When it comes to core training, most people are familiar with performing it with exercises that involve anti-flexion and anti-extension. Planks and glute-ham raises are staples of routines that focus on building a rock-solid torso, but the anti-rotational aspect of core training is sometimes left by the wayside. Other than the Pallof press, what other exercises can be used to address this?
Imagine holding on the rope, only to have it start pulling to either your left or your right. Assuming your feet stay in place, the very act of you resisting this pull is a display of your core's anti-rotational abilities in action. To perform this, the muscles of the abdominals, obliques and lower back must be able to first stabilise the midsection of the body. This level of innervation can be trained with extended isometrics (i.e. timed holds), and the anti-rotational hollow hold is one of the best ways to effect this.
Location and equipment courtesy of TripleFit
The principles of this movement are similar to that of the Pallof press, with the exception that it is to be performed in a supinated position upon the floor. The use of the hollow position – or “scooped pelvis” – allows for a greater activation of the abdominal muscles while also preventing a hyperextension of the lower back.
You start by wrapping a resistance band (the lightest you can find) around a post and positioning yourself beside it so that it's in line with your hips. Grab the free end of the band with both hands and lie down, bringing the band over your abs with your arms fully extended. Once you're steady, tilt your pelvis forward so that your legs end up slightly elevated. Tuck you chin so that your entire is tensed, from head to toe.
Multiple holds of 20-30 seconds works very well with the anti-rotational hollow hold. Like the plank, the focus should be on generating as much muscular tension as possible while also resisting the pull of the band. Even with the lightest band you can find, don't be surprised if you find yourself shaking towards the end of a hold!