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Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Should Pitchers Distance Run?

I'm flying solo for this week's podcast, as I wanted to tackle a controversial topic in the world of baseball development: distance running. Before we get to it, though, 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

  • Why “traditionalism” is so rooted in baseball, leading to distance running becoming commonplace
  • How athletic performance is a multifactorial equation and coaches should avoid pinpointing success to one specific methodology and being married to the n=1 training approach
  • Why skill coaches need to appreciate the dynamic nature of exercise science and understand that what we know about training athletes is remarkably different from decades prior
  • How the athletes playing baseball have grown to be bigger and heavier over the decades and what the implications are for using outdated training practices with this new breed of baseball players
  • How physiological adaptations are incredibly specific
  • Why coaches need to better understand the energy system demands of baseball and employ methodologies that build an aerobic base rather than thrash their athletes and end up training the players anaerobically
  • Why clearing lactic acid is a poor excuse for using distance running and what the real reasons are for feeling fresh after long distance, low intensity running
  • Why building an aerobic base is necessary for athletic performance and vital for acute and chronic recovery
  • How training an aerobic base requires a much lower intensity than most athletes and coaches think
  • Why using a low amplitude, low variability movement, like distance running, is insufficient for training a high amplitude, low variability movement, like pitching
  • How coaches can implement more practical methods, such as mobility circuits, to drive adaptations, preserve strength and power qualities, and optimize recovery
  • When the ideal time is to target the aerobic system – and how these benefits can best be preserved throughout a season

Mentioned Resources: Building Aerobic Capacity with Mobility Circuits

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!

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Random Thoughts on Long-Term Fitness Industry Success – Installment 12

It's time for a new edition of my thoughts on the business of fitness. With Cressey Sports Performance turning 12 last week, it seemed timely. Before I get to it, just a friendly reminder that Pete Dupuis and I are hosting our fourth-ever CSP Business Building Mentorship on September, 23 2019 at our Hudson, MA facility on the day after our annual fall seminar. You can learn more HERE.

Now on to some business concepts...

1. Bigger isn't better; better is better.

There's a great segment in this comprehensive podcast with Naval Ravikant (founder of AngelList and accomplished angel investor) where he talks about the mistake people make when they chase status over wealth.

There are many examples of this in the fitness industry:

a. Gym owners want huge facilities so that they can take nice pictures and boast about the size of it - even though they're secretly frustrated that they can't possibly fill it with enough clients, and it feels quiet even when the gym is "busy."

b. Gym owners seek to get as many members as they can - and ultimately wind up lowering their price points to build that membership. In many cases, the membership goal just leads to a bunch of low-pricepoint tire kickers who devalue services, disrespect the facility/equipment, and magnify variable costs to the point that profitability is a big challenge. Remember: there is generally an inverse relationship between price point and complaints. The less people pay, the more problems they find; it's because they don't appreciate your value (which is a perception, not a calculation).

c. Gym owners look to grow a huge staff to position themselves as the cutting-edge leader of an empire. Behind the scenes, they're frustrated with all the staff headaches that come with leading a large team.

d. Folks chase giant social media followings (in many cases by buying followers) to build status - even though they might not actually deliver enough revenue to justify the time commitment to "cater to" that following. Doesn't it say a lot that Naval - who is an investor at Twitter - even comments on this?

You'll get varying opinions on this, but personally, I think you're better off taking home 50% of a $500,000/year fitness business than net 5% on a $5 million/year one. Gyms don't sell as well down the road as giant technology companies do, and most gym owners aren't as savvy at building long-term business value as they think they are. I think most folks in this industry are better off embracing shorter-term profitability and minimizing headaches ("better") than they are chasing massive growth and risk ("bigger").

If you need a real-life example that we reflect on often, it's the concept of franchising. We get daily inquiries about franchising Cressey Sports Performance to new locations around the country, and are steadfast in our resistance to do so. Franchises can be high reward if you open enough of them and put in a ton of leg work to establish systems, but the thought of having 25-30 locations around the country just isn't appealing to Pete and me at this point in time. Doing so would be chasing big, when the truth is that we have better ideas on how we'll chase "better" with a most sustainable strategy for building the CSP brand that's more in line with our quality of life.

In short, don't be big for the sake of being big. Be big because it fits with your lifestyle and it builds actual wealth - or just be happy staying smaller.

