Standing Wood Chop

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Standing Wood Chop


Target Body Part:
Abs

Equipment Needed:
Medicine Ball

Step 1

The wood chop is a functional, yet advanced movement that must be learned in three stages. Stage 1: Spiral rotation of the arms. Stage 2: Spiral rotation of the arms with hip rotation from squatting position. Stage 3: Full wood chop with spiral rotation of the arms, hip and torso from a squatting position.?

 

Step 2

Stand in a split-stance position with your left foot forward holding a medicine ball in both hands. Keep the ball close to your body. Engage your abdominal / core muscles to stiffen your torso and stabilize your spine. Your torso should be upright.

 

Step 3

Stage 1 Starting Position (illustrated): Slowly bring the medicine ball to the left, to a starting position high and behind you. Do not rotate your head, chest or torso. Your head, chest and hips should remain facing forward at all times throughout this exercise stage. Keep the medicine ball relatively close to your body.

 

Step 4

Movement: Slowly, bring the medicine ball down and across your body toward the right hip. Do not rotate your head, chest, torso or hips, and keep them facing forward. Keep the medicine ball relatively close to your body. Hold this end position briefly before returning to your starting position. Repeat the movement in the opposite direction with your opposite leg forward.

 

Step 5

Exercise Progression: Repeat the same movement, but extend your arms at the elbow and maintain this arm position throughout the wood chop movements. This longer lever increases the loading on the spine, requiring the core muscles to work harder.

 

Step 6

Stage 2 Starting Position (not illustrated): Change your foot position to a stagger-stance moving feet wider apart. Assume the same starting position with your arms bent, but allow your hips to rotate to the left with your arms, increasing your degree of rotation. Your head, chest and torso should remain aligned over your hips. Much of your body weight should be loaded into your left leg.

 

Step 7

Movement: Slowly, bring your arms down and across your body toward the right, while squatting down slightly to an end point where the medicine ball is positioned lower than your right hip (performing a wood chop movement). Much of your weight should be shifted over into the right leg. Rotate your hips, but keep your head, chest and torso aligned over your hips. Keep the medicine ball relatively close to your body. Hold this end position briefly before returning to your starting position. Repeat the movement in the opposite direction with your opposite leg forward.

 

Step 8

Exercise Progression: Repeat the same movement, but extend your arms at the elbow and maintain this arm position throughout the wood chop movements. This longer lever increases the loading on the spine, requiring the core muscles to work harder .

 

Step 9

Stage 3 Starting Position (illustrated): Assume the same starting position as in stage two, but fully extend your elbows and allow your torso to rotate further than your hips, rotating even further. Shift more weight into your left foot and allow your right foot to pivot on the floor.


 

Step 10

Movement: Slowly, rotate your arms down and across your body to the right, while squatting down slightly to an end point where the medicine ball is positioned below your right hip (performing a wood chop movement), and much of your weight has shifted into the right leg. Your torso will rotate further and faster than your hips. Keep your elbows fully extended throughout the movement. Hold this end position briefly before returning to your starting position. Repeat the movement in the opposite direction with your opposite leg forward.

Engage your abdominal / core muscles throughout this exercise to stabilize and protect your spine.

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