T Nation

Rotational Exercises/Oblique Training for Power


#1

Where do people stand on rotational exercises and targeted oblique training?

As someone interested in boxer, my primary focus is speed, explosiveness, power etc.

Iâ??m naturally quite fast. I do the usual exercises such as box jumps, power clean, hang clean, split jerk etc.

Oly lifters and sprinters are athletes I try and imitate.

I understand the necessity of rotational power but Im unsure as to the effectiveness/necessity of popularised medicine ball, kettlebell exercises etc.

I wonder if traditional Olympic lifting exercises cover this area sufficiently or if I need to add it in.

So my question is if any of you or coaches/athletes you follow actually integrate this into your workout and if so how?


#2

google full contact twists. That’s yer boy.

Keep the weight light at first and concentrate on really bracing your core


#3

[quote]CarltonJ wrote:
As someone interested in boxer
[…]
Oly lifters and sprinters are athletes I try and imitate.[/quote]
Saywhatnow? I think I get the reasoning behind what you’re saying, but I also sort of don’t.

“Need” is always a context-specific word when it comes to programming. Other than stuff you listed (P.S. why and how are you doing hang cleans and power cleans?), what exactly does the rest of your training week look like?

And how do you quantify “power” in terms of oblique/rotational strength? Just hitting harder? That brings in a whole related world of technique and practical drills.

Like Yogi said, full contact twists are brutal if done right (I prefer the hands lower on the bar rather than at the top of the collar). Anti-rotation work is also huge, with things like 1-arm bridges, 1-arm dumbbell/barbell work, and heavy Pallof iso-holds. Good old side bends are also a classic for a reason, but I prefer them with a slightly staggered stance instead of neutral feet.

If you’re doing a decent amount boxing training through the week, you don’t need to necessarily hammer a ton of rotation work in the gym. Basic explosive work (cleans, etc.) and pad work should cover it.


#4

So, I aim to emulate olympic lifters and sprinters in the weights room. I was a little lazy in my description. I meant power snatchs and hand cleans (not 2 kinds of cleans).

I want to improve rotational power but also overall oblique, core etc. strength. This isnt an area I’ve focused on before, so if i can improve a weak link, obviously it will improve my overall performance. I hadnt even heard of rotational power training until a week ago. Nor "anti-rotational " till you referenced it. Would be great to hear about the one arm dumbell exercises you like?

heavy Pallof iso-holds - i’ve googled them, and, i dont have the bands, would this exercise work on a cable station?

So, my goals are two fold -

  1. increase punching power
  2. increase strength of the core area and thus punch resistance.

#5

I train with weights twice per week. Box 4 days. Sample weights room routine below.

Monday
Box Jumps
Power Snatch (work up to about 60kg)
Power clean (about 80)
High Pull (work up to about 90kg)
Rack pull below knee
"misc" - this is where i plan adding the rotational power exercises

Thursday
Sprints (10x 50m)
Clean and Jerk
Jerk (push press with a strong leg drive)
bench press from pins
"misc"

– i plan on ommiting exercises dependent on whether you guys think thered be more benefit to adding in the rotational and anti-rotation exercises.


#6

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Good old side bends are also a classic for a reason, but I prefer them with a slightly staggered stance instead of neutral feet.[/quote]

elaborate on this please, gangsta


#7

[quote]CarltonJ wrote:
Sample weights room routine below.[/quote]
Volume is also key to know, for context. It can kinda be a deal-breaker actually, especially when drilling similar movement patterns in a session like the snatch, clean, high pull, and rack pull. But that’s a nice arrangement of mechanical advantage work, I’m actually doing something similar with the old school “power look” work - power cleans for triples, high pulls for triples, deadlifts for triples, ending with deadlift singles.

Any reason there’s little actual lower body work in general? Lots of pulling in that first workout, and sprints in the second, but some front squats would be a useful addition (unless you’re doing the full clean and jerk, which I guess would “technically” cover it).

Like I said though, you don’t need a ton of rotation stuff especially if you’re boxing so frequently. I’d probably pick one “core” exercise and superset it with your last lift of the day in each session. For example, Pallof iso-holds with the rack pulls and one-arm planks or unsupported 1-arm rows with the benching wouldn’t be a bad start.

