Home 2020 June

Exercise of the Week: Step-up Rotational Cable Lift

Today's guest post comes from Cressey Sports Performance - Florida Director of Performance, Tim Geromini.

Cable chops and lifts have been an integral part of strength and conditioning programs for many years, and will continue to be for good reason. They establish proper kneeling and split stance hip positions, create anti-rotation and anti-extension core control, train thoracic mobility, and teach us how to absorb force in multiple planes. To that end, seeking variations where we can challenge clients in new ways led us to the step-up rotational cable lift.

Here is how to make sure you’re doing this properly and seeing the benefits:

1. The box should align your hip to about 90 degrees of flexion; more is not always better in this instance. At this depth you should still be able to create force pushing down through the box and feel your hip extensors engage.

2. Make sure you are in a neutral spine position. In too much hip flexion, it’s very easy to either lean back into lumbar extension or round forward into lumbar flexion. Neither of these positions allows you to create stability in your lower half.

3. The inside foot should be pointing straight ahead and that hip should be extended.

4. The foot on the box should not remain “rooted” the entire set; imagine trying to pick up a basketball with that foot. Focus on keeping your knee from caving in or bowing out. If I’m looking straight at you, there should be a straight line from your toes, knee, hip, and shoulder.

5. Both hip flexors should be pointing straight ahead avoiding any lateral flexion or hips bailing out to the side. Keep your arms in tight on the initial pull and your rotational component will come from your thoracic spine, not lumbar spine.

We typically program these for 8 reps per side towards the end-portion of a training session.

About the Author

Tim Geromini is the Director of Performance at Cressey Sports Performance - Florida. Prior to joining the CSP team; Tim spent time with the Lowell Spinners (Class A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox), Nashua Silver Knights (Futures Collegiate Baseball League), Cotuit Kettleers of (Cape Cod Baseball League), and UMass-Lowell Sports Performance. You can contact him at timgero@gmail.com and on Twitter (@timgeromini24).

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Josh Lindblom

We're excited to welcome Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Lindblom to this week's podcast. Josh speaks about his path to the big leagues, his time pitching in Korea, and how his expansive pitch mix came about.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • How Josh developed as a youth athlete from Indiana into a third round draft pick out of high school
  • What Josh’s rationale was for attending the University of Tennessee rather than entering professional baseball out of high school
  • Why Josh chose to leave Tennessee after his freshman season to attend the University of Purdue
  • How Josh managed switching between starting and relieving throughout his career
  • Why Josh struggled to remain a mainstay in the show through the 2011-2014 seasons
  • How battling comparisons and searching for his identity as a pitcher kept Josh from becoming the best version of himself on the mound
  • Why bouncing around in the big leagues wasn’t the stability Josh wanted for his career and why he chose to take an opportunity to play ball overseas in the KBO in 2015
  • How Josh managed the increased pressure of being an American, ex-MLB player on a KBO roster and the huge usage spike that went along with that
  • What the Korean Baseball experience was like for Josh and how the baseball culture, allotment of talent, and accessibility to resources in the KBO differ from that of the ranks of American pro ball
  • How the game of baseball is played differently in Korea compared to the game played in the U.S. and what nuances Josh had to adapt to to thrive in this new style of play
  • How Josh’s pitching approach transformed through his experience in Korea, including the development of new pitches and learning to better attack left handed hitters
  • What Josh’s thought process is for throwing his splitter consistently and how he has worked to shape the pitch to specifically complement his fastball
  • How Josh’s pitch arsenal has evolved through the progression of his career
  • How Josh manages his throwing and training regime on a 5-day rotation
  • Why Josh chooses not to throw the day following a start and why pitchers shouldn’t lose sleep over taking an off day from throwing
  • How better understanding his daily workload and learning to better manage stress has transformed his preparation strategies
  • What experience Josh has working with the coaches at IFAST and how they’ve helped him connect the dots between the purpose of his training and performing at the highest level
  • You can follow Josh on Twitter at @JoshLindblom52 and on Instagram at @jlboomer25.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Developing College Pitchers with Dusty Blake

