Home 2009 October (Page 2)

Random Friday Thoughts: 10/16/09

1. I got an interesting surprise the other day when I all of a sudden noticed that Cressey Performance had pictures like this posted all over the place:


It turns out that CP athlete and boxer Danny O'Connor had posted pictures of world title belts all over the facility as motivation.  You've got to love a guy who makes sure that the goal is never out of sight!

2. On a semi-related note, the only thing more dangerous than a professional boxer might be a West Virginia Ninja (as promised, Ryan and Evelyne):

3. For those who missed it, I contributed on a pretty cool new compilation over at T-Nation.  Check out In the Trenches: Volume 1.

4. I came to a bit of a shocking realization the other day about just how many so-called experts in the field - those writing books, giving seminars, and making television show appearances - actually train few (if any) actual clients.  As I thought about it, this would never work for me (regardless of how many years of experience I'd have accumulated by that point) simply because I view interaction with athletes as one of my primary means of continuing my education.  Simply coaching athletes, getting their feedback on things, and watching the adaptation process take place is a great way to enhance one's perspective.

Right now, I'm out there coaching about 35 hours per week, and it'll pick up a bit more as our pro baseball training group fills up in the next few weeks - and that will last through the third Monday in March.  Interestingly, this kicks off the time of year when my writing is always the most creative and prolific.  In other words, as I digest those 5-6 months of training, it's very easy to put a lot of new ideas on paper.

Had I just been sitting at a computer that entire time, there's no way I'd have that perspective.  Just some food for thought: the next time you are about to buy a book, DVD, or attend a seminar, ask yourself whether the "expert" in question actually interacts with athletes/clients/patients on a weekly basis.

5. After Wednesday's blog post about shoulder health drills, I got several questions from folks asking what I thought the best few shoulder education resources were.  Here are my top three (the first two are for the more geeky of you out there, and the third is more readily usable drills):

a. The Athlete's Shoulder, by Reinold, Wilk, and Andrews


b. Physical Therapy of the Shoulder, by Donatelli

c. Optimal Shoulder Performance, by Reinold and Cressey (I'm biased, I know)

6. We've got a few cool announcements next week.  In the meantime, though, have a great weekend.  And remember that girls just wanna have fun.

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Stuff You Should Read: 10/15/09

Here is this week's list of recommended reading for you: The 2008 Indianapolis Performance Enhancement Seminar DVD Set - Right now, I'm working with Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman on a new product - and we're doing it through the same guy (James Simon) who filmed, edited, and produced this DVD set for them.  All our email interactions got me to thinking about just how fantastic and thorough a resource it is.  I reviewed it in detail a while back HERE, and would strongly recommend you check it out if you haven't already.


Okay, so I guess that last one was more about "viewing" than "reading," but you get the point... Birthday Blogging: 28 Years, 28 Favorites - I published this blog post on my birthday back in May, and it touches on just about everything!
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The Rocker Inferior Capsule Stretch

One of the most common functional limitations we see in those with shoulder issues is the inability to achieve full overhead range of motion.  This can occur due to soft tissue restrictions (lat, pec minor, long head of triceps, among others), weakness (lower traps, serratus anterior), joint restrictions (thoracic spine), or a combination of several of these factors.  The end result is often that a quick assessment reveals something like this:


In a "healthy" shoulder, with the lower back flat, both upper arms should be flat on the table.  This is a great position to quickly check what's going on and eliminate the muscular strength side of things, as gravity does the work for you as the arms flop down.

