My favorite rotational exercise is the low-to-high chop. You can use a weighted medicine ball, dumbbell, gallon of milk, or nothing at all. Master the initial movement and then add weight to progress. You’ll start standing with feet about hip width apart, maybe a little wider. You’re holding your weight (if using one) in your hands. Squat back (weight in your heels, knees behind toes), and twist left to hold the weight on the outside of your left leg. Exhale, and lift the weight diagonally across your body, ending twisted to the right with the weight above your head. Pivot on your left foot as needed. Really focus on the rotation initiating in your torso and don’t let your arms holding the weight dictate the move. This is all about rotating at the torso. Twist back to the starting position. This completes one rep. Do 12 reps on each side. So, you’ll do 12 reps starting with the weight down at your left side and then you’ll do 12 reps with the weight starting at your right side.
Alternating side planks is a great way to add rotation at the spine, hips and shoulders. Begin in a plank position with your feet in line with your hips, shoulders over elbows, elbows over hands. You can do this with straight arms or on your forearms. Forearm plank rotations is definitely more challenging. Twist to the left, reaching your left arm to the ceiling without letting your pelvis rise or lower. Aim to stack your shoulders on top of one another. Return to plank position, bringing your hand back to the floor. This completes one rep. Do 12 reps to start.
I also like to add rotation in general strength moves, such as a forward lunge with a twist. You can do forward lunges in place or do walking lunges. To begin, hold a medicine ball, or other weight if using one, in front of you with elbows bent about 90 degrees. You may want to begin this exercise with no weight and build up your strength over time. Step forward with your left foot into a lunge position. Be sure to keep your knee over your left foot and don't twist at the knee. Shoulders are broad, chest is open and core is engaged. From your torso, twist your upper body to the left (towards the front leg). Come back to starting position and lunge forward with the right leg and twist towards the right. This is one rep. Do 12 reps on each side to begin and progress either by adding weight or reps but not both at the same time.
Lastly, you can add some rotation into your dynamic warm-up routine by adding windmills. Stand with your feet winder than hip width apart. Depending on your hamstrings, you may want a slight bend at the knee. Bend forward at the hips while rotating toward the left. Your right arm will be straight down between your feet and your left arm will be up in the air. You're aiming to stack your shoulders. Return to starting position and then rotate towards the right. You can do this for about 30 seconds as part of your warm up before your workout.
Adding in some rotational moves will definitely add some variety and help you prevent injury. You'll become a stronger, more well-rounded runner for it!
I'm also linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Jen from Pretty Little Grub, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Nicole at Fitful Focus. Check these badass women out!