We’re excited to welcome Duke University pitching coach Dusty Blake to this week’s podcast for a multi-faceted discussion that covers college recruiting, building a winning culture, optimizing pitch selection, using technology, and reflecting on the unprecedented times in the current baseball world.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • What inspired Dusty to start his career in coaching and how his passion for player development originated on his own quest for greatness
  • What specific coaching experience Dusty acquired prior to stepping into his current role as Duke’s pitching coach
  • How being a head coach at a smaller university prior to Duke uniquely prepared him for the challenges of being an ACC skills coach
  • How college baseball has evolved since Dusty first began his coaching career in 2004
  • Why fastball usage is trending down in professional baseball and how pitchers can learn to develop their own unique advantage by pitching off their best stuff
  • What the non-negotiables are for being a successful college pitcher
  • Why Dusty emphasizes winning counts for being an effective pitcher and how working ahead statistically impacts hitters’ performance
  • How head coach Chris Pollard and his staff have transformed Duke baseball since his hiring in 2013 and what intangibles have the coaching staff emphasized to revolutionize the culture of the program
  • What specific attributes the coaches of Duke are looking for when recruiting athletes to build their program and how players can stand out through the sheer volume of outreach collegiate coaches are receiving on a daily basis
  • What big mistakes players and parents are making in the college recruiting process
  • How the use of video and social media as a tool for exposure is more relevant than ever and how amateur athletes can maximize the usefulness of video when showcasing their skills to recruiters and scouts
  • How the influx of data in baseball has impacted coaching and developing players at the collegiate level and what the truly valuable resources bring to player performance
  • What specific analytical metrics Dusty initially evaluates when evaluating a pitcher
  • Why Dusty focuses on defining what a good pitch looks like analytically and how establishing this understanding with players allows them to be their best coach
  • How understanding what a quality pitch looks like for an individual is the foundational knowledge necessary for mastering the craft of pitching and creating consistency in a player’s skill set
  • Why no specific data point or analytical category reigns supreme for developing elite pitchers and how being hyper aware of certain attributes can hinder our ability to holistically evaluate a player’s ability
  • What specific challenges college coaches are facing heading into the 2020-2021 season
  • How Dusty relies on honesty and stresses the importance of routine and reliance to perform consistent at the highest level possible and specifically avoid slumping
  • Why player’s need to free themselves of the outcome and the idea of throwing with perfect command in order to dominate hitters
  • You can follow Dusty on Twitter at @Pitching360.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

Exercise of the Week: Half-Kneeling Kettlebell Windmill

Today's guest post comes from Cressey Sports Performance - Florida coach Derek Kambour.

At Cressey Sports Performance, we utilize several kettlebell windmill variations. A while back, Eric covered the regular standing version HERE. Today, I’d like to cover the half kneeling position, as I think there are some technical elements that should be highlighted in order to get the most out of this exercise.

Often, you’ll see this activity performed similar to the downward portion of a Turkish Get-Up, where the individual is in a half kneeling position, with the back hip in an externally rotated position, and then they will hinge back into that hip as they reach towards the ground, all while holding weight in an overhead position. While there is nothing wrong with this execution – especially if the goal is to challenge the individual’s ability to stabilize load in an overhead position while improving the ability to hinge – I do believe there are some ways we can coach this activity in a specific manner to get more out of it. I originally saw the execution of this exercise from Dr. Pat Davidson, so all credit goes to him for showing how to get more from this activity. This is an awesome transverse plane core exercise that helps individuals learn how to load their hip in the frontal plane. If you are an athlete trying to improve your ability to get in and out of a cut, or a pitcher looking to improve back hip loading or accepting force on the front hip, this could be a great exercise to include. Below is a demonstration that gives you a general understanding as to how we coach this exercise.

When performed in this manner, folks are getting a lot more than just overhead stability benefits. Here are some of the key components of this exercise explained further:

1. Setting up in a solid half-kneeling position is going to be essential when executing this variation. To ensure that the individual is in a good position, we like to have the individual drive the back foot into a wall, especially for those who have never performed this exercise before. The wall allows the individual to feel their hamstring and glute to gain better control of their pelvis on the down side hip. The wall is not always needed, but it can certainly help. The front foot should also be pressed into the ground as well.

2. Once set up in this half kneeling position, the KB can be pressed overhead. It is important to note, this exercise does not need to be loaded very heavy at first. We often start folks with a 15-25lb. kettlebell and they are absolutely smoked by the time they are done with their set. Sometimes, I will have the person I am working with perform this with no load, as it allows them to focus on the more important aspects of the exercise.

