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Essential Back Rehab Strategies – Category D and E – Anti-Rotation and Compound Movements


Essential Back Rehab Strategies

Category D

Anti-Rotation Movements

After we established stability in Part , strengthened the erectors, hips and hamstrings in Part 2, and worked to improve our hip mobility and upper back mobility in Part 3, we will now improve our ability to resist rotation.

Resisting rotation, or anti-rotation movements (in transverse plane), is one of the basic core strength movement patterns.  When anti-movements or statics are discussed, we are talking about no movement occurring.  When developing strength, we typically do so in linear and fixed movement patterns.  But the other essential component involves resisting these exact same movement patterns.  This makes us more proficient at absorbing, accumulating and transferring forces, staying solid under load and remaining injury free.

The other core strengthening movement patterns include:

– statics (forces acting perpendicular to midline in sagittal plane, stabilizing in frontal plane)

– hip flexion

– hip extension

– lateral flexion

– rotation

chaos movements

Category D Strategies

For this fifth installment, we show movements that focus on simple exercises you can do in any commercial gym.  I show the Pallof Press with an elastic band, but they can also be done with a cable machine.  I also show one arm farmer’s walk which is a anti-lateral flexion movement.  I did this because it is a great, simple exercise that promotes static proficiency in a different pattern other than anti-rotation.

Anti-Rotation Movements

Exercises: Pallof Press, Pallof Press into Split Squat, Core Statics (TM) – Lateral Shuffles, One Dumbbell Bent Over Rows, Alternating Dumbbell Rows, 45 Deg Back Raise DB Rows, 45 Deg Back Raise Alternating DB Rows, One Arm Farmers Walk, Anti-Rotation Sled Dragging (for Power)

Anti-Rotation Movements

Anti-Rotation Sled Dragging

Phase 5: Anti-Rotation Movements

Category A Exercises: Pick 2 exercises; bridges, supermans, birddogs, planks, elastic band bracing

Category B Exercises: Pick 2 exercises; hip extension variation, RDL variation, back raise variation, hip thrust variation, glute bridge variation

Category C Exercises: Pick 2 exercises; hip mobility, upper back mobility and pick 1 exercise from strength mobility

Category D Exercises: Pick 2 exercises; anti-rotation, anti-lateral flexion

Volume: 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps or 60-90 seconds work for dynamic | static postures, 60-90 sec REST between sets

Sessions: 3-4 sessions / week

Duration: 2-3 Weeks (or until you feel comfortable and strong)

Essential Back Rehab Strategies

Category E

Compound Movements

By now, you are ready to integrate more compound movements back into your program.  You have laid the strength and stability foundation you need to stabilize under load.

But progress slowly.

The goal isn’t to start throwing weight on the bar or using the biggest dumbbells.  The goal is to move through a full range of motion and see how you feel.  Bodyweight movements are a great way to begin this transition.  Exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, lunges will be amazing choices to see how you react to strength training after an injury.

Auto-regulation will be the key to ‘listening’ to your body.  You might find that you are having trouble with the compressive forces of typical barbell squats.  Unilateral movements and / or goblet squats are excellent substitutions.  Just be smart and don’t be misled by what others are doing.  Do what is best for you.

Phase 6: Time to Workout AGAIN

Begin whatever workout program you would like.  Focus on the warm-up and maintaining a neutral torso (spine) when under load.  This will keep you healthy and safe.  Incorporate any of the exercises in the back rehab protocol into your program as needed.  They can be used in your warm-up or for your core training component.


How to Perform Goblet Squats

How to Perform Zercher Squats

How to Perform Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats (Goblet Rack)

How to Perform Romanian Deadlifts

How to Deadlift

How to Squat

Fat Gripz


By on May 22nd, 2011


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Comments (4)

  1. Posted by - Mike on May 23, 2011

    That’s HUGE Smitty! I love the anti-rotation work! Thanks for all the work and sharing the results! Truly appreciated!

    • Posted by - Smitty on May 23, 2011

      Thanks for the great support!

  2. Posted by - Mike on May 25, 2011

    Hey Smitty,

    Cool Stuff as always!!! Anyways quick question if you don’t mind me asking. Where did you get your logo design done and video intro created? I am looking at getting some work done and your stuff looks really good.


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