The War Machine is a great way to add rotational moves to your training for bigger fat-loss benefits, sport-specific strength and increased joint stability.
By Joel Snape
Most gym routines contain plenty of pulling and pushing moves — the basic movements of everyday human life — that will build a lean physique and prepare you for a huge variety of real-life tasks. But your gains could be even greater if you add rotational movements.
“The trunk muscles provide the link between power generated from the hips and the shoulders,” says personal trainer Andy McKenzie. “They’re the key to transmitting that force in an efficient manner, so a weak core will hold you back.” People have traditionally found it tricky to train rotational moves — which is where the War Machine, a pulley-based training system, comes in. “It has traditionally been tricky to train rotational moves — which is where the War Machine comes in.”
Originally designed for the military and fighters — hence the name — this workout system is now making its way into mainstream gym chains. The key to the system is its nifty “Pull The Pin” option. When the pin’s in, it works just like a traditional suspension trainer. When the pin comes out, though, the War Machine basically turns into a pulley, adding an element of instability that makes any move you do exponentially tougher.
“Learning to control rotation and then to use it also helps with everyday movement from walking to running, sprinting and throwing,” says McKenzie. “Using the WM also reduces the likelihood of injury around these joints due to that increased control of movement and reduced stress to the joint.”
How to do the workout
- This workout provides exercises that target each major muscle group. Each has a beginner and advanced variation, depending on how comfortable you are with the War Machine. It’s better to do the moves properly than do lots of sub-standard reps, so focus on executing each exercise with slow, controlled form.
- Perform three sets for each exercise. Instead of going for a certain number of reps, do each exercise for the following time intervals, depending on your fitness levels:
Out of condition: 15-20 seconds
Fit: 25-35 seconds
Super-fit: 40-60 seconds
- Experiment to find the combination of exercise and time interval that works for you. So, if you’re fit but inexperienced with rotation training you might want to pick the beginner exercise, but combine it with the “super-fit” time interval, and vice versa.
- Rest for 30 seconds between each set and for five seconds between each exercise.
Click here for The War Machine Workout