate discussions of the beauty of natural movement will be sufficient. the ultimate goal, of course, is to bring these individuals up to a level at which they're capable of performing these higher-order movements, but there must be a progression and part of that progression is their relearning body control. certain isolation movements are appropriate for this.

anyone familiar with CF has been indoctrinated with the notion that all isolation movements are strictly bodybuilding movements and have no place in athletic training--but a survey of successful coaches and programs will demonstrate that this is simply not true.

there are even odd cases like that jay schroeder makes for allowing his players to perform curls--curls make big arms, big arms make confident players, confident players play better. that's about as indirectly functional as it gets, but if you get past the initial knee-jerk, it's legitimate. not that i agree all athletes should be doing curls for this reason, but the point is that blanket statements like "isolation exercises have no legitimate uses" don't hold water.

mike stehle
11-24-2006, 06:25 AM
Try some "conans" with a rope or towel tied around a kettlebell handle. Swing the kb around your head with 1 or 2 hands while keeping the feet planted. This activity should be done outdoors for safety reasons.