Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-Excessive Lumbar Rotation-


It’s everywhere.  We do it all day long.  Walking is rotation.  Running is rotation.  If your body didn’t rotate, you wouldn’t be able to do much! 🙂

So, it’s obvious that in order to perform optimally, rotation needs to be addressed in one’s program.  Here’s my school of thought, though: In order to perform at optimal levels, your body must not only be able to rotate efficiently, it must be able to RESIST ROTATION!

A few examples of exercises that train “rotation” without the use of excessive rotation are:

Quadruped Opposite Arm/Leg Extension

quadruped quadruped2

Transverse Torque Iso Hold


“Why shouldn’t I do the Scorpion stretch?”


The other morning, I had a client ask me why I never have her to do the “scorpion” stretch anymore.  This made me think about a few articles I read a while back that really got me thinking.  One of these articles was “A Joint By Joint Approach to Training” by Mike Boyle, which I referenced in a previous post, “Tight Hips and Low Back Pain.”  This particular client has more than adequate lumbar mobility, which is due in part to a lack of T-Spine mobility.  She could scorpion stretch herself silly all day long if she wanted to!  🙂 She said she likes the scorpion stretch, and has been doing it here and there on her own.  I told her to stop doing it!  It’s an easy movement for her because of her excess in lumbar mobility.  This doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, though!  If you look at the scorpion stretch, the rotation comes from the low back NOT from the thoracic spine.  My client is lacking in T-Spine mobility.  It makes ZERO sense to have her perform a movement that capitalizes on the faulty movement patterns that were created b/c of this deficit!  The scorpion stretch places a lot of stress on the lumbar spine.  It does stretch the anterior hip, which is a good thing, but there are tons of better ways of going about that!  I “ganked” it from my “toolbox” of exercises a while back, and am glad I did!

Here are some better choices:

Quadruped Thoracic Rotation

Yoga Rotations

me-yoga-wide-feet-rotation-3 me-yoga-wide-feet-x-body-rotation-2


2 responses

  1. gbishop75

    Weird. I just did two searches. 1) single leg squat w hip extension….on you tube
    2) Lumbar rotation in running. On google

    Good job Sarah on placement! And I have linked a few friends to you…thanks…

    April 24, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    • Awesome!
      Thank you! 🙂
      Google loves me…and I haven’t paid anyone to help with this! I guess I do a good job of tagging my blog posts, and I get pretty good traffic. Makes me happy because I have a blast with my blog!

      April 26, 2009 at 4:44 pm

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