Diagonal Side Sit (Turbo Style)

September 3, 2012

What’s so special about the diagonal sit position?


This is a very powerful and essential transition point in the neuro-developmental patterning of movement and core stability. It’s the magic zone between lying down and sitting up for a baby. Why does that matter to you now? Because if that transition zone is dysfunctional you are more prone to injury and are losing potential power. You have the bakes on performance and don’t even know it!

There must be a perfect sequence of muscle activation for the support mechanism to optimum effeciency. Due to injury and lack of movement for the average adult the body forgets how to stabilize efficiently in this position. The diagonal sit is a ‘powerhouse’ movement for determining left and right stability weakness. Adding in variable resistance with bands adds a vector challenge to the core in the rotational pattern. I use this exercise as a progression once standard side sit has been mastered. Try it yourself and see what asymmetries pop out. Here are a few keys in setup and execution.

As per the video below…

  1. Choose a resistance band that does not offer too much challenge. Maintaining precision of movement and control is the goal here. Not going for maximum power output.
  2. Downward arm do not keep elbow directly below the shoulder. Maintain 90 degree angle in the armpit.
  3. Own the neck. Keep it locked in and not protruding forward ahead of the body.
  4. Breathe…don’t hold your breath. Exhale on forward motion, inhale on return. Try breathing via the diaphragm for maximum control.
  5. Protract (round) the shoulder blade to engage the serratus anterior at the end of the movement.
  6. Contract glute on the rear leg at all times to lock in control of the psoas.
  7. On thoracic rotation with extension on return contract and engage the lat by squeezing the shoulder blade medially.
  8. Let the eyes follow your motion.
  9. Front and rear leg should try to maintain 90 degrees at the knee.
  10. Concentrate on feeling contraction of the topside internal and external oblique during the motion.

Four muscles of the trunk.

Rectus abdominis (the six pack muscle) that bends you forward and prevents extension. The two oblique abdominals (internal and external) that do diagonal sit-ups and allow rotation to produce power.The Transverse abdominis (TA). TA is the abdominal muscle that supports your spine and makes it stable enough for the other muscles to produce a movement. TA also holds your abdominal organs in.

Often the TA and obliques are inhibited in relationship to other inner core muscles such as the diaphragm and lumbar multifidi. If you or a client struggles in a diagonal sit position and/or rolling patterns, this is a sign of core instability in these structures that warrant further intervention.

It is recommended to do this movement as a transition between ground based warm-ups and standing dynamic movements. This helps set the neural pattern of stability.

Have fun rotating….