The question, of course, is how do you fix it once it's there?  Well, the truth is that there are several things you'd need to do a few different assessments to see exactly what's up, and while that's beyond the scope of an individual article, we can touch on one of them with some detail - thanks to Tim DiFrancesco, a great physical therapist who provided today's guest post below.  From Tim:

I developed the inferior capsule rocker stretch to address limited mobility of the glenohumeral joint's inferior capsule.  This limitation is often a major factor in dysfunctional shoulders of overhead athletes and/or those performing regular overhead activities of daily living.  It is appropriate and necessary to assess inferior capsule mobility in those performing regular over-head activities as well as when there is a shoulder pathology suspected. Inferior capsule integrity can be assessed with an inferior glide looking at accessory joint motion.  This is paramount to address with these populations due to the fact that a restricted inferior capsule is often associated with superior humeral-head migration.  Impingement then results. To perform the stretch: 1. Begin in quadruped position and rock hips back to heels (place pad under knees).  Hands flat on the floor in front. 2. Reach the right arm out into flexion/elevation in pronated position (fixing the scapula and locking the thoracic spine).


3. Roll the palm open into a supinated position (decreasing the chance of subacromial impingement). 4. Slide the arm out into the scapular plane (decreasing the amount of stress on the rotator cuff tendons and surrounding soft tissue structures). 5. Reach the left hand under the right axillary (armpit) region (cupping the latissimus dorsi).


6. Rock or shift the body weight into the right shoulder until a strong but comfortable stretch is felt in the right axillary region.

7. Hold for 30-60 seconds without pain.  If pain is noticed in one focal location at the anterior/superior aspect of the shoulder, then reposition the shoulder into more precise supination and scaption. You can also perform a similar stretch with the arm crossing the body (adduction).

Timothy DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS graduated from Endicott College in 2003 with his Bachelor's degree in science/athletic training. While at Endicott Tim was a four year member of the varsity men's basketball team. Tim immediately went on to the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2006.

In 2007, Tim co-founded TD Athletes Edge, LLC, which offers a systematic, results-driven approach to performance training and rehabilitation. In addition to his work as President of TDAE he currently works as a physical therapist on Boston's Northshore and is an adjunct faculty member at Salem State College. He recently accepted the position as the Head Athletic Trainer and Strength & Conditioning Coach with the NBA D-League Bakersfield Jam.  Tim has a passion for working with athletes and patients of all levels to help them achieve their goals and reach their performance potential. Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive a Copy of the Exact Stretches used by Cressey Performance Pitchers after they Throw!
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Mike Boyle on The State of the Sports and Fitness Industry

The newsletters for today and tomorrow consist of some outstanding stuff from two guys who really "get it" in our industry.  One of my biggest goals with this site is to make it a constant source of up-to-date, cutting-edge information - and that means that I'll often refer you to great stuff from colleagues who can help you, too. First up, I just couldn't resist posting this link to an excellent interview with Mike Boyle on the "status quo" in our industry.  Mike's had a lot of years "in the trenches" and has acquired a great perspective on training individuals of all ages, ability levels, and goals - and the business side of fitness. He talks about what separates good trainers from bad trainers, gives his honest appraisal of a variety of equipment, and the importance of a constantly evolving training philosophy. I'd highly recommend checking this out:

The State of the Sports and Fitness Industry

boyle-mike Tomorrow, we'll have a great guest post from Tim DiFrancesco, a forward-thinking physical therapist with an excellent tip on improving shoulder function. For now, though, check out Mike's interview - and be sure to post your replies here; I'm curious about everyone's thoughts!  On a semi-related note, Mike's got a new DVD coming out soon that I'm sure won't disappoint!

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Two Cool, Quick Announcements

Just a quick blog tonight before the meat and potatoes come along the rest of the week: 1. A huge congratulations goes out to Cressey Performance athlete Dede Griesbauer, who finished in the top 10 (9th) at the Ford Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii for the third consecutive year.  Great job, Dede! 2. If you are interested in a pretty sweet live event entirely geared toward physique transformation, keep January 16-18 free, as you'll definitely want to check out the event in Tampa, FL that Joel Marion is organizing.  In all, 14 speakers (myself included) have been confirmed for the event, and it should be an awesome group that brings a wide variety of perspectives to the table. Tickets go on sale next week, but I just wanted to give you a heads-up so that those of you who are interested can mark it on the calendar.  Keep an eye on my blog for more information.
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Testing, Treating, and Training the Shoulder: Assessment to High Performance

