Performing torso rotation exercises while seated can result in spine and back pain. The abdominal and core muscles stabilize the pelvic-lumbar region and control acceleration/deceleration of the spine, but this is best accomplished while standing on your feet. Isolated dynamic rotation training involves movements that are contradictory to lumbar biomechanics by fixing the pelvis while rotating, which can bend the spine and result in a delamination/disc- related injury. The risk to your lower back can be minimized by avoiding the extremes in range of motion while seated or by only performing torso rotational exercises while standing up, thus allowing the pelvis full rotational motion.
Torso rotation exercises may strengthen the oblique muscles, but do little to reduce waist fat. While the obliques are located under the area generally known as 'love handles,' working the underlying muscles will not cause fat loss in that area because targeted spot reducing with exercise is not possible. A comprehensive weight loss program will generally lead to fat loss all over the body and not just in one area.
Most fitness facilities and gyms offer the rotary torso exercise machine, which requires you to twist your spine to the left and right from a seated position. The machine features a stack of weighted plates that provide the resistance that your muscles have to overcome as you twist your torso from side to side. It’s an effective exercise for strengthening your obliques and other muscles in your core but can be dangerous due to rotational forces on your spine.
Scoliosis is a medical condition in which the spine curves between 10 and 45 degrees, with more severe cases reaching 80 or 90 degrees. Generally, patients suffering from extreme cases undergo an operation to have steel rods inserted along their spine, but a study by the US Spine and Sport Center of San Diego published in the February 2003 edition of "Orthopedics" indicated that performing torso rotation exercises can not only stop the curve from getting worse, but may also correct patients' spines before the 40-degree mark is reached. Because scoliosis patients suffer from asymmetric thoracic muscular development, the isolated strengthening of the muscles that rotate the torso appear to improve the weaker side.