Rotational flexion of the low back is the opposite of rotational extension of the low back. Rotational flexion of the low back is important during walking, running, kicking, and the downswing of the golf swing. In order to master this movement, do the drills in the sequence below, and from then you can practice any one or all of those sports.
Down Kick on a Step
This drill is the opposite of the back kick. Instead of hiking the hip as you get taller, drop the hip as you get shorter. Keep the momentum going as you turn. Instead of using your back muscles, you will use your stomach muscles.
Golf Down Swing Low Back
At first it is hard to imagine, but the down swing in golf is precisely the same movement of the low back as the soccer kick with the left foot. It is also the same movement as the running kick with the left foot, as well as walking even though it is a much abbreviated form. In other words, any soccer kicking or golf glitches will show also show up in your running. The advantage of training all three versions of the same movement is that you can be be more assured that you are doing it right.
If you were to twist to the right you will use your back muscles, which would be rotational extension. On the way back to where you started, that would be the rotational flexion part. So just to get it real clear in your head, do a few down kicks on the step, then do a few twists back to the middle starting from turning to the right. At some point you will realize that the actual movement in the low back is similar. But remember rotational flexion is a sequence of two movements, the first being the drop and the second being the turn. The same is true for the golf swing. All you have to do is start from the position of the end of the backhand tennis. The drop and the turn are the same, and you will notice that your arms drop with the help of gravity just like in the down kick on a step. The turn happens next in rhythm. It should be obvious that the weight has to be on the left leg.
One Foot Hop Landing
You may have noticed that gravity helps you do the down kick on a step. You will use your body to generate a lot of the force for the rotational flexion. It might help to do a few landings from the hop drills first.
There are four ‘normal’, meaning non balancing, leg motions. Two are associated with rotational flexion and two are associated with rotational extension. The first one is the front leg during the landing of running and the plant foot of the soccer kick. Everyone should learn to do it properly, but people with plantar fasciitis can start with this drill and branch out from there.
Landing/Plant Foot Leg
If you pointed your toe and turned your leg inward you would be moving your entire leg in the perfect patten for the front leg when it is on the ground during walking/running. This is the same movement, for example, of the left leg during the downswing of the golf swing, as well as the plant leg during the soccer kick. It is also a very important movement to learn to prevent and recover from a long list of injuries ranging from plantar fasciitis and in many cases neuropathy of the feet. Learn the leg on its’ own first, then we will start to integrate it with the rotational flexion of the low back.
While on your back, practice pointing your toes while turning them inward. The arch of the foot will increase. Once you are able to do this easily, you can begin to put this movement into the one-legged squat.
With the left leg in front, turn to the right as you put weight onto the left leg. Using your left foot, push yourself back to where you started. Notice your left ankle/foot is moving in the exact same way as the previous exercise, but now since it is planted on the ground, it has the effect of moving your whole body to the left. The next step is simple. You will start to go lower.