Today I’d like to talk about why to look at Lateral walks differently and how these concepts can open to a much bigger world of functional fitness.
The other day I was talking to a lady on Facebook in one of the groups for fitness professionals in the UK. She was concerned about using resistance bands, as she said, looking at some of the ‘pros’ on social media, she was not sure if resistance bands were safe.
My answer was like it really depends what we’re trying to accomplish with the bands or exercise. I mentioned Lateral walks and how the bands can give feedback on the glute meds and even the core. Us trainers are also part of the problem as we often tend to give out the hardest exercises just because they look cool whereas regressing the same concept to the level of a beginner is rarely discussed.
Glutes and The Core Work Together
Lateral walks are also very popular nowadays especially amongst women. So I thought I expand on the idea how this great exercise can be even more powerful if we look at how the body is connected through the kinetic chains.
First I used a regular cable machine for the lateral walk (because I wanted to bring DVRT closer to more people) and as we know the glutes work with the core together to produce movement, so the Pallof Press is a great option to connect them. It’s amazing how this simple and safe idea works so well with a very light weight. You can literally feel the whole midsection lit up when doing this anti-rotation movement properly with upright posture and the arms locked.
However good training concepts are not limited to one equipment. Take a look at how the Ultimate Sandbag can help to get more out of this great exercise integrating the glutes and the core with more dynamic planks.
Gripping the USB with both hands actively helps to find the lats and creates tension in the upper body and core whilst the mini band helps to engage the glutes. Functional training concepts like this helps the body to work more efficiently. In a similar way kettlebells can be used for same pressing movement in the rack position. Jessica Bento Physical Therapist had a great example of this pressing with one kettlebell and keeping the other one in the rack position to resist.
Lifts/Chops can be also added to lateral walks when using a smaller Ultimate Sandbag. These diagonal pattern movements have been used in physiotherapy for decades and they have the ability to create connection through the core with the opposite arm and hip. This type of movements really improve mobility, stability and strength.
One the reasons these lifts/chops can be so transformative is the grip. Creating tension through gripping the outer shell of the USB turns on the shoulder stabilizers when the arms are locked and the sandbag is being pulled apart.
Sled Lateral Walk
The very same anti-rotational concept comes back in the last video when Josh Henkin uses the ARES Sled doing similar lateral walks and pallof presses. The ARES Sled provides more dynamic resistance than the cable. The friction makes it a whole new experience that cannot be replicated. It’s kind of like doing the Lateral Bag Drag properly except the continuous tension on the straps and the lever arm that engages the whole body. There are three different variations here to every level of fitness.
The real meaning of functional training is that it improves how the body functions. If we can create solutions that connect the glutes to the core. After all the core muscles are connection between the upper body and lower body.
Greg Perlaki / Master Trainer