Abs & Core Bodyweight Exercise Bodyweight TV

Functional Core Exercise — The Spinal Rock Butterfly

Written by shapeshifter

A strong and functional core goes much deeper than a set of 6 pack abs. Training the core involves learning to properly recruit all the muscles that support and stabilize the trunk, and even the upper back. In fact, we like to think of the core as extending from mid-thigh all the way to the thoracic spine (upper back).

If you can’t use your core effectively, you don’t have a stable base to transfer force from upper to lower body or from one side of the body to the other. But beyond the crucial role of stabilization, the core is also one of our main sources of strength and power.

Everything from carrying your toddler to jumping high enough to dunk a basketball to throwing an opponent in wrestling depends on your ability to recruit your glutes and snap your hips. Unfortunately, since we spend so much time sitting for work, commutes and even leisure time, we often “lose” that essential hip snap skill.

There are many ways to reprogram your hip snap. But once you have the glutes firing again, one of our favourite exercises for reintegrating the movement with other important core functions is the Spinal Rock butterfly. It incorporates proper breathing and activation of the abdominal muscles with the all important hip snap.

Let’s take a look…

There you have it, the Spinal Rock Butterfly.

Here are the key technical cues:

  • Start from seated, spine stretched long
  • Feet together, knees bent and splayed to the side
  • Inhale and expand the chest
  • Exhale and round the back using the abs
  • Roll along the spine like a rocking chair
  • Only go as high as the shoulder blades
  • From the shoulder blades, snap the hips
  • Drive the hips up and over your head
  • Drive your feet in the opposite direction

Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments section. And if you have any questions, fire away…

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  • Any spinal rock exercise I’ve done under CST has been a blessing especially in terms of making my back stronger. I just did a few reps of this exercise and it’s a killer! Thanks.

  • Spinal rocks have saved both my back and my clients, and has improved my Degrees of Freedom in thoracic spine. Its like getting a free adjustment. Great thing to do in the morning. Thank you Coach Steer.

  • Coach Steer,
    I always look forward to your exercise videos for their creativity and clarity of explanation.This one is a super way to loosen hip joints while working on flexibiltiy and core strength. thanks so much@ Rosalie

  • Hi Adam,
    Thanks for the great exercise which you so clearly explained. Please compare and contrast the benefits of the Spinalrock Butterfly versus Spinalrock starting from either straight-legs seated, knees-bent-pointing-upward seated, or full squat.

  • Hey Adam

    Thanks! I like this one – afterwards I could feel it in my hip flexors and inner thighs (I presume that’s from the butterfly position more than anything else) as well as my core. Gave my back a nice massage too 🙂

  • Adam,

    Will have to add that to my workout routine. That area has always caused my a problem
    Question – I tried to download the routine you have posted – Bodyweight Burn – But the machine will not let me – says I al aready in the distro list (whch is true) – How may I get this download??
    Bob G

  • Nice Job, please send me more for my lower back. I have been in Martial Arts all my life, and my lower back gets very tight now, if you don’t mind.

  • Hey Adam, I don’t know if I can do this! HA! I will give it a shot in my workout today. I am always looking for new and fun ways to help activate my glutes. Being a blogger myself, sometimes I think my body is in the shape of a chair! I work hard to keep my hip flexers in check and the glutes activated. Thanks for the new exercise!

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