Standing Firm, rotation, PNF, power, beyond gravity, corrective exercise,

Why is it important to work rotation?

Gravity is the dominate force in strength training but fails in transferring to real-life movement. The hip joint is designed to move using rotation. The end-range motion of the hip muscles is rotation. Rotation is the first thing that's lost when hip muscles are tight from overuse, injury or imbalance. 

Tight hips not only restrict movement... tight hips create instability in movement. Adding a rotational component to your workout will condition the abductors, adductors, flexors and extensors to fully load and unload for power and precision.

How does rotational force work?

Rotational Preload... create diagonal resistance to release tight muscles. Using the rotational plate you simply line your foot up and rotate to a neutral stance. Rotate past neutral for a full lengthening contraction.

Dynamic Rotational Force ... take your muscle/muscles from internal to external rotation. Contract the full length of the targeted muscle for end-range strengthening and work in and out of end-range.

Preload plus Free Weights... use corrective isometrics (diagonal resistance) to preload tight muscle fiber plus increase work to the surrounding superficial muscle fiber with free weights (gravity).

Preload plus Resistance Bands... target tight weak diagonal fibers of the hip muscles and further challenge the anti-rotation role of the pelvis and lower body by adding bands to upper body or open-chain leg.

What do you mean by a "lengthening contraction"?

 A lengthening contraction refers to the muscles ability to reach end-range without constriction and the ability to fully contract the muscle at the end-range position.  

Why do you contract the muscle when the problem is tightness?

Because the diagonal isometric contraction facilitates proprioceptors (sensory agents) that respond to muscle lengthening and changes in muscle length…. in other words diagonal isometrics fix the sensory problem associated with inhibited, tight muscle fiber.

Diagonal force does what gravity can’t …. it bypasses superficial muscle fiber and contracts a deeper level of muscle fiber... where muscle lengthening proprioceptors reside. 

Diagonal force plus rotation (moving past neutral position) takes the muscle to the end-range for a full length contraction. This is the neuromuscular key to greater mobility and powerful stability.

How is rotation related to muscle tightness?

Muscles lie diagonally between their origin and insertion points…. we find muscle tightness by looking at the end-range motion (rotation) in the muscle. 

How is rotation different from stretching a muscle?

Stretching a tight muscle will not lengthen muscle fiber that has lost neuromuscular response... you are most likely stretching connective tissue and musculature that has normal function. 

Trying to gain range of motion without fixing neuromuscular response leads to loss of power and instability.

StandingFirm® isometric diagonals restores neuromuscular response for reactive lengthening and full muscle contraction.

Corrective Work

Rotation, tight hips, corrective exercises, PNF, internal rotation, external rotation,

How often do I need to screen? What am I looking for?

The value of the screen is to keep you in peak condition. The simple check is fast and easy to perform. If your hip muscles feel tight ... screen. 

The mobility screens identify tight muscle fiber and planes of motion that are unstable. Rotational asymmetry in the hip flexors, extensors, abductors or adductors means instability.  

What is a corrective exercise? Is it different than traditional exercise?

Corrective exercises are not just a matter of choosing the right strength exercise. A process called facilitation is needed to reboot tight unresponsive muscle fiber. Facilitation is about positioning, force and length

Corrective work isolates to the problem area and uses direct force (this process generally requires a trained professional). Without isolating the problem the body will naturally compensate and take the path of least resistance. That's why gravity based exercises can't be corrective.  

Isometrics provide direct force to the tight fiber. Diagonals create the longer line of pull that reaches deeper muscle fiber. You can quickly set up a diagonal isometric "preload" using the rotational plate and resistance bands.

StandingFirm® combines diagonal isometrics with traditional exercises to make sure weak/tight fibers aren't bypassed... but to also integrate functional movement. No other product or method can do that.

Do I always need to work both internal and external rotation?

If you're conditioning for a sport ... a comprehensive approach includes both internal and external directions. Symmetry in rotation creates stability in movement.  But it's perfectly ok to just work in one direction for targeted tightness...even though you load resistance in one direction the entire lumbo-pelvic-hip complex is working against resistance.

What if my sport requires greater rotation in one direction?

Certain athletic movements do place value on the ability to rotate in a particular, a ballet dancer's turnout. That being said the closer you are to symmetrical rotation in abduction the less likely you are to have overuse and injury problems. 

Preloads improve muscle activation in the  tight, weak direction and balance rotation. You will have greater stability because of precise muscle function and still have the range of dynamic rotation you need for your sport.

How often should I check rotation? Before working out?