2. Embrace seasonality.

I used to hate our quiet season. It drove me bonkers to have a facility that was really quiet during the baseball season. And, I hated the uncertainty that came with wondering whether all our baseball players would actually return to training when the season settled down. Now, 12 years after we first opened our doors, I've come to recognize that seasonality can actually be a blessing to one's business.

First, quiet time provides invaluable opportunities for long-term planning. This can range from facility improvements to staff continuing education.

Second, quiet periods often give you an opportunity to connect with clients in different environments. For us, that means sending our staff out to cheer on our athletes at games. We support them, meet/see their families, and continue to build top of mind awareness in the community; it's win/win for everyone involved. And, our staff gets out for some fresh air while on the clock.

Third, I've found that there is a staff bonding that occurs around crazy hours. It's not uncommon to see our staff members hanging out in the office together after long days on the floor during our busiest times. As I think back on some of my favorite CSP memories over the years, they often relate to the business, most hectic times we've been through together. We often joke about working overnight - and tearing up our hands as we moved flooring - in moving CSP 1.0 to CSP 2.0 back in 2008.

Don't resent the really busy or really quiet times. They're making memories and giving you opportunities to develop your business and relationships in different ways.

Wrap-up

If you've found value in these insights, I think you might enjoy the upcoming Business Building Mentorship Pete Dupuis and I will be hosting on Monday, September 23 . It's a tax deductible expense if you're a fitness business owner, and we'd guarantee that the lessons learned will more than pay for the cost of attendance. You can learn more HERE. - and registration includes free admission to the fall seminar.

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Brandon Kintzler

We're excited to welcome Chicago Cubs reliever Brandon Kintzler to this week's podcast. 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 Brandon progressed from being a two-time 40th round draft pick out of Dixie State University to an MLB All-Star (while being released and going to Independent ball along the way)
  • How training to be healthy and durable allowed him to become a student of the game, recover from his injuries, and find success in pro ball
  • How Brandon has learned to effectively throw a sinker
  • Why having good direction in your delivery and mastering your lower half mechanics is essential to be able to stay behind the baseball, create late arm speed, and power through a two-seam fastball
  • Why Brandon chooses to stick to his strengths and hold firm in his belief in the effectiveness of his two-seam even while so many MLB pitchers shift toward 4-seamers
  • How Brandon’s velocity has steadily increased since coming back from injury and why he chooses to live in his sweet spot for velocity rather than throwing as hard as he possibly can
  • Why Brandon is throwing more off-speed pitches in recent years and how simplifying his mechanics have allowed him to have more consistent, repeatable stuff
  • Why Brandon struggled in the 2018 season and how straying from his game plan to chase more strikeouts turned out to be detrimental to his game
  • Where Brandon is most misunderstood by the public and why he has chosen to spend his energy being his genuine self rather than worrying about his image portrayed by the media
  • How beating Steve Cishek in a round of golf has led to a hilarious prank war between the two teammates
  • How Brandon has developed a relationship with Cy Young Award winner, Max Scherzer, and how the two challenge each other to be better pitchers year in and year out

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!

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Cressey Sports Performance Business Building Mentorship: September 23, 2019

We’re excited to announce that on Monday, September 23, we’ll be hosting our fourth CSP Business-Building Mentorship, a day of learning with Pete Dupuis and me. This event will take place at our Hudson, MA location the day after our annual fall seminar. Pete and I have spent nearly a decade crafting the operational systems and strategies that fuel CSP today, and we’re excited to pull back the curtain for fellow gym owners.

It is our intention to foster an environment conducive to learning and the exchanging of ideas, so we will be limiting participation to 30 individuals.

Here’s a look at our agenda for the day:

8:30am: Registration & Coffee

Morning Session – Lead Generation & Conversion

9:00am – 9:30am: Introduction: The Four Pillars of Fitness Business Success
9:30am – 10:30am: Lead Generation: Strategic Relationship Development, Identifying & Connecting with Opinion Leaders, Social Media Strategies
10:30am - 11:00am: Q&A
11:00am - 12:00pm: Lead Conversion: CSP Selling Strategy & Methodology
12:00pm - 1:00pm: Lunch (provided)

Afternoon Session – Business Operations & Long-Term Planning

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Operations: Accounting for Gym Owners – Guest Lecture from CSP’s CPA, Tom Petrocelli
2:00pm – 2:30pm: Operations: Internship Program Design & Execution
2:30pm – 3:00pm: Operations: Hiring Protocols, Staff Development & Continuing Ed.
3:00pm – 3:30pm: Long-Term Planning: Lease Negotiation Considerations
3:30pm – 4:30pm: Long-Term Planning: Strategic Brand Dev., Evaluating Opportunities, SWOT Analysis
4:30pm – 6:00pm: Q&A

Cost: $899.99 (includes free admission to CSP Fall Seminar on Sunday, September 22) 

SOLD OUT!

