Is This the Best Core Training Exercise?

Stephen Holt, Timonium personal trainer

Millions of readers of national fitness magazines including Shape, Women's Health, Fitness. Woman's Day, Family Circle, Runner's World, (and many others) have made their exercise programs both more effective AND more efficient with fitness and nutrition advice from "America's Baby Boomer Expert," Stephen Holt.

As you should know by now :-) the “3” in my famous 3-4-5 Total Body Fitness System is for the three orthogonal planes – sagittal, frontal and transverse.

Wait – don’t freak out …

Here’s a pretty picture with lots of colors for you that explains the concept:

Your body moves in all three planes of motion — so you want to be sure to exercise in all three planes of motion.

The Rotisserie may be the best* core training exercise because it works all three planes

*(Okay, “the best core training exercise,” as if I would ever recommend only one exercise, is kind of a silly notion. But it’s a question I get all the time —  so you’re welcome.)

It’s basically a combination of front plank and side plank with a crucial, critical, vitally important transition that works your obliques in “anti-rotation” (the whole point of the exercise).

Here’s How You Do It

Start in the Front Plank position.

Now here’s the tricky — and most important part — of the whole deal:
As you turn into the Side Plank position, move your hips and shoulders together as a unit.

The common tendency is to turn your hips first and let your shoulders catch up later. That turns this highly effective core training exercise into a relative waste of your valuable exercise time. (Anybody can simply flop from a front plank to a side plank and back.)

We typically hold each plank (side, front, other side) for about 2 seconds each. About 10-14 total laps (that’s 5-7 to each side) is plenty for you when you focus on maintaining perfect form throughout.


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