Home Blog Quick and Easy Ways to Feel and Move Better: Installment 59

Quick and Easy Ways to Feel and Move Better: Installment 59

Written on July 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm, by Eric Cressey

It's time to rock and roll with a new installment of quick tips you can put into action with your nutrition and strength and conditioning programs:

1. Enjoy some cherries!

Cherries are in-season right now in the Northeast, and my wife and I have been enjoying them regularly. In addition to being really tasty and loaded with nutrients and some fiber, there is actually a bit of research to suggest that eating them may help us overcome muscular soreness. Granted, working around the cherry pits is a bit of a pain in the butt - especially if you want to use them in a shake - but it's still worth the effort. Enjoy!


2. Watch baggy shorts with kettlebell swings.

Rugby players and female athletes excluded, most athletes prefer longer shorts that are a bit baggier these days. I don't anticipate a return to the era of Rocky and Apollo anytime soon, so it's important to appreciate this fashion sense and coach accordingly.

The biggest issue with baggy shorts is that they can get in the way on exercises like kettlebell swings and pull-throughs where you want to keep the weighted implement (kettlebell or rope/cable) close to the family jewels. When the shorts are too baggy, they can actually get in the way.  With that in mind, when an athlete is wearing baggy shorts and performing these exercises, it's best to have him folder over the waistband a bit so that the material won't block the movement path.

3. Find your biggest windows of adaptation.

Dr. John Berardi gave a great presentation at the Perform Better Summit in Chicago last weekend, and while there were a lot of outstanding points, one stood out the most for me. While "JB" is an incredibly bright guy with seemingly infinite knowledge, he never overcomplicates things when counseling folks on the nutrition side of things.  In fact, he stressed fixing the most glaring problems for individuals before even considering anything more "sexy." On the nutrition side of things, it might be as simple as correcting vitamin/mineral deficiencies, getting omega-3 fatty acids in, improving hydration status, or eating protein at every meal.  When things like these are out of whack, it doesn't matter what your macronutrient ratios or, or whether you eat two or six times per day.

It got me to thinking about how we can best apply this to training. One thing that popped to mind: a lot of people jump to advanced training strategies when they simply haven't gotten strong in the first place. If you are a male and only bench press 135 pounds, you don't need wave loading, drop sets, German Volume training, or accommodating resistances; you just need to show up and keep adding weight to the bar each week with straight sets, as boring as they may seem. And, if you aren't training very hard or frequently enough, you need to increase your effort, not find a fancier program.

Likewise, there are a lot of people who look to add, add, and add to their training volume, but never pay attention to recovery. If you're sleeping three hours a night or eating a horrible diet, a lack of training volume probably isn't what is keeping you from reaching your goals.

The takeaway message is that everyone has different windows of adaptation where they can improve. And, what a novice lifter needs is usually much different than what an experienced trainee should incorporate.

4. If you're going to sprint, start on the grass.

It's an awesome time of year to get out and do your conditioning in the beautiful weather. For me, this means I get to get outside and do longer sprints than I can do the rest of the year when the weather is less than stellar and I'm limited to a 45-yard straightaway at the facility. A common mistake I see among folks at this time of year, though, is heading right out to the track or an even more unforgiving surface: pavement. If you want to start sprinting, grass is your best friend - and it's even better if you can find a slight hill up which you can sprint. For more tips on this front, check out my old article, So You Want to Start Sprinting?

5. Try some band-resisted broad jumps before deadlifting.

Whenever I'm not feeling so hot when I first go to deadlift, it's usually because I just haven't warmed up thoroughly enough. I've found that the bar speed almost always seems to "come around" when I add in a few sets of plyos before returning to try deadlifts again. Without a doubt, my favorite option on this front is band-resisted broad jumps:

These are a great option because they offer a little bit of resistance to push you more toward the strength-speed end of the continuum, but perhaps more importantly, the band reduces the stress you encounter on landing, as it effectively deloads you. Next time you're dragging and it's time to deadlift, try two sets of five jumps.

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8 Responses to “Quick and Easy Ways to Feel and Move Better: Installment 59”

  1. Kian Says:

    I disagree with you on the shorts concept.

    Ricky’s shorts are on the rise: http://www.chubbiesshorts.com/collections/chubbies-sport

  2. Daniella Dayoub Says:

    Always appreciate the reminders to keep it simple! It drives me nuts seeing twelve lunge variations done with clients that have no idea how to even split-squat. That said, I need the gentle reminder to always go back to basics even with the most advanced athletes.

  3. Brian Meisenburg Says:


    Great article. As always great information!


    Brian Meisenburg

  4. Shane Says:

    That video……. wow its a classic. Didn’t need that image. Love the deadlift tip. Will use that next time i lift. Thanks

  5. Alen Ron Says:

    I tried the deadlift tip myself and i must tell you that it feels better than watching this video when you do it yourself and the video here is a great guide on hoe you can do it.

  6. greg Says:

    A friend of mine decides once a year to have a good consistent 2-ish month long run at resistance work, before retiring again until 2 months before the next beach holiday approaches.

    Last time around he decided to do german volume training. I did try to explain why he probably shouldn’t. I finally got him to just experiment with a basic 5 x 5 but it just wouldn’t do as he’s wasn’t ruined at the end of each session and he actually felt refreshed. Energised after a workout? Loco! Cue next 9.5 months off training.
    Another friend decided last year that the ‘Insanity’ workout was the way to go after a long break from ‘training’. Insanity indeed.
    Sometimes people just dont want to listen and i no longer bother telling.
    Thankfully Eric, you share your wealth of knowledge for those of us who do listen.

  7. Eric Cressey Says:

    Thanks, Greg! Sad, but typical.

  8. Eric Cressey Says:

    Thanks, Alen! Glad it worked out.

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