Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quick Coaching Tip for Woodchops [Video]

I am a big believer in coaching clients through all movement planes. Regardless of one's fitness level, I am intrigued and feel responsible for evaluating a client's ability to rotate. Rotating the body is a fundamental movement pattern that is lost within the mundane of sitting still for hours at a time and not reaching for anything anymore. Think about it....sitting in an office chair that swivels allowing you to reach for anything on a desk. The torso doesn't swivel anymore and that allows for fascia 'creep' to settle and muscular tightness to manifest. 

This is one of the reasons why I teach all my clients how to perform a basic standing wood-chop using the cable tower in the middle position.  It all started a few years ago when most of my clientèle were golfers. I began to realize that they needed to "separate" the hips from the torso, in order to swing the golf club. While golf professionals were simply informing them they needed to keep their bodies "in this position" and "that position"--I knew that all that advice went out the window once speed was introduced to the movement [swing]. Furthermore, all the golfers were experiencing lower back pain, stiffness, and discomfort because they were sitting all day at some banking firms or insurance office; and then hitting the driving range at 5pm. So they were in a static posture for close to 9 hours a day and then hitting the course to repeatedly execute an explosive movement with a weak muscular center.

Woodchops are great for really adding a much neglected movement to any fitness program. I like them as a great upper-body mobility exercise when lightly-loaded;  and are a great teacher for bi-lateral hip stability. When loaded appropriately, it is a great torso strengthener that promotes power in the transverse plane. Unfortunately, the woodchop also gets "butchered" alot in gyms. Most people perform this important exercise with lackadaisical body awareness that truly negates from its beneficial purpose.

I created a video that points out a couple of incorrect ways that the woodchop is performed; and a really quick coaching trick that I use to help clients understand how to move the body and execute the pattern with better ease and awareness. Check out the 2 minute video tutorial below:

Let me know what you think below!!


  1. Awesome tip, John. I'd definitely try this with my clients. Keep up the great work!

    Anna D.


Thanks for checking out the blog and commenting!