Twist Pattern Posted on December 21, 2013, 0 Comments

Usually coupled with other movements, twisting is an integral part of most sports, and triathlon is no exception. In fact, rotation is the core of all movement. Swimming is predicated on rotation. If a runner can’t twist, the movements which propel him forward are not only shortened, they are less efficient and the restriction will likely cause a compensation which will result in injury. Even cycling has rotational forces which must be stabilized in the body to deliver optimal power to the pedals. Proficiency in the twist pattern, then, should be a goal of every triathlete who wants to make it, not only to the starting line, but to the finish line as well.

First Descent—Kneeling
Second Descent—Seated on Swiss Ball
Third Descent—Seated on machine

EXAMPLE EXERCISES

T Push Ups
1. In prone position with arms outstretched and hands placed shoulder width apart directly underneath the shoulders, lower the body down until the upper arm is approximately parallel with the floor.
2. Push back toward the start position by extending the arms while simultaneously rotating to the dominant side so that body is supported by the non-dominant arm. Feet should roll on top of each other if proficiency allows. Otherwise, feet can remain apart, giving more stability.
3. Return to start position by reversing the motion and then repeat on the opposite side.

Twister
1. In prone position with arms outstretched, hands placed shoulder width apart directly underneath the shoulders, and shins on top of a physio ball, rotate lower body to one side as far as possible without losing neutral spinal curvatures.
2. Rotate back toward the start position and continue the movement in the opposite direction.
3. Return to start position and repeat for the designated number of reps.

Upper-Body Russian Twists
1. Seated on a physio ball, roll body down until the ball supports the head and shoulders. Feet on the ground with shins perpendicular to the floor. Arms should be outstretched in front of body so that hands are in front of the chest with the fingers interlaced. Maintain TVA function (i.e., navel drawn in slightly) to avoid over-recruitment of the lumbar erectors.
2. Rotate torso to one side by rolling the ball and the shoulder together while keeping the hips elevated. Hands should move because the body moves—i.e. roll, don’t reach).
3. Rotate back to the start position and then repeat the movement in the opposite direction.
4. Repeat for the designated number of reps. Reposition feet as necessary. If head comes off ball, make sure tongue is placed in the physiological rest position so that forward head posture is not exacerbated.

Lower-Body Russian Twists
1. In prone position with arms outstretched, hands placed shoulder width apart directly underneath the shoulders, and shins on top of a physio ball, flex the hips so that the body is in a pike position.
2. Rotate pelvis to one side by rolling the ball and the hips/lower legs together.
3. Rotate back to the start position and then repeat the movement in the opposite direction.
4. Repeat for the designated number of reps. Reposition hips as necessary.

Drop and Recover
1. Seated on a physio ball, roll body down until the ball supports the head and shoulders. Feet are on the ground with shins perpendicular to the floor. One arm should be outstretched in front of the body with the palm facing down. The other arm is retracted into the ball with the hand at the level of the shoulder, palm down.
2. Explosively rotate torso in the direction of the arm that is outstretched in front of the body while simultaneously switching the positions of the arms so that the opposite arm is outstretched in front of the body and the other arm powerfully retracts into the ball. Lower body works in conjunction with the upper body so that the end position is supported by the legs and the elbow of the arm that’s on the ball.
3. Descend back to the start position before immediately rotating explosively up to the other side.
4. Repeat for the designated number of reps.

Twisting Lunge (Walk)
1. Standing with Good Posture, take a step forward with the non-dominant leg so that the shin is perpendicular to the ground when the thigh is at parallel. Simultaneously, twist upper body in the direction of the forward leg. Knee should track over foot throughout the movement. Torso should remain upright and the trailing leg should be bent with the knee almost touching the floor (as flexibility/strength allow) while ball of foot stays in contact with the ground.
2. Pushing through the heel, move forward to a standing position and repeat on the opposite side.


Lunge (Walk) Arc
1. Standing with Good Posture while holding a weight on the side of the dominant leg, take a step forward with the non-dominant leg so that the shin is perpendicular to the ground when the thigh is at parallel. Simultaneously, arc weight over the head from the dominant side to the non-dominant side so that it ends up outside the hip of the forward leg. Knee should track over foot throughout the movement. Torso should remain upright and the trailing leg should be bent with the knee almost touching the floor (as flexibility/strength allow) while ball of foot stays in contact with the ground.
2. Pushing through the heel, move forward to a standing position and repeat on the opposite side.