3. Before the individual reaches for the ground, they should be shifting into the front hip. Many times, when someone goes to perform this hip shift action, they will lose control of their pelvis and go into an anteriorly oriented position. Be sure that you, or the individual you are coaching, executes the shift while maintaining a subtle tuck of the pelvis.

4. As the individual begins to rotate and reach for the ground, it is important to keep both arms long. While they are slowly reaching towards the ground with the bottom arm/hand, they should be trying to maintain that hip shift without any movement of the front femur. The most common movement fault seen with this exercise is the inability to maintain control the front leg as the hips shift laterally towards the front side. The front leg should not move front to back or side to side, and it may be beneficial to think about pushing the knee in towards the midline. If done correctly, they should feel their adductors working significantly.

5. Most of the time, I will instruct the individual to reach down until the palm of their hand touches the ground, and that is as far as I will have them go. Some individuals are pretty mobile and can get their forearm all the way down to the ground. I’m fine with this as long as everything else checks out and they are feeling the desired musculature.

6. To get even more out of this activity, we can add a respiratory component to challenge this position further. Once the hand reaches the ground, the individual should get a full exhale out, and closing the side of the ribcage that is down. After a full exhale out and maintaining that bottom position, the individual can then inhale into the side of the ribcage that is up (trying to get air into the upper chest wall). After they have achieved maximal expansion in this area, they can exhale out again as they come back up into the starting position.

We will typically have our athletes perform this exercise for 2-4 sets of 6-8 reps per side as an accessory exercise towards the end of the session, or as part of their movement prep before their strength training. Once they’re proficient with it, we might load it up more and use it as part of a first pairing on an upper body training session (similar to how we program Turkish Get-ups). Give it a shot!

About the Author

​Derek Kambour serves as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. Prior to joining the staff, Derek completed an internship at CSP-FL in the fall of 2018. Prior to joining the CSP-FL team, Derek coached a variety of athletes and clientele at performance facilities in New Jersey. He graduated from Montclair St. University with a degree in Exercise Science and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the NSCA. Derek is also a competitive powerlifter. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Antoan Richardson

We're excited to welcome San Francisco Giants First Base Coach and retired MLB outfielder Antoan Richardson to this week's podcast. Antoan speaks about his path from the Bahamas to Vanderbilt to the Big Leagues - and also shares some insights on how we can best prepare baserunners and outfielders.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • How Antoan became the 6th Bahamian to play in the big leagues and what the process is for young ballplayers in the Bahamas looking to progress their baseball career
  • What the baseball culture of the Bahamas is like, and how the game is growing on this island from the roots of softball
  • Why Antoan is heartbroken when foreign players are married to the idea of signing contracts as the only means to make their baseball dreams a reality and how he is working to educate the youth of the power baseball can have for their future
  • How Antoan became an all-state caliber baseball player in Florida after being cut from his 7th grade softball team in the Bahamas just years earlier
  • How Antoan has used his passion for baseball to be an ambassador for the Bahamas and pave the way for future generations of Bahamians to grow through the sport
  • Why Antoan chose to attend junior college out of high instead of accepting scholarships to play collegiate sports or pursuing early professional baseball pursuits
  • How Antoan earned the opportunity to play at Vanderbilt out of junior college in 2003 and what role he played in laying the foundation for Vanderbilt to develop into the powerhouse it is today
  • What differentiates Vanderbilt baseball and Tim Corbin from other universities in the country and how has the tradition of the baseball program progressed to and sustained greatness over the recent decades
  • How Antoan was able to defy traditional wisdom and reduce the number of times he was caught stealing as he progressed through the ranks of pro ball
  • What lessons Antoan has for young base stealers looking to sharpen their baserunning skills
  • What it was like scoring the game winning run on Derek Jeter’s walkoff hit in his final game as a New York Yankee
  • Why Antoan has learned to value the empathy, adaptability, and individualization needed to find success with each player with whom he works
  • What core competencies Antoan works to establish in the baserunners with whom he works
  • What skills Antoan emphasizes as important for outfielders, and why he stresses owning the first steps and remaining athletic
  • What struggles minorities face in baseball and how coaches can better serve the needs of all their athletes
  • What Project Limestone is, and how individuals can help the next generation of kids in the Bahamas
  • You can follow Antoan on Twitter at @ARichardson242 and on Instagram at @AntoanRichardson242. You can also learn more about the great work he's doing with Project Limestone at www.ProjectLimestone.org.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 6/4/20

It's time for another recommended reading list from around the 'Net. Let's get to it!