Mike Reinold and I will be joining forces for a seminar on November 15.  It will be a one-day, limited enrollment seminar on "Testing, Treating, and Training the Shoulder: From Assessment to High Performance." The format will be 50/50 split between lecture and lab from Mike and I.  This is going to be an amazing experience for all rehabilitation and fitness specialists!  Full information below along with a special discount coupon code for my readers for $30 off registration: Testing, Treating, and Training the Shoulder: From Assessment to High Performance
  • When: Sunday November 15th, 2009.  8:30-5:00 PM.  Registration begins promptly at 8:30 AM.
  • Where: Cressey Performance, 577 Main St., Suite 150, Hudson, MA 01749.  Phone: 978-212-2688
  • Description: This course is designed to present the most recent and state of the art information in the assessment, evaluation, treatment and training of the shoulder. Through lecture presentations, hands-on laboratory sessions, open discussions and problem solving of patient case studies, the attendee will have an opportunity to master new and effective evaluation and treatment techniques based on current scientific evidence. The course is applicable to physical therapists, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning specialists and other rehabilitation and fitness specialists.
  • Faculty: Michael M. Reinold, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC, CSCS and Eric Cressey, MA, CSCS.
  • Course Requirements: Lab clothing: tank top or halter-top to expose the shoulder.  May bring a mat (or blanket), a pillow and a large towel for lab table.
  • Objectives: Upon successful completion of this seminar, the participant will learn how to: 1) Demonstrate an understanding of a proper assessment and evaluation sequence for the shoulder; 2) Perform and interpret specific clinical examination tests & maneuvers for the shoulder; 3) Design an effective and appropriate rehabilitation and fitness program based on current clinical and scientific research; 4) Analyze specific exercise techniques and evaluate the exercises' effectiveness; and 5) Integrate the information presented and formulate a treatment plan for specific patients and clients.
  • CEUs:  This course is eligible for 7 contact hours of continuing education.  Certificates of attendance will be provided for all participants and may be used for CEU verification for specific state or organization licensure requirements.  AdvancedCEU (P3259) is recognized by the NATA Board of Certification, Inc. to offer continuing education for Certified Athletic Trainers.  This course has also been submitted to the NSCA.
  • Agenda:
8:30 Introduction & Registration
9:00 Assessment / Inefficiency vs. Pathology - The relationship between diagnostics and functional testing
10:00 Physical Examination of Specific Shoulder Pathologies
11:00 Training the Shoulder - Understanding the effect of different pathologies and how to maintain a training effect despite these injuries
12:00 The Scientific & Clinical Rationale Behind Shoulder Exercises: Principles of dynamic stabilization
1:00 Lunch - Provided
2:00 LAB - Assessing movement quality:  Glenohumeral total motion, scapular function, thoracic spine mobility, interactions with core and lower extremity function
2:45 LAB - Review of Special Tests to Differentiate Specific Shoulder Pathologies
3:30 LAB - Warm-up protocols, resistance training strategies, and specific techniques
4:15 LAB - Integrating manual techniques and principles of dynamic stability
5:00 Q&A, Wrap-up, Adjourn

Special Offer For My Readers Enrollment for this seminar is going to limited to assure that lab time is productive.  Readers.  Normal registration fee is $199 for the seminar but my readers can use the coupon code "cressey" for $30 offThis coupon is valid this week only and will expire after Friday, October 16th. Register Now Be sure to reserve your spot soon, as spots are limited and will fill up quickly!  You can REGISTER HERE.
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Random Friday Thoughts: 10/9/09

