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One Move To Improve Your Athletic Prowess

November 8th, 2010

MTM Trainer Jeff Halevy reveals a simple exercise that has more benefits than I ever expected!

“There’s one move that’s a time-tested winner for improving performance in just about every sport; one that has helped countless fighters, dancers, golfers and tennis players — pro’s to Joe’s — improve their game: the lunge with rotation.

The lunge with rotation works just about your whole body, but the reason it helps improve performance in so many sports is because it teaches the body to disassociate the hips from the shoulders. Most of us tend to move like robots; if our hips turn, so do our shoulders and vice versa.

Performance in any sport that requires rotational strength — power generated by the rotation of the torso — will be limited by our inability to create torque between our shoulders and hips. The more we improve our ability to twist our shoulders away from our hips, the greater the potential energy we’re creating…and the greater the energy we’re creating, the greater the impact on the end recipient of that energy: a golf ball, tennis ball, or someone’s face!

Another benefit of this move is the hip and core stability and balance it creates: in a nutshell, it means it teaches our body to move and stay balanced. How many golfers have you seen get off-balance from their swing? And increased stability allows us to direct more force: Can you throw a ball harder standing on a balance beam or the ground? Exactly.

Beginners can start the lunge with rotation using their body weight alone or a lightweight object (eg a tennis ball), while the intermediate and advanced can begin by working with a medicine ball.

To perform the movement, begin standing with your hands together or around a medicine ball tucked under your chin. Take a step forward into a lunge. As soon as you’re stable in the bottom position of the movement, extend your arms straight out and rotate as far as you can to the side of the lead leg. Be sure to not let your shoulders and upper back round. Rotate back, bring your arms/the ball back in and return to the standing start position. Repeat the same process with your other leg. That’s one rep.

Set and rep ranges depending on skill and weight of the medicine ball can vary from 2 sets of 15-20 reps using no medicine ball, to 3-4 sets of 8-12 with an appropriately heavy medicine ball.

Try this move out twice a week for a month or two and just watch your game — regardless of which one it is — improve!” (via NY Examiner)

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