Exercise of the Week: Progressing the Pot Stir

Pot stirs are one of the best exercises for increasing anterior core strength and core stability. I know I don’t have to preach about how crunches and sit ups are the worst things for you, because that has already occurred all over the web. It’s unfortunate so many people still perform crunches and sit ups however, given how much research support there is regarding the detrimental effect it has on the spine. But that is neither here nor there. If you or your child is performing crunches or sit ups, I strongly suggest reading any of Stu McGill’s work.

This week we are looking at various ways to progress the Pot Stir. Progressions are key in order to not only keep client’s happy and engaged, but to advance exercises in order to give more experienced clientele a significant stimulus for adaptation. Always remember to maintain a neutral spine from head toe with each variation.

Try these progressions the next time you feel Pot Stirs are too easy.

Anti-Extension Effect:

Anti-Extension Effect

Anti-Flexion Effect (band between legs, in hands)

Anti-Flexion Effect

Anti-Lateral Flexion Effect (band around waist)

Anti-Lateral Flexion Effect

Anti-Rotation Effect (band in hands)

Anti-Rotation Effect


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