The Power Of Rotational Movement

core connections movement Dec 19, 2018


And that starts with bringing awareness to your daily movement! Rotation is a topic that can get pushed under the rug because you're afraid of it. In this episode, you're going to shake out that rug because you can't be afraid to MOVE! Rotation affects you more than you may think… while you’re walking or turning around to your little one in the car, rotation will find its way into your daily life. And you know I can’t get through an episode without talking about fascia! Tune in to learn the importance of recognizing your daily rotation and how to do it effectively to help benefit your body function.


If you find me not looking at the camera, that was because I was doing an Instagram Live! Be sure to follow me for more educational information, inspiration and a sneak peek into my daily life!




Erica: Today’s quote of the day is from Danielle Dubois.

“There are no rules. All the rules you live by right now were created in your own mind. Change them if you want to.”

I think that is such an inspiring quote in relation to today’s episode about rotation and rotational movement. And you’re like, wait, how does this have to do with that quote? It does somewhat go hand in hand with this…

I have a lot of women reach out to me who are not sure about doing rotational movement. I encourage you to not be afraid because I hate to break it to you, but when you walk, you rotate. When you pick things up, you rotate. When you do anything in your daily life, you rotate whether you like it or not.

I like to teach you how to rotate because it’s so powerful for your physical body and for the energy through your body. I have taught all of my clients some form of rotational movement in every session that I teach.

Here is the thing, it doesn’t have to be a lot. A little can go a long way. With this episode, we filmed a video in the studio with two rotational movements that I love. Check it out so you can see some of the visuals I talk about more in-depth and follow me through my cues because it could really change the way that you think about movement.

With rotation, I talk about fascia A LOT. We have these diagonal and spiral fascial lines that run through our body and rotation happens within our body all the time. I mean, think about it...

When you’re lifting anything.

When you’re sitting in the front seat of your car and you turn to reach behind you.

Don’t you want to make your body stronger for movement in all directions? That’s why I weave it in through my teachings because it’s so powerful.

Now, one thing I get a lot of questions about from the physical therapy world is if rotational movements will worsen your diastasis recti? And what I say to that is no, because if you were to feel like it is, then that’s indicating that you're not connecting well through your core and into those diagonal fascial lines. It’s not necessarily for lack of trying, it may be because you haven’t been taught that awareness piece of it. If that is the case, then you might be pulling too much in your back and you need to work on connecting with the deep core.

This is why in my Core Rehab Program, I teach you powerful connections and movements that can be felt with rotation. Now, rotation is not there in the very beginning because I am not physically there with you to cue you one-on-one. But it’s there when I feel that your body will be ready for it. This is such a big piece of the program because when you learn to move and connect you have the ability to rebalance your body.

So, never be afraid to move or to rotate because it can be really powerful when you're able to break it down and learn it when the time is right.

I want to specifically talk about standing rotations for a second which is a movement I break down in the video correlating to this episode. Visualize your body. You’re standing tall, your legs are a little wider than shoulder-width and as you rotate, you want to feel the diagonal line from your big toe all the way through the hip to the opposite arm and through the top of your head. 

When you start to think of your body in these long fascial lines, it will help you to start creating these connections in your body. The thing that I love about spiraling and rotational movements are that they work to rebalance the body in a way that improves your core strength. 

These movements are also great for pregnant mamas because no one holds a baby perfectly square in their belly. That is sometimes why postpartum women get a little unbalanced, wonkiness in their hips because of the way baby was positioned in belly.

That is out of our control, right? But when you learn to work out your imbalances through light spiraling and rotation, you are able to feel stability, strength and control of your body again or maybe for the first time.

A big takeaway is to move within a range of motion where you feel the connection and can keep the connection through the entire movement. It’s throwing out this idea of “go further and push harder” and bringing it back to the core, the foundation to make the movement more effective and beneficial for your body.

So, put your arms up overhead so your body makes a 'V' shape and start to visualize this 'X' that moves along your body. Then start to visualize this spiraling around your legs and through your body.

Be aware of this visualization and connections the next time you go out for a walk or a run. When your right foot is forward, feel the spiraling around your ribs as you rotate. Whether you realize it or not, it’s happening. Which is why the rotational exercises are some of my absolute favorites. 

If you don’t feel it in the beginning, that’s fine. It takes time to create the fascial connections through the body. You also have to work on rewiring your brain to move and connect in a new way.

If you find yourself not feeling the rotational connection through the front of your abdominal wall and you feel it more in your back, then you need to work on lifting up out of your pelvis, bring your ribs slightly forward and scoop as you visualize yourself drawing those organs up underneath your ribs and then rotate.

So, it's a lot of rib control visualization, right?

Our ribs and our hips are moving independently, but also together at the same time. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s how it works so you don’t move as stiff throughout your day.

Despite all of the visualization and awareness cues, a big piece of movement is to move. Move throughout your day in a way that you feel more connected and less stiff. You don’t want to be gripping through your core, glutes or neck. It's about being a little more in tune with your body and how it's moving.

