Chop and Lift Series

The chop and lift exercise has been used by therapist for a number of years as both a means to assess and train core stability and function. The PNF patterns that make up the chop and lift are used to do far more than just stimulate the “abs”. As in the study by Voight et al, the chop and lift series are more about, “the movements are primitive patterns that expose the core to three dimensional stresses, incorporating both lower-body weight shifting and upper-body movement.” How to progress these movements are important in long-term progressions and building upon more complex patterns and stresses.
Kneeling Ultimate Sandbag Training Around the World

Using the tall kneeling position for the Ultimate Sandbag Around the World allows us to assume a more stable body position while the motion of the Ultimate Sandbag will challenge our ability to maintain the body position without compensation. The Around the World is not your typical lift and chop, but adheres to many of the principles of the diagonal patterns that make up the lift and chop series. In fact, having the Ultimate Sandbag around the body increases the reactive core that we aim to improve by using the lift and chop, especially while trying to maintain the tall kneeling position and resisting the various forces acting upon the body.
TRX Rip Chop

Moving to the half kneeling position helps us focus on unilateral instabilities but must be combined with changing the direction and line of force of the lift and chop. Head of human performance at TRX, Chris Frankel, developed this unique version of lifting and chopping which combines leverage and different directions of force to create a powerful drill. The half kneeling position begins with the front leg towards the side of the line of pull. By bringing the Rip across the body first we have a direct lateral resistance that changes as the Rip is rotated and both arms have to be active working different segments on either side of the trunk. Coming across the body with the rip towards the hip provides us the chopping pattern that allows for optimal combination of movements.
Kettlebell Inside Out Clean

We can use the concepts of lift and chop outside of the more corrective programs and use the principles to fitness as well. When we add complexity of movement and speed of lifting then we can reduce range of motion to provide a safer lifting environment. The Inside Out Clean the lift portion comes during the acceleration of the kettlebell while the chop occurs during the eccentric phase. Working from the hang position allows us to focus on a short transition of the load. The inside hip that produces force is the hip and side that we look to focus stability upon. The pivoting foot has to produce force as well, but must be far more reactive to both absorb the weight and quickly move in the correct lif ting position.
Ultimate Sandbag Shoveling

Using the Kettlebell Inside Out Clean, we can build upon both eccentric speed and leverage. The body’s movement during Ultimate Sandbag Shoveling is the same as the Kettllebell Inside Out Clean. However, the movement of the Ultimate Sandbag changes several dynamics of the more complex lift and chop. The projection of the Ultimate Sandbag creates a lever arm which builds up speed and perceived load during especially the eccentric phase of the movement or the chop portion of the exercise. The ability to create projection requires power from the hips but the ability to maintain postural alignment during the “lift” portion.