Rotation is key to staying in peak condition and injury-free. Prior to working-out... rotate each leg in all planes of motion. Rotate the shoulder joint. If you notice tightness start with a 1 minute preload in the direction of the tightness. Diagonal isometrics are not "stretching" the muscle thus reducing force potential in the muscle... rather diagonal isometrics are getting the muscle ready to accept force.

A corrective measure doesn't need to take a lot time ... you can work in diagonal isometrics at any time to your workout. Stubborn tightness can take time to "reeducate". The good news is the more often you perform corrective isometrics... the quicker the muscle reacts.  

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands rotation diagonal preload

Why use resistance bands?

Resistance bands do not rely on gravity to create force... as do other weighted tools like dumbbells. The force created from bands comes from the thickness of the band and the length of the band.

Adding strands or creating smaller loops with a large loop allows for increased resistance... by adding strands or "loops" to the rotation plate you increase the "thickness" of the band.

Length is another factor in band resistance. As length increases on a taunt band... resistance also increases. Resistance bands have a limit as to how far they can stretch. It's important to have stretch left in the band at the end of the motion. 

How much resistance should I use?

The amount of resistance you should use when performing an exercise with a band is determined by your ability to maintain proper alignment. The hip, knee and foot stay aligned for the duration of the exercise... too much resistance will pull you out of alignment. The neuromuscular response requires precision... especially with corrective work.

Functional exercise may be done with a single leg on the plate or one foot on the rotational plate and one foot on the ground. If a single leg stance is too challenging... use the other foot or toe to anchor your hips.

Can I use other bands?

YES! You can use any resistance band with StandingFirm® rotational resistance. The same rules apply... thickness and length determine the force.

Why is the resistance in a "V" configuration?

The V allows for 2 angles of pull on the muscle. You can vary your workout by adding or removing angles of pull.

Can I configure the bands to one side on the rotational plate?

If you want resistance coming from one side for a different angle of pull that works too!  

NOTE: You won't feel the rotation on the opposite hip as much... but you will get the benefit of targeted rotational resistance on the working leg.

How do I load / preload resistance on the rotational plate?

The large loop is doubled over to create smaller loops and doubled again. When placed around the hooks you have the option of multiple strands of resistance. 

A preload allows the resistance bands to maintain length by providing an "arc" of rotational resistance from internal to external rotation. The resistance bands won't go slack from lack of length when you start in a 90 degree position and rotate to neutral and/or work the 45 degree corners.

Working Out

warm-up rotation end-range muscle contraction hip mobility stability weak link kinetic chain

Do I need to warm-up before I start exercising?

Pure rotation takes the muscles of the hip through a natural end-range motion. A great way to begin is by rotating the core muscles and continuing with one leg rotation... move through all hip positions... flexion, extension, abduction and adduction.

What position should my body be in to work my abductors, adductors, flexors, extensors?

Squats, lunges, deadlifts all have variations to emphasize one muscle or group over another. StandingFirm® works by the same "rules". The difference with StandingFirm® is addition of the natural rotational force that lengthens muscle fiber for stronger contractions. Lumbo-pelvic-hip activation and stabilization changes with direction of rotational force.

FOR EXAMPLE:  A squat with a rotational hold facing the front... challenges the flexors and the deep fiber of the flexors. A squat with a rotational hold facing the side challenges the flexors but also the deep fiber of the abductors because of the rotational force.

Is there any benefit to working without resistance on the rotational plate?

Dynamic rotation without resistance prepares your muscles for full lengthening. Pure rotation can be added to any functional exercise.

Adding upper or lower body resistance bands to a free-moving rotational plate challenges the anti-rotation role of the core. 

How can I work hip mobility? Hip stability?

When you have hip mobility the leg rotates freely without the pelvis moving. You can strengthen hip mobility in any plane of motion with free rotation... or by using rotational preloads to fully load and fully unload the muscle. 

Hip stability is about equalizing muscle length. Rotational work creates a full lengthening muscle contraction to keep the hip muscles balanced. Since most injuries result from an inability to counter force while lengthening... you are not only improving stabilization power but also preempting injury.

What if I feel it in a different muscle than one I'm targeting?

If you have a weak link ... you'll feel it first. But don't worry ..StandingFirm® specializes in weak links. You'll strengthen the entire kinetic chain when you mind your alignment and don't play into your "strong" position.

What are Anti-Rotation Exercises good for?

Anti-rotation exercises use the proprioceptive lengthening power of isometric diagonal resistance. When you perform anti-rotation exercises you lengthen deep tight muscle fiber in the targeted muscle and condition the hips and core to maintain alignment.