By Tom Fontana, MSPT
With the warmer weather and recreational activities opening up, we’ll likely all be doing our fair share of rotational movements (e.g., raking, spreading mulch, golf/tennis/baseball/softball swings) in the coming weeks. A good way to prepare the muscles involved in these motions is to perform rotational strengthening exercises. Using either a weight stack (at home or once gyms open up) or exercise bands, stand sideways to the anchor positioned above shoulder height, grab the handles/end of exercise band with both hands, allowing the hips to rotate slightly and then pull down, across your body, turning the hips and torso and bending the knees slightly (a “Chop”). You can perform a “Reverse Chop” in a similar fashion with the anchor positioned at knee level and swing from low to high. Perform 1 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions at a resistance level that is fatiguing by the last repetition. After a long winter and being cooped up inside during COVID-19, the last thing you want to do is pull an oblique muscle and have to wait another 6 weeks before getting active again!