To be placed on the waiting list, please email cspmass@gmail.com.

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Register Now for the 8th Annual Cressey Sports Performance Fall Seminar!

We're very excited to announce that on Saturday-Sunday, September 21-22, we’ll be hosting our eighth annual fall seminar at Cressey Sports Performance. As was the case with our extremely popular fall event over the past seven years, this event will showcase the great staff we're fortunate to have as part of our team. Also like last year, we want to make this an affordable event for everyone and create a great forum for industry professionals and fitness enthusiasts alike to interact, exchange ideas, and learn. We're happy to have Perform Better as our official sponsor again this year as well.

Here are the presentation topics:

Guest Keynote Speaker: Jonathan Goodman -- Online Training: The 3 Frameworks You Must Have to Get Started with this Massive Opportunity

If you think that you're competing, then you've already lost. In this presentation, you will learn the core truths guaranteed to get you online fitness clients, and get them amazing results. Battle-tested over 6 years with 10,000+ coaches in 83 countries, you'll be introduced to the 3 foundational frameworks every highly effective (and wealthy) online coach must have.

Eric Cressey -- Spine-Sparing Training Strategies

Not all spines are the same, so not all programming and coaching strategies are universally applicable across all populations. Eric delves into the lessons he's learned with training rotational sport athletes, strength sport competitors, and general fitness clients alike over the years - all while picking heavy stuff up off the floor over and over again himself over 15 years of powerlifting training.

Pete Dupuis -- Fine-Tuning the Semi-Private Training Model

The semi-private training concept has gone mainstream in the fitness space since CSP first opened its doors in the summer of 2007. Now that this format has infiltrated a considerable chunk of the industry, it’s time to talk about how to clean up your delivery and execution of the model. In this presentation, Pete will highlight common misconceptions about semi-private training, potential pitfalls in the process, and how to best position the service in the minds of your consumers.

Andrew Lysy -- Psychology of Coaching

The relationship between the coach and the athlete is a vital aspect of training. Without trust, understanding and learning can be a very bumpy road. In this discussion, Andrew will cover ways to gain your athlete/client's trust, and, in turn, strategies for relationship building to help facilitate short- and long-term success for the athlete.

Andrew Millett -- Making Sense of ACL Rehab

In his presentation, Cressey Sports Performance on-site physical therapist Andrew Millett will go into detail about what to do with the athlete recovering from an ACL reconstruction. He has worked with countless athletes who have recovered and returned to their respective sport following ACL reconstruction. Emphasis will be placed not only the early stages of rehab, but also the progression through the rehab, strength and conditioning, plyometrics and return to sport.

Cole Russo -- Applied Principles of Plyometrics

Plyometrics are recognized for their ability to improve performance and decrease the risk for injury. Cole will talk about how to translate the principles into application; in other words, how to bring the stretch-shortening cycle to life! The presentation will feature a review of the literature, guidelines for prescription, and coaching plyometrics. The second portion of the presentation will be a practical, featuring live demonstrations.

Drew Cobin --Embracing the Basics: A Fundamental Approach to Strength Training

In this presentation, Drew will illustrate a clear and concise ground-up and task-related approach to coaching resistance training that can be found day in and day out on the gym floor of Cressey Sports Performance. He'll then demonstrate how to communicate more effectively to deliver your message to clients of varying fitness levels and goals. Attendees can expect to walk away with a simple fundamental approach to coaching resistance training that can help make things easier on the client and the coach.

**Bonus 2:30-5:30PM Saturday Session**

John O'Neil and Kyle Driscoll -- Inside CSP's Programming Philosophy

In this presentation, John and Kyle take a deep dive into the most common overarching programming concepts used at CSP, with a specific focus on power training. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions and participate, as this will be an interactive, discussion-based portion of the seminar.

Location:

Cressey Sports Performance
577 Main St.
Suite 310
Hudson, MA 01749

Cost:

Regular Rate $159.99

Student Rate $129.99

Date/Time:

Sunday, September 22, 2019
Registration 8:30AM
Seminar 9AM-5PM

**Bonus session Saturday, September 21, 2:30-5:30pm

Continuing Education

We've been approved for 0.9 National Strength and Conditioning Association CEUs (9 contact hours).

