Okay, let’s build the next step in your cool multi-dimensional core sequence…

In the first instalment — the Arching Leg Thread — we worked on your ability to recruit your core in a twisting motion. That’s pretty complex, and it’s a lot more challenging than the ole “sit up and lie back down” routine most of us spend our time on. I hope you were able to figure it out, and to catch that feeling of the core drawing in and extending the legs as you simultaneously rotate under yourself.

Next, we’ll put a little more emphasis on the leg threading component.

This might feel like a bit of an aside. It won’t put your core through the wringer like the previous exercise, but it’s essential that you master a few skills if you want to nail the final version we’re working up to.

I’m going to turn your entire world upside down — not with my legendary charm, but by convincing you to roll over…

You’re going to travel laterally down the length of your training space. At first it’ll seem like the roll is the point of the movement. It’s cool, it’s fun, and it’ll help your ability to fall safely if martial arts is your thing. But that’s just the surface level.

I want you to focus on two things.

First, the legs. Work on keeping your feet in constant contact with the ground. It’s essential that you master the leg thread at this stage. And you want your core to fire in order to pull those legs in, even as you’re rolling to the side.

Second, tucking the head. You’re transitioning through the plow position while moving sideways. Your core should pull your head down, allowing you to “roll under yourself” and travel safely across your shoulders.

These should be your performance goals.

Here’s your Lateral Shoulder Roll tutorial:

Focus on these components, and learn them well.

We’ll put the Arching Leg Thread and the Lateral Shoulder Roll together in the Third and final instalment of the series.

Want more ‘odd exercises’ like this? Check out my Forbidden Fitness program, it’s filled with functional exercises drawn from more than two decades of real ninja training.