When you step into the gym, your goal will likely be to lift as much weight as possible. Or, at the very least, improve upon your personal bests. We get it, lifting big looks good, although only if you perform those lifts with the correct technique. Nobody looks good with an injury sustained from ego lifting.
But, while there are numerous exercises you can perform for your chest, back and shoulders, there are some exercises that often go overlooked, but they are ones that stand to offer huge rewards for both your strength and stability.
One such exercise is known as the banded rotation and Pierre Gasly, the French Formula 1 driver currently signed to the Scuderia AlphaTauri team has recently taken to Instagram to demonstrate how to perform this underrated, and one you should definitely be adding to your routine.
What is a banded rotation?
Banded rotation exercises can be performed to target various areas of the body, depending on where you hold a resistance band or cable, and how you move your body. As Setforset says, “Rotational exercises require you to twist through a rotational pattern, typically with resistance bands and cables, or weights like a medicine ball, plate, kettlebell or steel mace, as the resistance creates power.”
“Rotational core exercises are the best for developing power in your core and hips. Understand that the goal is not torso rotation but rather a powerful hip rotation. The goal is to learn to better utilize hip internal and external rotation to transfer power from the ground.”
Pierre’s banded rotation may look simple, and it may even look like it won’t provide much in the way of strength benefit at all, but in reality, it’s a serious core burner. Your core is a complete area of muscle that covers pretty much everything apart from your arms and legs. Its job is to stabilize the body and allow you to make all manner of movements without issue.
Many might assume a strong core is defined as having visible six-pack abs and will only perform exercises such as leg raises and crunches to target the upper and lower portion of the abdominal region. However, your core comprises other muscles, such as the obliques on the sides, which can be strengthened by performing side plans and rotation movements, such as a banded rotation.
As we’ve discussed before when talking through this kettlebell circuit workout, your core is a group of more than 20 muscles in the lower back, stomach and hips. The abs are a small fraction of this large and dynamic muscle group.
And, as Fitlab states, it’s important you keep your core as strong as possible because it’s responsible for “keeping the spine stable, [helps you] maintain an upright body position and is critical for bending forward, backwards and twisting from side to side.”
Pierre’s example of a banded rotation is a little different to a traditional one. With the latter, you would start with your body and arms held out at 90-degrees to the wall or bar you have your resistance band attached (see here). You would then twist your upper body in the opposite direction to wherever the band is secured and return to a 90-degree angle.
In Pierre’s version, he starts with his arms facing the point of attachment and rotates so that he finishes at a 90-degree angle.
DMARGE reached out to Dean Jamieson, owner of Lean Performance gym in Taren Point, Sydney, to learn what benefits Pierre’s banded rotation will bring to him in the context of racing in Formula 1.
“Rotational band word is a great way to recruit core muscles and stabilize the spine,” says Dean.
“Pierre is about to participate in a 300km intense race at super-high speeds, so it makes sense to warm up to support your performance. By performing a band rotation, Pierre is able to have his core switched on, properly warm up his arms and shoulders and they can help support the spine whilst sitting for long periods.”
So, if a simple resistance band workout is good enough for a Formula 1 driver, it’s certainly one that is going to be good enough for you. Try it next time you’re in the gym and feel your core burn.
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