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Developing total body strength and power is always a goal for athletes. More specifically, building rotational power will often help increase performance. Training with body ropes allows for functionally demanding training that will enhance power development throughout the entire kinetic chain..
 
Execution:
Anchor the rope securely around an immovable object and grasp the handles together with an overhand grip. Position the feet shoulder width apart and begin in an athletic squat position so the hips, knees and ankles are flexed. Next, rapidly extend the hips, flex the shoulders and rotate the torso to the left while slamming the rope down into the floor. Then, quickly repeat the sequence reversing direction and moving to the right. Repeat this movement pattern for 20-30 seconds. Rest for 60-90 seconds and repeat.

Work to rest ratios will depend on fitness level and the desired training effect. I suggest starting out with a slow and controlled movement initially (less emphasis on speed and power) to ensure proper form and control of the ropes in order to avoid poor movement patterns or injury.

Precautions:
For clients with existing shoulder dysfunction (rotator cuff or labral injury, arthritis, or a history of instability), this exercise may place undue strain on the shoulder especially if the client is not using their legs sufficiently. Therefore, use caution and modify as necessary. In addition, clients with existing back pain and/or disc pathology may not be suited for this activity.

Regression:
Consider utilizing only half of the rope by stacking the hands on top of one another and only slamming a portion of the rope.

Application:
This exercise offers a great way to build explosive strength and power throughout the entire kinetic chain. It emphasizes triple extension as well as integrating the shoulders and torso in the movement pattern. It is a great way to train any rotational athlete seeking to improve total body conditioning and performance. The exercise can serve as a stand alone modality as part of a power training session or function as part of a circuit to elicit a metabolic training effect.


Brian Schiff, PT, OCS, CSCS, is a licensed physical therapist, respected author and fitness professional. Currently, he serves as the supervisor for EXOS API at Raleigh Orthopaedic. Brian conducts live continuing education webinars and presents nationally at professional conferences and seminars on injury prevention, rehab and sport-specific training. For more information on his products and services, visit
www.BrianSchiff.com.

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