Can You Benefit from Anti-Rotation Training?

What is anti-rotation training and why is it important ? 

Physical Therapists frequently talk about stabilization of the core, back, trunk, scapula, spine, and many more terms in the physical strength or physical performance world. 


First, we must answer: What is stabilization?  

Yes, you may have already guessed it. Stabilization is making something in our bodies more secure or stable. That sounds great if you have a ‘wobbly’ spine, or pain with sudden movements, or feel like your ‘back or knee will go out”. Instability can feel like you are falling apart. The fear can be debilitating. It can hold you back from activities you never thought twice about doing before. If you’ve experienced instability, the word stabilization takes on new meaning, because you know what lack of stability means.


So what is anti-rotation stabilization training? 

If pain occurs due to increments of twisting then training the body against that predilection is valuable. We see this when we note some part of the body has a lack of rotation control causing another area to have excess rotation. Think knees turning inward, or rotating toward each other, when performing squats, sits, stands or jumps. They could use anti-rotation training. Compensation patterns such as this, whether large or small, create a need to fine tune strength, flexibility,  and performance training that includes anti-rotation. 


Perhaps a more interesting question is, what are we stabilizing against? 

That’s where it gets tricky. Often it requires a thorough physical therapy evaluation to analyze what is causing the pain or weakness felt as instability.  For the purposes of this post, we will discuss stabilization from rotation. Sometimes we are not even aware that some part of our body is causing pain due to too much unwanted motion which causes strain, torque, or irregular coordination. So, exercises that create “anti-rotation” awareness and control can be a significant help for improved performance, less pain, and ultimately peace of mind about your body. Like Kenny Rogers once sang, “know when to hold them, know when to fold them”. Anti-rotation training is knowing when and where to rotate, and knowing when and where to not. 


Check out this website with some video examples :

At Evergreen we incorporate a number of anti-rotation training routines. 

If you’ve ever had a strap spiraled around your torso and asked to do squats or step ups then you participated in anti-rotation control activities. Even the famous “clam band” is a form of anti-rotation at the hips, requiring gluteal strength to prevent excess inward rotation of hip, placing torque on knee, in shallow to moderate depth squats, jumps, or on stairs. But there are a myriad of ways to work on this. We can work while in a plank on one’s side, on all fours, sitting, laying down, standing on one foot, or doing plyometric jump training. The sky's the limit which makes it interesting and rewarding. 


At Evergreen’s new PT Lab we are investing in solid ways to provide anti-rotation training. 

What does that mean for you? Should you choose to partner with us, we can experiment together and train your body to stabilize against excessive twisting. We can even help you learn how to twist and turn with significantly more control. Ultimately this will yield a more stabilized body, less pain, and more confidence doing whatever you want to do. 


Again go to Specifically check out videos labeled anti-rotation. The vector tubing is generating a force that causes the person to rotate if the don't resist it. When you don’t see the person twisting and turning, know that they are achieving  ‘anti-rotation’ control and good form, which is helpful at all levels of activity.


While you are at it, watch the other videos and start imagining ways to experiment for a stronger, smarter self. 

Cheers to a lifetime of smarter health. 




Dave is the owner and founder of Evergreen Physical Therapy Specialists. He and his wife Tammy, an RN at CHLA, opened Evergreen over 15 years ago to provide the community of Pasadena with specialized and compassionate care. David has over 25 years of experience in orthopedics, neuro-rehabilitation, and pediatric physical therapy. 



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