Rotational Power Test

Rotational Power Test

Dr. GJohn Mullen Biomechanics, Blog, Competition, Training 1 Comment

Core muscular endurance is a variable associated with low back pain rehabilitation. Core training is believed to improve ground sports performance but has not been confirmed in swimming.

Rotational power is deemed an important variable in rotational power athletes. The correlation between rotational power and swimming success has yet to be proven, but many dry-land programs strive for improved rotational power.

Rotational power is trained in various means including medicine balls, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc. Despite the common practice of training the core, there is no reliable method for assessing rotational power to track improvement. The purpose of this study was to determine the test-retest reliability of kinetic rotational characteristics of the pulley train when performing a rotational exercise of the axial skeletal in the transverse plane.

What was done?

Twenty-three healthy college students underwent 3 different tests sessions: the first to familiarize the subjects with the protocols, and the subsequent two visits to determine the test-retest reliability.

The test was a seated (theoretically to isolate the core) pulley rotation with the elbows fully extended and shoulders flexed 90 degrees. They sat on a 0.5-meter tall box with the Pulley Trainer on the right side. Each participant forcefully rotated their body 180 degrees and returned slowly to the starting position, 3 times per trial, with 3 relative loads: 9% body weight (BW), 12% BW, and 15% BW. Then, the repetition with the greatest peak power for each trial for each load was analyzed.


The intraclass correlation coefficients were 0.97, 0.94, and 0.85 at 9, 12, and 15% BW.


The rotational test demonstrated in this study was determined to be a reliable method. However, the application of this test for rotational power is under question. In swimming, the role of rotational power had not been correlated. Moreover, the sport-specificity of a hip flexion rotational movement is limited.

Practical Implication

If looking for a reliable rotational test, then this test is appropriate. However, the application for swimming seems limited and needs more support.

Comments 1

  1. Get hot scientists! I’ve been preaching rotational power for years and you’re telling me there has been no study proving it’s effectiveness/enhancement of long axis swimming?

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