Band Standing core Lifts
How to Do the Band Standing Core Lifts (Reverse Wood Chops) | In-Depth Guide [VISUAL LEARNERS] Beginner
Proper Form, Variations + Easier & Harder | Home Resistance Training
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE?
MUSCLES THIS WORKS
MAIN MUSCLES WORKED IN the Band Standing Core Lift
Obliques, Quadratus Lumborum, & Transverse Abdominis
OTHER MUSCLES WORKED:
- Rectus Abdominis
- Erector Spinae
WHAT WE'RE DOING TODAY
WHAT & WHY
BENEFITS OF TRAINING THE CORE muscles
WHAT WE'RE DOING TODAY
Other names for this exercise: Lifts Low to High, PNF Lifts
ALL WE'RE DOING:
With a straight arm, make a diagonal sweep of your arm from low to high
OUR CORE NEEDS TO RESIST ROTATION
The lifts exercise is all about strengthening our core to resist rotation when moving our arms. Standing Band Lifts are used to train the core muscles to keep the spine in neutral and stabilize the torso as the arms move. This movement is commonly done with the Woodchopper exercise as a set. The Woodchopper works the core muscles as the arm moves down diagonally across the body, and Band Lifts work the core muscles as the arm moves up diagonally across the body.
As a beginner, you can start with a lighter resistance band and gradually increasing the intensity as you become more comfortable with the exercise.
3 PLANES OF MOTION!
Lifts are movement patterns that involve moving the arms in three different ways (three planes of motion). The pattern includes rotation, forward/backward, and movement to the sides of the body. This is GREAT because, in everyday life, we move in all sorts of ways to do the various stuff we do.
The movements all happen simultaneously as you move in a diagonal path, when you start the movement the arm is internally rotated, adducted, and extended (app. 0 degrees of flexion), as soon as the arm moves it begins to flex, abduct, and externally rotate and continues throughout the movement until it ends up at the top - flexed, abducted and externally rotated. It is a combined movement - all three movements at once.
The arm begins down across your chest and rotated in, then it is lifted up and out to the side as it rotates out. The movement trains the core muscles to prevent rotation and side bending during these arm movements. The movement patterns can be challenging to coordinate at first. This is part of the exercise, learning to control the movement of the arm while you hold your core still.
A DIAGONAL MOVEMENT PATTERN LIKE A “TA-DA!”
Lifts begin with the arm across the chest and by the opposite hip. The arm is lifted up and out to the other side. As if you were doing a tada! gesture with one arm. Another analogy used to describe the movement is reaching into the opposite pocket and lifting out a sword, then holding the sword up high.
WHY BOTHER DOING IT?
WHY DO WE EVEN CARE?
IMPROVE OUR CORE’S ABILITY TO WORK LONG & WELL
The main function of the spine is to keep us upright and to provide a stable base of support for the arms and legs to work off of. Lifts are a great exercise for improving the performance (that is how WELL our core muscles do their job) and endurance (that is how LONG it can do that job well) of the muscles of the core. The exercise targets the obliques, quadratus lumborum, and transverse abdominis muscles, training them to stabilize the core while you move the arms.
HELP PREVENT BACK PAIN & INJURIES
Many back injuries happen with rotation and bending of the spine. Training the obliques, which prevent the spine from rotating, and the quadratus lumborum, which prevents the spine from side bending, along with the other core muscles to keep the spine in good alignment during lifting and moving the arms can help to prevent these injuries.
Take the example of shoveling snow - you are side-bent and rotated in one direction as you are lifting a heavy load up and across your body. This would be an example where using Lifts to strengthen the core muscles could help to prevent a back injury. But how does doing an ANTI-rotation exercise help you do an activity that involves rotation?
- Because you are training the same muscles, and training them to support the joints to prevent excess motion.
- You are also working on getting movement at the hip and shoulder joints as opposed to the spine. The goal is to strengthen the muscles around the spine so that there is no excessive movement in the spine - it is training you to keep your spine relatively quiet as you get most of the movement and strength from the hips and the arms.