1. Okay, first and foremost, keep an eye out for Monday's blog, where Mike Reinold and I will officially open registration for our one-day, limited enrollment seminar.  I'll have a special discount code in place for my readers to get $30 off the cost of registration for the first week only - but to be very honest, with the small size of the event, I can't imagine that it'll be a full week before it fills up.  Keep an eye on this blog EARLY on Monday morning if you want to reserve your spot. 2.Here's another little teaser for you on the shoulder .  I remember hearing in a seminar last year with Kevin Wilk that scapular retraction increases subacromial space by up to 200%.  Those of you familiar with this stuff should know that the size of the subacromial space is a darn good predictor of shoulder pathology (check out my impingement series, part 1 and part 2 for details).  It's not a large space in the first place, but if you have factors - including bone spurring, a type 3 acromion, or just terrible scapular positioning - you'll run into problems pretty quickly, particularly with overhead movements.


Now, think about the cornerstone of most traditional shoulder rehabilitation programs: rotator cuff strengthening.  Now, while cuff strengthening is obviously super important, it really is only half (at most) of the equation.  The cuff will help to preserve the subacromial space reasonably well because it (when healthy and strong) stabilizes the humeral head (shoulder "ball") in the glenoid fossa (shoulder "socket").  However, if the scapula is excessively protracted, that glenoid fossa won't be in the right place.

What puts the scapula in a good position?  Loads of work for the lower trapezius and serratus anterior - and, further down the chain, improving thoracic spine mobility, core stability, and hip mobility.  The cuff is just the tip of what is a very big iceberg...and that's why we're doing an entire seminar!

3. I'm writing about three blogs early this week because Cressey Performance's Brian St. Pierre is getting married on Saturday.  Those of you who may be in attendance will be able to easily recognize Tony Gentilcore and I thanks to our keen fashion sense:


Kidding aside, Brian is a huge asset to our business, as he brings a unique skill-set to our methodology and is a big hit with all our clients.  We're all really happy for him and his fiancee.  Head on over to his blog and give him some love.

4. On Thursday, I put in some work to update the Baseball Content section of the website.  It basically just compiles all the baseball-related writing I've done in one place.  Check it out!

5. It's playoff time, so you know what that means: time for the wheels to come off for the Yankees (the commentary on this is great).

Have a great weekend!

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Stuff You Should Read: 10/8/09

Here's this week's list of recommended reading: When I Was Young - In this newsletter of mine from a while back, I discuss why I think young athletes are getting injured at such alarming rates nowadays.  It draws quite a bit on my own experience as a young athlete "back in the day." Dirty Nutrition, Volume 2 - This is the latest installment in Dr. Jonny Bowden's nutrition Q&A.  The stuff on high-fructose alone is fantastic. Lastly, Joel Marion's got some sweet new bonuses going on a big promo he's running at TransformationDomination.com.  It's worth checking out; Joel knows transformations...
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Some Quick Announcements

Sorry for the lack of content this week; I've been pretty swamped with everything from family stuff to all the regular goings-on at Cressey Performance.  And, most specific to this blog, I've got a few sweet announcements on events that were just getting finalized... First, registration is now open for the 2009 Ultimate Pitching Coaches Bootcamp on December 4-6 in Houston, TX at Ron Wolforth's Baseball Ranch - and I'm (again) really excited to be among those presenting.  You can sign up HERE. Second, Mike Reinold and I have confirmed a date for our one-day shoulder seminar here at my facility just west of Boston.  We'll be officially announcing the details on Monday of next week - and I'll have more information in a few days (including a special early-bird registration discount code for only my readers).  Here's a little teaser: Testing, Treating, and Training the Shoulder: From Assessment to High Performance This will be a 50/50 lecture/lab split, and we'll be limiting enrollment to optimize the interaction we have with attendees.  Keep an eye out!
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Strength Exercise of the Week: Push-ups

This one gets absolutely butchered all the time, so good form can never be hammered home often enough! Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a detailed deadlift technique tutorial!
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  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series