Rotational Core Training Menu

You should consult the two lowest threshold rotational core exercise progression lists:

Crawling (Birddog) Variations

Deadbug Variations

  • Supine Heel Slide → easiest deadbug variation, to the point where I don't even call it a deadbug yet
  • Deadbug Heel Tap → feet in the air, but knees bent so easier than typical deadbug
  • Deadbug → the defacto standard version, bent-to-straight leg
  • Arch-Supported Contralateral Deadbug → good option for the flexion intolerant if you don't have a towel or can't use an RNT version
  • Straight Leg Deadbug → hardest variation outside of adding ankle weights or dumbbells to the hands
  • Deadbug Get-Up → a way to add load to the deadbug in even more of a rotational capacity, great introductory exercise for learning the get up

Pallof Press Variations

These are arguably anti-rotation or rotation oriented core training exercises and not lateral core work directly, but it's a grey area I'm going to include on both pages. The vertical variation is more lateral core, the horizontal more rotational. Both are challenging for different reasons and worthwhile.

  • Tall Kneeling Cable Pallof Press → (band version) one of the least supportive positions, typically the best version to start with (assuming you're okay kneeling) because it keeps resistances low
  • Tall Kneeling Vertical Band Pallof Press → moving the hands vertically makes this more lateral core training and is generally harder
  • Half Kneeling for both the above is an option, but is more stable and can tolerate more resistance
  • Standing Cable Pallof Press → squat stance standing is actually one of the easiest pallof positions but good if your floor surface is undesirable
  • You can also do split stances in the standing position for both horizontal and vertical variations

Get-Up & Windmill Variations

One of the best ways to train rotation in the absence of cables/bands. Once you know how to do a get-up I question ever using a crunch/sit-up for anything that isn't a warm-up.

  • Half Kneeling Windmill → How I teach the windmill, easiest version, good intro to higher parts of the get-up
  • Windmill → very advanced, need to show high competency in half kneeling version first
  • Half Kneeling Side Press → more of a press targeting the lateral deltoids with core training benefits really, learn from the half-kneeling position so that you know how to move the spine
  • Side Press → the same just standing and harder to execute with good technique, be very comfortable with the half kneeling version first
  • 1/4 Get-Up → Just the rolling part really like a deadbug version but with the proper leg setup, AKA a unilaterally loaded rotational/rolling crunch
  • Half Get-Up → Adds the second part of the lift to the equation, bridging up onto one hand
  • 3/4 Get-Up → Adds the third part of the lift to the equation getting to the bottom of the split squat
  • Get-Up → Probably my favourite free weight core exercise in that it hits a little bit of everything in every plane, under load

Chop & Lift Variations

Probably my favourite core exercise grouping in that rotational control, stability and power are so important and this trains all those qualities in pretty stable spinal positions. I think being comfortable with the pallof press is a prerequisite most of the time.

You can also do these in a standing split stance, squat stance and step-up stance.