- When muscles are functioning properly they support the joints by controlling movement and by absorbing shock - decreasing stresses on the passive stabilizers (ligaments, discs) and the joint surfaces. A good example of this is jumping. If you relax your muscles when you land, the femur and tibia slam together, the stronger your leg muscles are the more they are able to absorb the impact to protect the joint.
So basically you are training your body to move in the safest way, knowing that in everyday life you will be getting more movement in your spine, but strengthening all of the supporting muscles and improving the range of motion of the limbs to try to minimize the movement in the spine. Many out-of-shape people get a sore back from shoveling snow (or a true injury), but if they had proper body mechanics and good core strength they could shovel a lot longer.
REINFORCE HEALTHY MOVEMENT PATTERNS BETWEEN THE BRAIN & MUSCLES
Most of us have not been taught how to properly move our bodies in the way they are naturally designed to work in order to keep them healthy - with the least amount of wear and tear and to help to prevent injury.
By doing exercises like Lifts that move the arm through a pattern over and over, you are reinforcing the communication between the brain and the muscles to create & make a healthy movement pattern HABIT - the arm is in constant motion and the core muscles need to make constant adjustments to hold the spine in good alignment. The brain is also working to keep the body balanced. This is a very effective way to train the core muscles because this is what they need to do all day long to keep us upright, no matter what we are doing with our arms.. The muscles need to be working in coordination, making continuous changes in how much force they are producing in order to control the movement of the spine. Whenever we move our arms or legs the core muscles need to work together to keep us balanced and to protect the spine from injury.
CREATE BALANCED STRENGTH BETWEEN THE CORE, ARMS & LEGS
When the core muscles are not properly trained, the spine can move too much during lifting heavy objects and/or twist our bodies quickly or repetitively. This can result in injury or more commonly, small amounts of damage over time. As an example, before core exercises were in my life much at all, even something seemingly simple like doing a bent-over row, I would find as I lifted the dumbbell, it felt like my spine wanted to twist & bend & that I couldn’t get a good weight to challenge my actual muscles while keeping my spine in a healthy position- this means then that you either 1. End up tweaking your back in order to lift a weight heavy enough to fatigue the muscles (lats in this case) you are trying to work; or 2. You use a lightweight that doesn’t cause your spine to move but also, it doesn’t really challenge your muscles - they don’t get tired and they won’t get stronger. This also translates into everyday life where you aren’t able to do anything that involves an item that weighs too much or you’ll hurt your back because you don’t have the training & strength in the core to prevent it from doing weird stuff like twisting.
Once core work became a part of all my workouts, I now feel super stable & strong in my core & I can lift an appropriate weight for the muscles I’m trying to work, without feeling like my core/spine is going to move & get hurt.
Training your body to stabilize your spine while you use your arms will help to prevent damage to the spine and keep your spine healthy.
This exercise will also work the muscles of the arm, not only to stabilize the wrist and elbow but to pull the arm up diagonally and across the body - for a combination of abduction, flexion, and external rotation.
EVERYDAY LIFE &
HOW WE USE OUR core MUSCLES IN EVERYDAY LIFE
1. INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL OBLIQUES
- Rotation of the torso - both to achieve rotation and to resist rotation
- Compression of the abdomen (pulling the belly button in towards the spine)
- Flexion of the spine (forward bending) and lateral flexion (side bending) of the torso
- Also can help in moving the pelvis and ribs
2. QUADRATUS LUMBORUM
- Side bending (lateral flexion) of the spine
3. THE OBLIQUES, QUADRATUS LUMBORUM, AND TRANSVERSE ABDOMINIS WORK TOGETHER TO
- Maintain an upright posture and spinal stabilization (good core strength)
- Prevents injury to the joints of the spine; this is especially the case when lifting and moving heavy objects
- Rotation and sidebending - to prevent these motions during higher forces to protect the spine
- Lifting dishes out of a dishwasher
- Pulling clothes out of the dryer
This is the standard version of Lifts using a band. The hand of your working arm holds the band down by your opposite hip. Resistance from the band increases as you lift your arm up and out to the side. The goal is to complete the movement without moving your torso. The goal of the exercise is to keep your torso as still as possible while you pull the band diagonally up across the front of your body. This movement is a foundational exercise - it helps to train the muscles of your core for both everyday life and also for weight training movements. Having the ability to keep your spine neutral while you are moving heavy loads will improve the performance and endurance of the muscles of your core. Mastering this exercise will allow you to lift more weight with less risk of injury.
