top of page
  • Writer's pictureKeep It Moving PT & Wellness

Week 32: Half Kneeling Resisted Trunk Rotation with Knee Press

Updated: May 19

For the month of January, we have selected exercises to keep you strong and agile on the pickleball court throughout the entire winter 🥒🎾

Exercise: Half Kneeling Resisted Trunk Rotation with Knee Press

Purpose: To coordinate rotation of the thoracic spine with shoulder horizontal abduction and hip adduction/internal rotation with resistance, while the spine remains in a stacked alignment

What It Targets: Controlled mobility of the Serratus Anterior, Intercostals, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Rhomboids, Latissimus Dorsi, Pectoralis Major and Minor, Internal Obliques, External Obliques, Transverse Abdominis; Stabilization/Co-contraction of the Glutes, Hamstrings and Quadriceps on the back leg; Stabilization/Co-contraction of the Adductors and Glutes on the front leg; Lengthening of the Iliacus, Psoas Major/Minor and Quadriceps of the back leg. Basically a lot!!!


  1. Get in the half kneeling position with your ribcage stacked over your pelvis and your back toes dug into the ground. 

  2. Place a yoga block horizontally between the wall and your front knee and press your knee into the yoga block using your inner thigh muscles. This contraction remains constant throughout the exercise.

  3. Grab a long resistance band in each hand and place one arm on the wall with palm facing away from the wall

  4. Reach your hand forward by moving your shoulder blade and without losing height in your spine.

  5. Keeping your arms parallel, pull against the resistance with the opposite arm as you rotate your trunk simultaneously. Exhale and follow your hand with your eyes as you rotate.

  6. Pause at end range, and return slowly to the start position. 

  7. Repeat as prescribed, repeat on the other side.

Main Cues:

  • Your upper trunk, head and mobile shoulder are the only things that are moving

  • Let your eyes follow your hands

  • Don’t let the yoga block fall

  • Exhale as you rotate

  • Keep your spine stacked and don’t hunch your shoulders up or forward

  • You should feel this primarily in your core and back of both shoulder blades

Common Compensations/Adverse Effects:

  • Tensing of the shoulders and neck

Correction: Make conscious effort to relax your neck and shoulders and initiate motion from the middle trunk and scapulae; Exhale calmly as you rotate to allow your ribcage to drop down and in, and away from your neck and shoulders

  • Pain in mid or lower back

Correction: Be sure to maintain a stacked spine position; Decrease the range of motion to a comfortable one

  • Pain in neck

Correction: Do not allow your shoulders to hike forward or up and cause compression on the neck; Reduce the range of motion 

  • Pain in shoulder

Correction: Do not allow your shoulders blades to tip forward and overstress the anterior shoulder joint capsule; Initiate pulling motion with your mid back/lats; Reduce the range of motion 

  • Pain in your knee

Correction: Kneel on something soft; Decrease degree of knee flexion 

Why We Love It:

  • This trunk focused rotational movement strengthens controlled mobility of the thoracic spine so the lumbar spine (low back) and shoulder are not overworked or strained (a prerequisite for safe pickleball mechanics)

  • Builds strength in muscles that control and isolate trunk rotation via thoracic spine and ribcage rotation in the transverse plane

  • Coordinates activation and stabilization of your lower body (glutes, adductors) with controlled mobility of the upper body (middle traps, rhomboids, lats) which is crucial on the pickleball court

  • Ensures each specific part of the body is doing its job in creating efficient rotation 

*Disclaimer: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and participation in novel activities may increase the risk of adverse effects such as pain, soreness, or injury. Please consult with your Physician or a local Physical Therapist prior to attempting any exercise you feel uncomfortable performing. If adverse reactions occur, discontinue performance of the exercise and consult your physician or trusted clinician for evaluation.

Keep It Moving Physical Therapy & Wellness

56 Middlesex Turnpike

Suite 200 (Inside Muscle Mind Movement)

Burlington, MA 01803

Schedule a free discovery call to learn how we can help you move better

Follow us on YouTube and Instagram for content to help you crush your movement goals


bottom of page