How to Do Plate Twist Properly

The plate twist is a great exercise to build your shoulders and core.

It is an intermediate to advanced exercise that requires a lot of strength and support and helps with rotational movement.

The plate twist is a rotational exercise.

To do this exercise:

  • Sit on a yoga mat with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Grab a plate like a steering wheel with your elbows slightly bent. Hold it in front of your abdominals.
  • With your knees slightly bent, cross your ankles and lift them slightly off the ground.
  • Maintain a straight spine but lean backwards to stay balanced.
  • Exhale then rotate your torso to the right and touch the end of the plate to the floor.
  • Inhale and return to the starting position then twist to the left.

WHAT MUSCLES DO PLATE TWIST WORK?

The plate twist is a rotational core exercise.

It works on the obliques, serratus anterior, abs, hip flexors, and erector spinae.

1.      OBLIQUES

These are muscles located on the sides of your lower torso.

They are made of internal and external obliques. The internal obliques lie next to the external obliques.

The obliques work in unison but in the opposite manner. Your left internal oblique and right internal oblique are activated for the same movement.

The obliques wrap around the sides of the lower torso.

They are core rotational muscles that enables your body to rotate or swing. They are also an anti-rotational muscle that keeps your core stable.

2.      SERRATUS ANTERIOR

The serratus anterior is also known as the Big Swing Muscle or the Boxer’s Muscle. It is a large fan-shaped muscle that is located on each side of the top of your ribs.

The serratus anterior wraps around the outside of your rib cage and attaches to the side of your shoulder blades.

It can be felt below the chest, the sides of the lats or under the armpit.

The serratus anterior helps pull the shoulder blades forward around your rib cage allowing the arms to reach forward.

It enables the upward rotation of the scapula. It helps you lift your arms.

3.      ABDOMINAL MUSCLES

This includes the rectus abdominis and the transverse abdominis.

The rectus abdominis is located at the front of the abdominal wall. It starts at the bottom of the sternum and the beginning of the pubic bone.

It is activated during the plate twist because it pulls the ribs and pelvis in and curves the back.

This muscle is also responsible for creating the six-pack.

The transverse abdominis is located beneath the rectus abdominis. It is the deepest layer of abdominal muscles.

A well-rounded core routine helps activate the transverse abdominis.

It is known as the body’s corset muscle.

It helps protect and stabilize the spine.

4.      HIP FLEXORS

These are the muscles responsible for bringing the leg up towards your torso. The primary hip flexors are the psoas major and the iliacus.

The psoas originates from the lower vertebrae of your spine. The iliacus originates from the inside bowl of your pelvis. They meet and insert at the top of the upper leg bone.

They stabilize the torso during lifting, pushing or pulling.

5.      ERECTOR SPINAE

This is a group of muscles found along the spinal column.

These muscles help keep the spine stable, help with rotation of the spine and bending of the neck and torso.

PLATE TWIST BENEFITS

1.      MEET YOUR WEIGHT LOSS GOALS

If you want to shed fat in your abdominal area or your belly, this is a great exercise to add to your routine.

As you gain muscle strength and endurance, you can use heavier plates.

This will help you burn even more calories and develop stronger muscles in your abdomen.

2.      IMPROVE CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

Studies have shown that visceral fat is highly dangerous to your organs. It increases the risk of heart failure and cardiac disease.

By doing plate twists, you can get rid of visceral fat and improve the quality of health of your internal organs.

3.      PROMOTE GOOD POSTURE

By strengthening your back, you can maintain good posture even when you have a sedentary lifestyle.

If you have a job that requires you to sit or stand a lot, you will need to ensure you maintain a neutral spine.

This is easier to accomplish when you have a strong core, back and shoulders.

It also reduces the risk of lower back pain.

ALTERNATIVES TO PLATE TWIST

1.      SIDE PLANK

To do this exercise:

  • Lie on your left side with your feet stacked or with one foot on top of the other.
  • Place your right forearm or hand on the floor in front of you and lift your hips off the ground.
  • Keep your hips lifted to form a straight line from the feet to the head.
  • Hold the position for up to one minute.
  • Do each side at least three times.

2.      BIRD DOG

To do this exercise:

  • Begin from a tabletop position. Kneel and put your hands on the floor.
  • Engage your core as you extend your left arm and right leg.
  • Gaze toward the floor and keep your spine in neutral position.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds keeping your shoulders and hips square.
  • Return to the starting position then do it for the opposite limbs.
  • Do up three sets of 16 reps.

PLATE TWIST MISTAKES TO AVOID

Avoid doing the plate twist movement quickly. Using momentum to swing reduces tension, so you don’t build any strength in your core.

Don’t round your lower back. This causes you to lose abdominal engagement. Doing this exercise with an arched lower back increases the risk of lower back pain.

Remember you are engaging your core, not twisting your lower back. Focus on moving your arms not moving your back. Keep your torso rigid.

Don’t lean too far back. This makes you likely to slouch. The momentum will take you further backwards which reduces abdominal tension and increases the risk of lower back pain.

Avoid moving your knees from side to side. If you swing your knees, you take the focus away from the torso rotation. To correct this, slow down and keep your arms closer to your torso to keep the motion closer to your centre of gravity.