Life doesn’t happen in one dimension. Thankfully, our bodies are built to allow us to

move in many different planes of motion to complete our daily activities. The ability to

pick up a bag of groceries or a child, grab something that’s fallen on the floor, or get up

from a chair, are all real life movements that we easily complete every day because of

our body’s ability to move: front and back (sagittal plane), side to side (frontal plane),

and in rotation (transverse plane). Our body’s capacity to move efficiently within these

three planes of motion is particularly important in sports. From baseball to tennis to

golf, athletes are in constant motion through each plane as they perform their sport.

However, when training in the gym, many traditional workout plans are focused on

building strength within only two planes: the sagittal and frontal planes. Exercises

include squats, deadlifts, chest press, lateral raises, bicep curls...and the list goes on.

Because of the lack of rotational training, most injuries occur within the transverse plane

of motion. A comprehensive designed exercise program that utilizes all planes of

motion will help train our bodies in the same manner that we use it in real life and in the

sport that we love.


Paddling, of course, is no different than all other sports. To complete a paddle stroke,

we must rotate through the hips, torso and shoulders. Incorporating rotational exercises

in you workout routine, not only will help to improve your stroke but will help increase

your range of motion, aid in the prevention of injuries, and provide a foundation of

strength within the rotational plane.


Here are some rotational exercises that you can incorporate within your next exercise



1) Woodchops: Stand with feet hip width apart. With core engaged in a squat

position, hold a dumbbell just outside of one ankle. Using your core to rotate the

dumbbell upward towards the opposite shoulder in one movement. Return to the

start position. Complete three sets of 8-12 repetitions each side.


2) Lunges with a Twist: Stand with feet hip width apart. Holding a dumbbell or

medicine ball, step forward with one foot and lower your body to 90 degrees at both

knees. Rotate the opposite shoulder to the knee in front. Rotate back center and

step back to the starting position. Complete three sets of 8-12 with each leg.


3) The Russian Twist: Holding a medicine ball, dumbbell, or weight plate, sit on the

floor with your hips and knees bent 90 degrees. Hold the weight straight out in front

of you and keep your back straight (your torso should be at about 45 degrees to the

floor). Explosively twist your torso as far as you can to the left, and then reverse the

motion, twisting as far as you can to the right. That's one rep, do 3 sets of 8-12.


Written by YOLO Team Rider: Leah Seacrest


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