Coaching Cues to Make Your Strength and Conditioning Programs More Effective – Installment 10
Written on January 9, 2015 at 6:30 pm, by Eric Cressey
It's time for the first trio of coaching cue suggestions of 2015!
1. Make a straight line from your heels to your head.
I'm a huge fan of inverted rows not only because of the great upper back training they provide, but also because they challenge core control at the same time. Unfortunately, a lot of folks will let the ribs flare up, head to slide into a forward head posture, or knees to hyperextend. All of these are extension-bias compensation strategies that can easily be cleaned up by just focusing on making a straight line from the heels to the head.
Typically, after providing this cue, I'll snap a photo of the posture as a good visual reminder for the athlete, too.
--> Related: 10 Ways to Progress Inverted Rows <--
2. Roll with your forearms, not your hands.
Foam rolling is great, but not if you spend the bulk of your time in bad positions. In my opinion, foremost among these bad positions is doing prone (face-down) rolling while being supported by the hands. The problem is that when you're supported by your hands, you're automatically in a position of heavy lumbar extension (low back arching) - comparable to the upward-facing dog yoga pose. With that said, simply dropping down to support yourself with your forearms is a much better bet for getting your quad and groin rolling in without throwing your back under the bus.
Keep in mind, of course, that you'll still be in some extension, but it's much closer to the natural lordotic (slight arch) posture we have in normal standing alignment.
3. Keep the head behind the belly button as long as possible.
When we train rotational medicine ball drills, it's important to create a powerful separation of the hip and shoulders. In other words, the pelvis rotates in one direction as the torso rotates in the opposite direction; this stretch helps to create and transfer elastic energy for rotational power. If the torso "leaks" forward early, though, the separation is minimized and force production and transfer is reduced.
One way to prevent this energy leak is to cue an athlete to "stay back" longer. Unfortunately, many athletes don't grasp this vague cue. As such, I like to encourage athletes to keep the head behind the belly button as long as possible. In other words, delay the torso rotation forward a bit longer.
That does it for installment 10. Have a great weekend!
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