A conversation: Retired African American MLB players on race, baseball, America - It would be tone-deaf to publish a recommended reading list in current times without alluding to the challenges facing the world right now - and this tremendous roundtable discussion with some of the most successful African American athletes of the past 20 years in baseball was outstanding.

EC on the EliteFTS Podcast - I joined the EliteFTS team to talk strength and conditioning for baseball on their podcast. You can listen to the entire conversation on their YouTube page:

EC on the Baseball Outside the Box Podcast - I also chatted with Peter Caliendo on his baseball podcast this past week. Check it out:

Top Tweet of the Week

Top Instagram Post of the Week

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Safer Sprint Training with Derek Hansen

We’re excited to welcome sprint training expert Derek Hansen to this week’s podcast for a great chat on fundamental of sprinting training, his unique approach to managing hamstrings injuries, and much more. Derek shares some general principles as well as specific applications to baseball preparation. CSP-MA Director of Performance John O'Neil takes the lead as a guest host as well.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you’ll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • How Derek has become the speed-focused coach he is today and how he has become involved coaching national and professional sports teams across multiple sports
  • How Derek designs return to play programs for hamstrings strains and what success he has found transforming recovery times from 3-4 week to 7-10 days
  • How his atypical, acceleration-based program works to not only recuperate the injured hamstrings but build resiliency from future setbacks
  • What warnings Derek has for athletes overzealous to speed through a hamstrings recovery program
  • How Derek recommends to specifically integrate and progress sprinting into hamstrings strain rehab and why he prioritizes stride frequency over stride length early in the rehab process
  • Why Derek emphasizes stride frequency when training his athletes for speed and what tactics coaches should avoid and implement to encourage quality stride frequency
  • What the “10x10” is and why Derek utilizes this return-to-play program as the foundation for all his rehabilitation work
  • How coaches can best manage the volume of their athletes’ speed work
  • How baseball players can preserve their speed qualities in season
  • How the perspective of running has been tarnished in the recent history of sports performance and how Derek is working to transform the perspective on running
  • Why sprinting and lifting are not competing entities and how coaches can manipulate running dosage to elicit training effects regardless of an athlete’s current circumstance
  • What Derek’s advice is for athletes just beginning to utilize sprint work as their primary training approach
  • How mastering the initial acceleration of sprinting and training short bursts of 5-7 strides can go a long way in the development of an athlete
  • Where long distance sprinting (30+ yards) fits into the training of baseball players
  • Why 100% effort does not necessary mean 100% performance and how relaxation plays a role in moving at high speeds
  • What drills or cues coaches can use to teach being loose and relaxed as opposed to tensed and rigid when performing high-speed movements
  • How sprinting distance influences the specific demands of placed on an athlete
  • How sprinting can be programmed to address the different demands placed on baseball players by position
  • Why running technique and communicating effort of exertion are crucial for maximizing speed work in any population
  • What Derek’s coaching philosophy is and how he has learned to adopt a process-oriented approach for simplifying movement for his athletes
  • How coaches and educators can maximize the retention of their training interventions and encourage self-awareness and learning that will stick beyond a single training session
  • What common flaws Derek sees in baseball players’ running technique
  • What technical landmarks Derek is looking for when evaluating an athlete’s running mechanics
  • How posture directly influences an individual’s ability to put force into the ground
  • What role the arms play in efficient running mechanics and how focusing on the upper extremities can create positive change throughout the entire gate cycle
  • How coaching the hands can be used specifically to improve tempo and rhythm in the running motion without overcomplicating an individual’s thought process
  • Why a lack of strength is a poor excuse for avoiding speed work with young athletes and how Derek integrates speed-focused, power drills into youth population’s training
  • You can follow Derek on Twitter at @DerekMHansen and Instagram at @DerekMHansen.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more
Page
LEARN HOW TO DEADLIFT
  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series