Twists for a better body

BY: Matt Carter
POSTED August 21, 2023 IN

Do you twist, and then shout because of back or joint pain?

Most people ignore the horizontal/transverse plane when they train.  You shouldn’t.  When you do almost anything when you aren’t at the gym there is some twisting action.  Think about starting the lawn mower, picking up your kid or even unloading and loading the dishwasher.
By not being strong at twisting you are allowing your body to be easily injured when you actually twist under stress at home or at work.  This does not mean that you should go out and do a ton of twisting motions at the gym though.  There are some very important safety concerns when you twist the body, especially the spine.

  • Limit your RANGE OF MOTION – Do not start out by twisting as far as you can in every direction.  That is a very bad idea.  In fact you can really hurt yourself.  So start with small twists.  Do a twisting lung, an oblique twist and a reverse chop.
  • Start LIGHT – The motion may not be too much but you could easily overload your muscles if you start too heavy.  Remember, you are talking about working out your big muscles like your quads or pecs here.  Your twisting muscles are generally support muscles, so start with little to no weight.
  • Stay CONSISTENT – Your support muscles will atrophy as quickly as your major movers, so if you want to permanently resolve strength issues then you need to make keeping them strong permanent as well.  You can easily add them in with 3-5 minutes of exercise 2-3 times per week.
  • Learn the BODY – Please know what muscles that you are trying to work before you start adding arbitrary exercises into your program.  Decide where you want to see improvement and ask a trainer what muscles are there and what you can do for them.  Quick advice like that is usually free and can be very helpful.

Remember that any exercise is part of a complete program.  Twisting is a compliment to a regular exercise regime, not an answer to fitness in general.


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