HOW TO FEEL WHAT MUSCLE IS WORKING
How to Feel What Muscle is Working
Quadratus Lumborum: Put your hands on your low back, on either side of your spine. If you are sitting, lift one Sitz bone up without leaning or shifting your weight. You should be able to feel the quadratus lumborum activate under your hand on the side that you are lifting.
Obliques: This muscle can be harder to feel since it is deeper. Put your hand on the front of your torso, off to one side, between your ribs and your pelvis. Pull the ribs down toward the opposite side. You should be able to feel the muscle under your hands. You will only be able to feel the external obliques. The internal obliques lie under the external obliques.
Transverse abdominis: This is a challenging muscle to feel with your hand. It is an important muscle to gain control over. Lying on your back with knees bent, slip your hand under your low back. Imagine someone dropping a small soft ball on your stomach. You should be able to pull your belly button in to engage the muscles of the abdomen gently without changing the position of your low back.
HOW TO DO THE EXERCISE
HOW Band Standing Lifts SHAPE OUR BODY
Firm, toned midsection, flat abdomen, and smaller waist.
PROPER FORM: Band Standing Lift
EQUIPMENT, SETS & REPS
SUGGESTED STARTING WEIGHT FOR WOMEN:
Light to moderate resistance bands; Enough to feel the core working, but you are able to pull the band through the whole range of motion
SETS & REPS:
10-15 on each side
BODY POSITION FOR THE Band Standing Lift
Anchor the band between your hip and knee level.
BODY STANCE: Standing sideways to the band anchor. Neutral spine (includes neck) position, your sternum lifted, your shoulder blades in and down the back, space between the top of your shoulders and your earlobes. Chest wide, your abdominals gently engaged.
FEET/LEGS: Shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward. Knees slightly bent.
ARMS: Hold the band with your hand furthest away from the anchor (your working arm). Your working arm will be across your body (adduction), and your upper arm is rotated in (internal rotation), with your hand about 3-4 inches in front of your hip (depending on strength of the band and length of arms). Your elbow should be fairly straight (a little bend is fine) throughout the exercise. Your non-working arm can be relaxed by your side or your hand can be on the top of your pelvis to check for movement.
GRIP: Pronated grip on the band - your palm facing down, wrist straight. You can wrap the band around your wrist for added support if needed.
HOW TO DO
HOW TO DO Band Standing Lifts
CUE: Focus on using your abdominal muscles keeping your shoulders and hips squared to the front and in one plane. All of the movement is coming from your arm.
Pull the band up and across your body diagonally, lifting your hand up and out to the side.
At the top of the movement, your arm is rotated so that the underside of your arm is facing forwards or up (external rotation), and your upper arm is raised (flexion) - it will be higher than shoulder height and angled out to the side (abduction). Like a one arm “tada” gesture. The band should be diagonal across the front of your body.
The movement should be controlled and the focus is on keeping your torso still.
Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
Begin the next rep.
HOW TO SAFELY GET OUT OF THE EXERCISE
From the beginning position, release the band.
VARIATIONS OF Band Standing Lifts
2 HANDS: Both hands hold the band one of 2 ways:
- with interlaced fingers or
- with the hands separated at a comfortable distance for an elastic loop. Separating the hands is a good option if you are having difficulty holding your shoulders squared, or if you have any restrictions in the shoulder or thoracic spine mobility.
Arm position: Both arms are reaching down to hold the band. The shoulder blade of the arm closest to the band will be retracted, the arm is extended and externally rotated; the shoulder blade of the arm that is on the side furthest from the band anchor will be protracted, and the arm is adducted across your chest reaching towards the opposite pocket and internally rotated to reach up to hold the band. Both elbows are straight. This will work both arms during the movement and will introduce a bit of thoracic rotation and scapular protraction. The lumbar spine should not rotate - and only a small amount of thoracic rotation.