Start simple. Start bringing awareness to the way you walk. Pay attention to the oppositional rotational movement that’s happening with your hips, arms, legs, ribs, core and deep core. It’s all involved.

When you start to connect better and more effectively with your deep core and pelvic floor specifically, you are going to start to feel more spiraling, lengthening and deep core connection. 

If you find yourself being like, “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” that’s okay. I want you to challenge yourself today to be open-minded in learning a new way of doing something. A new way of connecting to your body on a deeper level than you’ve ever connected before.

If you start to feel any discomfort with the rotational movements, start bringing awareness to the way you are holding or using other parts of your body that could be putting pressure in that area. And that might mean that you have to move through a smaller range of motion, and that is okay. Movement shouldn’t hurt. And if it does, that is an indication that something is not connecting properly.

The sooner you begin these good habits, the better. Because these are things that you can start learning right now and improve upon as you age. Because let's face it, life happens, we have children, more children… whatever it is, when you start learning these habits the more your body will be prepared for it.

I will tell you if you find yourself sitting too much and your hips start to feel unaligned, rotation can help remind those hips to rebalance while encouraging that fascial connection to stay lengthened and strong. That is why I teach it and am so passionate about it!

I want to remind you that if you are following any of my programs or watching a YouTube video, remember that if you start to feel it in your low back or you feel like your obliques are gripping, those are indications that you need to lighten up in the back and start moving from the base of the pelvis, that pelvic floor.

When I find myself driving, which is more than I like some days as I’m a taxi driver for my kids, I can tend to shift my ribs to one side as I am leaning in my seat. I catch myself and focus on realigning my body through my pelvic floor, connecting my core and lengthening tall.

Think about how you move when you look over your shoulder to change lanes or reaching for something in the back seat, you’re rotating! You are always rotating. That is why learning how to rotate in a connected way will help to rebalance your body effectively and prepare you for movement or injury down the road. You are training your fascia to be prepared, feel stronger and stay connected in those movements. Because life happens right, you slip and fall playing with your kids and you twist to catch yourself, your body will be prepared for that.

It's important to remember that when you rotate, you need to have your ribs and hips moving together. Years and years ago, I stopped teaching rotational movements on the reformer where you kept your hips stationary and twist your upper body because it puts too much twerk on your low back. Our rotation needs to come through our hips, pelvis and rib cage.

You want to lift up out of our low back when you twist and I hope that can be a key piece for you. So, for any of you that teach Pilates, the way I change it is I teach kneeling rotation or you could do full-body, of course. That way you can work to keep the hips a little more stable.

I remember, like 10 years ago, I was at a functional movement training and this speaker was calling out Pilates in relation to teaching movement without moving your hips. He said,

“You might as well just be sending me your clients because they’re going to have so much twerk in that low back.”

I was like, holy crap, he’s right! He’s absolutely right. That was such a pivotal moment for me and from that moment forward, my training escalated tremendously. I started seeing so much more and my clients started having better results because we weren’t so focused on not moving the hips and more focused on connecting and lengthening through the body. Allowing movement through the pelvis.

So, back to the car example, when you are sitting in the front seat and you go to rotate, that opposite hip is going to lift with you a little bit. It doesn’t stay square because if you want to rotate a lot, you can’t unless that pelvis and hip move with you.

This is where I feel that all of this fascial movement that I teach can help to improve the quality of your life. There is no quick fix, this is a lifestyle upgrade.

It’s not to say that you can’t do your other workouts, but I want you to create new pathways in your brain for movement. Even if it’s really hard in the beginning, that’s okay. Do what you can. 

Connect, connect, connect. MOVE. Don’t be afraid to move.

But we need to be smart about moving. Your pelvic floor and core need to be in a place where they can handle the CrossFit and high-intensity training. Learn how to connect through your body by practicing rotational movement because it helps to rebalance and wake things up.

We all have a dominant side and for a while, one side will feel better than the other and that’s okay. You just have to start today.

So, right now. Go watch the video where I break down a couple of rotational movements for you. One is standing and one is laying on the ground. Do them both or just pick one, it doesn’t matter, a little movement is better than nothing. And I want you to post you doing the movement on Instagram and tag me! I want to see you moving!

It doesn’t have to be big and it doesn’t have to be pretty. You just have to start doing it. Bring more awareness to the movement through your body because it can be such an upgrade to your life. And that is something that only you have the power to learn more about. 

Yes, I can teach you and you can absolutely learn from me, but I can’t make you have that body awareness. You have to do the action steps to start becoming more aware of your body. That’s why I’m here teaching and talking about rotation, strictly because I want you to be more aware of it.

I want to see your posts! So be sure to tag me @ericaziel and if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. I would love for you to pop on over and leave me a review on iTunes and share this episode with a friend because we need to be talking about movement more! It’s so powerful when you are able to bring more awareness deep inside your body and how it relates and translates to other incredible things in your life. See you next week.

The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regiment or purchasing any product(s).

get started by grabbing my free resources.

Erica On Facebook