Warm-Up Wednesday: Lateral Squat with Thoracic Rotation


If there was a social media app specific for strength coaches, it would be solely focused on sharing videos of new exercises and PR videos.  Recently Kyle Langworthy and I were checking out some of the great stuff on the Movement As Medicine Instagram account, and we totally loved this move from Kevin Carr:

This move is included in the current class warm-up at Mark Fisher Fitness, and I love that we’re able to gently stretch the hips while creating a desirable rotation through the upper back.  Efficiency and effectiveness are a great combo, and with this move we’re able to include many of the benefits of a dedicated thoracic rotation drill or and adductor rockback.  But…

What happens if you can’t get into that starting position?

At MFF, we’re using a kettlebell or yoga block to elevate the hands to create a more desirable starting position.  They’re readily available for us, and allow us to really focus on coaching the original exercise.  While playing the “what if” game yesterday, I realized that the addition of a lateral squat can assist in creating that desirable hinge, while upping the ante on hip mobility.

Check out this variation:

The addition of the lateral squat drops our hips closer to the ground, creating a deeper stretch of the adductors on the straight leg, while conjuring up middle school memories of trigonometry.  In exploring this move, I’ve found that it’s another “level up” in terms of warm-up efficiency.  After all, we’re not really warm-ing up for the sake of it, we’re warming-up so that we can best prepare for our training!

If you haven’t explored Kevin’s rotation with a symmetrical stance, start there.  Once you’ve got the feel of both hips opening equally, slide those hips sideways into a lateral lunge.  Explore each hip while rotating each way, and find out where you feel the most opportunity to open things up.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!



2 Replies to “Warm-Up Wednesday: Lateral Squat with Thoracic Rotation”

  1. Hey Harold,
    I was on the hunt for Warming up materials for my blog today and found this on your website. This post will definitely help me well
    Thank you for this helpful article!

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