Since this is a core exercise and not an arm exercise, it could actually be harder. If you can pull more weight - heavier resistance band, because you are using two arms then it will be harder for the core to stabilize against the greater resistance. Remember the goal of this exercise is to hold the torso squared to the front. Using both hands as opposed to just the hand furthest from the anchor can be harder to keep the sternum lifted and the shoulders back.
MAKE IT HARDER
MAKING THE Band Standing Lift MORE CHALLENGING
FEET CLOSER TOGETHER: Decreases stability.
Single Leg Band Lifts
STANDING ON ONE LEG - DECREASES STABILITY: It is important to switch legs halfway through the total number of reps to work both legs. Different muscles will be worked on each leg. When the band is anchored on the left side of the body and you stand on the right leg, the band will be pulling you to the left, and the muscles on the outside of the leg (hip to ankle) will need to work to maintain balance. When you switch to standing on the left leg the muscles on the inside of the left leg will need to work to maintain balance.
MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE THE Band Standing Lift MORE DOABLE
Wider Stance Band Lifts
Stepping out into a wider stance will give you a more stable base to work off of. Your core muscles will not need to work as hard to stabilize.
Two Part Lift
Two Part Lift
Break the arm movement down into a lift up - bend your elbow and pull your hand up to your chest; and a push - straighten your elbow as you push your hand up out to the side, over the shoulder - the diagonal path is the same but bend the elbow and pull and push. Your hand that is holding the band is closer to the body so the lever arm is shorted - it is easier to stabilize with the core muscles.
SPIFFILICIOUS FACTS ABOUT MUSCLES & MOVES
Lifts are diagonal movements patterns called PNF - proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. The pattern is thought to reinforce the connection between the brain and the muscles. They are unique in that they incorporate diagonal muscle patterns to help correct muscle imbalances that affect posture . This is a good way to train the brain-body connection with movement patterns that are used in everyday life.
ALLLL MUSCLES & WHEN
ALL MUSCLES WORKING & WHEN DURING THE Band Standing Lift
The core stabilizers (obliques, transverse abdominis, quadratus lumborum, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, multifidi) work to hold the spine in a neutral position throughout the exercise. The muscles that stabilize the ankles, knees and hips are active to prevent movement - the greater the resistance used the more active they will be. The scapular muscles will work to move and stabilize the shoulder blade throughout the movement. The rotator cuff muscles will work to stabilize the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) in the center of the socket.
The triceps contract isometrically to the elbow still. The muscles of the forearm hold the wrist still. The biceps, deltoids contract concentrically to lift the arm up and out to the side. The teres minor and infraspinatus rotate the arm from internal rotation to external rotation.
The obliques will work to hold the torso still against the rotational force when the arm begins to pull the band up- the resistance of the band will attempt to pull the side of the torso (same side as working arm) forwards and the opposite side backwards.
If the right arm is being used then the right side of the torso will be pulled into rotation to the left. The left external obliques and the right internal obliques would need to prevent the movement. As the arm is pulled up and across, the opposite muscle activity would be needed to prevent right rotation of the torso. This description is very simplified - the internal and external layers run in opposite directions. When they are stabilizing the core the activation of the muscles will be changing with the amount of force and the direction of force as the arm pulls up and across. There is most likely activity which is occurring in the opposing muscles (meaning when the left external and right internal obliques are working to prevent left rotation, most likely there is eccentric or isometric activity of the right internal and external obliques), but I was unable to find any data on this.
The obliques and transverse abdominis will be working for general spinal stabilization: the obliques are broad flat muscles that wrap around the sides of the torso, when they contract they pull inwards to stabilize the mid section.
In the beginning of the movement the right quadratus lumborum will contract to prevent left side bending (right arm is working arm), but as the pulls up and across the left side will contract to prevent right side bending (this is also dependent on strength of band and technique of exerciser - this is assuming they are trying to side bend right to help pull the band up using their torso; if the band is pulling them into left sidebending then the right side would contract).
At the end of the movement the resistance will be the greatest, most of the core muscles (multifidi, quadratus lumborum, obliques, transverse abdominis, iliopsoas, serratus posterior, lats) will be working against the rotational force to stabilize the core.
The muscles of the upper body will work eccentrically along with the same core muscles to stabilize the core and control the movement of the arm as it returns to the starting position.