This entry was posted on January 22, 2011 by Brian Oates.
While I am still on the subject of strengthening the core and increasing rotational power in athletes it is a great time to mention a new piece of equipment Oates Specialties has added to its product line: the TAP Rotational Core Builder. As you can tell by its name, it is a piece of equipment that can truly help build core strength, especially in the obliques.
The TAP Core Builderis probably one of the most functional weight room devices available. Its unique design is what makes it so functional. It has a heavy, metal square base that comes with a rubber bottom for skid resistance on any surface. Users also have the option to make it more stable during use (usually when large, powerful athletes are using it) by adding up to three Olympic plates on top of the base.
A pivoted sleeve slides into the hole on the base that is capable of 360 degree rotation which allows an athlete to perform a wide variety of movements. An Olympic barbell is placed in the pivoted sleeve and is what the athlete holds onto while performing exercises. With the product comes a V shaped handle which can be added to the Olympic bar for different movement patterns and it increases the challenge for many exercises. Using the V handle provides for more leverage weight and forces the athlete to really focus on controlling the movement. Weights can also be added to the end of the bar to increase the difficulty of the exercises.
Many different movements can be done with the TAP Core Builder. First are the core, specifically oblique, exercises. Because the pivoted sleeve is capable of 360 degree rotation, the TAP Core Builder is perfectly suited for large rotational movements. The most predominate movement for rotational training is done when the athlete grabs onto the end of the Olympic bar and makes a large arc movement with the bar allowing it to essentially travel from one hip to the other. The straighter the athlete can keep his arms while doing this exercise the more it isolates the core. Additionally, if the athlete wants to make the movement even more difficult he/she can attach the V handle providing more leverage weight and making it even more challenging.
There are numerous variations to this exercise. First, the athlete can keep his feet pointing straight ahead with his heels on the ground as he moves from side to side. This movement works on the thoracic mobility of an athlete’s spine and isolates the core muscles. As the athlete lowers the bar toward his hip he is forced to stop the momentum of the weight and then redirect this energy in the opposite direction as he moves the bar back up the arc. This control and redirection of energy is a phenomenal way to train the core as it requires much more strength than simply beginning a movement.
In addition, the athlete can also begin to rotate his feet from side to side incorporating much more of his hips. This begins to work the rotational power of an athlete as the core and lower half are performing much of the same movement as they do when hitting or throwing. This exercise can be done more explosively at a higher speed or at a slower speed focusing on controlling the movement.
Variations of these core movements can be made by the athlete spreading his legs into a lunge position and performing the lift to the side of his front leg. This begins to incorporate balance and stability along with core and rotational strength. If you want to really challenge your athlete and make the exercise more explosive you can have the player perform jump lunges switching legs while lowering the bar to each side as he does it. This is very difficult and requires coordination, balance, and strength.
While we love the TAP Core Builder because of its ability to train the core, it is also a great tool because of the wide range of exercises it offers. An athlete can strengthen his back by doing bent over rows with the V handle or isolate one scapula at a time by performing a single arm row while in a lunge position. It is possible to train the arms by doing presses with the TAP Core Builder or you can to do a clean to a press by starting with the bar on the ground.
The lower body can also be effectively trained with this device. Squats can be done while holding the bar as well as squats with a press as you come up. Lunges are easily performed while holding the bar and the hamstrings can be isolated by doing straight leg deadlifts. Really, whatever part of the body you are looking to train you can do so with the TAP Core Builder. The more comfortable an athlete gets with the product he can also begin to incorporate several movements together. For example, when watching the video below, look for the clean to a press while incorporating a jump to a lunge. This is a very challenging movement as it requires the athlete to link up several different parts of his body.
Here is a short video of many of the exercises I have explained. Notice the variations of the exercises as most can be done with weights or without, and with the V handle or without.
After watching the video you may understand why we believe this product may be the most versatile piece of equipment we have ever carried! Whether you want to use it outside on a baseball field, inside in a weight room, or even in your garage you will have a full body workout device at your disposal. It is even easy to transport as the TAP Core Builderbreaks down into small pieces quickly and easily.
If you have any questions about this product or any others please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Oates Specialties is a family owned and operated business. Since starting the company in 2003 with baseball as its primary focus, Robert and Gloria Oates, along with their son Brian, have worked diligently to develop a line of quality athletic conditioning tools that is unparalleled. We hope you enjoy our product line, videos, and blog. Contact us if we can help you in any way!