FWIW, if your “jerk” is just a push press with extra leg drive, you might think about doing a “proper” jerk instead. With the second dip underneath to catch the bar, and basically finishing each rep with a quarter-rep overhead squat, you’d automatically add some big core work.

Anti-rotation is along the lines of anti-flexion, basically training the body/core to resist motion. Definitely teaches tightness and a certain kind of “strength endurance” that the core musculature seems to respond well to. Mike Robertson breaks it down more here: https://www.t-nation.com/training/21st-century-core-training

I believe the overhead press works “better” than the 1-arm bench, simply because there’s less outside support. 1-arm rows work well if you don’t brace the free hand on anything during the reps. 1-arm cleans and/or “front” squats are another good way to train stabilization. Get-ups or half get-ups are killer too.

I actually prefer them with cables because you can go relatively heavy on them. Like, around half-bodyweight for a 5-count, then switch sides. 3-5 sets per side.


#8

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#9

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Good old side bends are also a classic for a reason, but I prefer them with a slightly staggered stance instead of neutral feet.[/quote]
elaborate on this please, gangsta[/quote]
I forget where I first read it, but basically in a staggered stance very similar to what’s pictured above (not my legs, BTW), might have to play with width and front/back position a bit. Holding the dumbbell in the same side hand as the foot that’s in front, in the pic it’d be the guy’s left hand. The movement is still sideways, reaching the weight towards the heel of the front foot.

It basically puts the hip flexors and abs on the working side into a slight pre-stretch, and since you’re not “just” moving laterally but have a very slight forward bend, the abs and low back get to help more than a traditional, neutral-stance side bend. Touching the working side with the fingertips of the same side hand also helps to feel things contracting.


#10

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Good old side bends are also a classic for a reason, but I prefer them with a slightly staggered stance instead of neutral feet.[/quote]
elaborate on this please, gangsta[/quote]
I forget where I first read it, but basically in a staggered stance very similar to what’s pictured above (not my legs, BTW), might have to play with width and front/back position a bit. Holding the dumbbell in the same side hand as the foot that’s in front, in the pic it’d be the guy’s left hand. The movement is still sideways, reaching the weight towards the heel of the front foot.

It basically puts the hip flexors and abs on the working side into a slight pre-stretch, and since you’re not “just” moving laterally but have a very slight forward bend, the abs and low back get to help more than a traditional, neutral-stance side bend. Touching the working side with the fingertips of the same side hand also helps to feel things contracting.[/quote]

that’s cool. Thanks for the explanation.


#11

great advice, thanks very much for the effort and time taken. really appreciated. :slight_smile:


#12

[quote]pushharder wrote:
Heavy Kroc rows.
[/quote]

Would also help balance out the pressing movements you’ve got.

Also, why no rotator cuff work? Or was it just not listed?

I’m not a boxer, but I was under the impression that shoulder health is kind of important if you want to keep boxing.


#13

Erm, I don’t have a good reason for not doing squats other than it makes my glutes and thighs bigger than i’d like. And personal (non performance related) preference is to have slimmer legs. I think they are around 23 inch at the moment which is desirable. They’ve been 27/28 if I recall and I didn’t like it.

I lift very low reps on everything (3-5) and I find that still builds muscle.

My quads aren’t bad, I’ve squatted 170kg for 2 previously. Id struggle with 120kg at the moment i’d guess. My hamstrings are pretty good, and given 2 weeks of training I can get back to my past best of 185kg.

If I could squat and only grow my legs marginally or not all I would like that.


#14

[quote]Apoklyps wrote:

[quote]pushharder wrote:
Heavy Kroc rows.
[/quote]

Would also help balance out the pressing movements you’ve got.

Also, why no rotator cuff work? Or was it just not listed?

I’m not a boxer, but I was under the impression that shoulder health is kind of important if you want to keep boxing.[/quote]

I add a little in at the beginning of boxing workouts with general boxing misc. (neck harness, skipping etc.)


#15

re volume, its around 4-6s moving up in weight, reps 90% of the time are triples.

I sometimes do 5s for the bench press, and single if I feel like I can hit a pb on a clean, jerk etc.

ill try add in the proper jerk. it seems quite technically difficult. id love to get to jerking 100kg one day. man that’d be cool.

again I must express my gratitude, a tonne of great info you’ve all provided above. definitely excited to implement it.