Click Here to Sign-up (Regular)

or

Click Here to Sign-up (Students)

We’re really excited about this event, and would love to have you join us! However, space is limited and most seminars we’ve hosted in the past have sold out quickly, so don’t delay on signing up!

If you have additional questions, please direct them to cspmass@gmail.com. Looking forward to seeing you there!

PS - If you're looking for hotel information, The Extended Stay America in Marlborough, MA offers our clients a heavily discounted nightly rate. Just mention "Cressey" during the booking process in order to secure the discount. Their booking phone number is 508-490-9911.

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 7/15/19

I've finally gotten this feature back on an early-in-the-week publication schedule! Here's some good stuff from around the 'Net of late:

Complete Speed and Agility Coach Certification - I've commented on numerous occasions how much I like this resource and accompanying certification from Lee Taft. It's on sale for $150 off this week and definitely worth the investment.

It Took Me Ten years to Become an Overnight Success - A recent conversation reminded me of this article my business partner, Pete Dupuis, wrote a few years ago. It's an important one for the up-and-comers in our field.

The Value of Self-Doubt - I enjoyed this podcast from Brett Bartholomew at The Art of Coaching. It's a great listen for both novice and more experienced coaches. I loved him arguing FOR imposter syndrome in an era where everyone is positioned as an expert.

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Tall athletes have much less wiggle room with their setup than shorter athletes do, as long levers can make weights feel heavier, and more range-of-motion equates to more opportunity for things to go wrong. This is especially true when it comes to pulling from the ground. On the left, you'll see @joerock___ (who is 6-7) round over and try to use the bar to pull himself into a good starting position - but he doesn't quite get to where he needs to go. On the right, we reach the arms out in front as a counterbalance, and have him descend to the bar without ever giving up an optional torso posture. The best way to firm up good positions is to never allow bad positions to take place. Swipe left for the actual set (good work, Joe!). . . . #cspfamily #deadlift #trapbar

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Blake Treinen

We're excited to welcome Oakland A's reliever Blake Treinen to this week's podcast. 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 Blake began his baseball career at a small NAIA college in Kansas and why he chose to leave to attempt to walk on at a Division 1 program
  • Why Blake was forced to take a year off from baseball and what lessons he learned from taking the time to step away from the game to train and
  • How Blake’s time away from organized baseball allowed him to add much needed size, prioritize learning to throw with intent, and understand his optimal mechanics on a trial and error basis
  • What lead Blake to walk on at South Dakota State University and how he progressed to MLB draft prospect throwing a mid-90s fastball
  • How Blake’s faith in God has propelled him to the success he has had in baseball and been a vital key to his success through the tribulations of his career
  • How being passed up by the Miami Marlins turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Blake and how he ended being drafted by the Oakland A’s the following year
  • What cues Blake has adopted to reinforce his consistent, effortless mechanics and how has learned to master creating late arm speed
  • How training at CSP helped and training functional exercise/core exercise helped Treinen become a more effortless, compact pitcher
  • How Blake approaches pitch design and developing various pitches
  • How Blake developed a cutter and the work that went in to trusting to us it in game
  • How Blake developed a one seam and how future sinker ballers can find success
  • How the evolution of the cutter has transformed the way current pitchers are attacking the launch angle evolution and attacking hitters inside
  • What the hardest adjustments were for Blake as he transitioned from starter to reliever
  • How Blake structures his daily throwing routine
  • How Blake mentally prepares for each outing

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!

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 7/9/19

I'm going to try to get back on an early-in-the-week publication calendar for this weekly feature, so here's your list of recommended reading/listening.

Functional Stability Training - Just a friendly reminder that this popular series from Mike Reinold and me is on sale for 25% off through the end of the day on Wednesday. Just enter the coupon code allstar2019cressey HERE.

Gym Owner Musings - Pete Dupuis never disappoints with these random (but excellent) insights on the business side of fitness.

Range - This book from David Epstein has been recommended to me by several people over the past month, so I'm just digging in now. I'm excited to check it out.

Stuart McGill on the Physical Preparation Podcast - Stu was a guest on my podcast last week (check it out here), and as it turns out, he had an interview with Mike Robertson published recently, too. This is a good listen.

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Movement vs. Medical Diagnoses

Recently, during my weekly Instagram Q&A, I received this question:

"Have you ever dealt with valgus extension overload syndrome and how?"

My initial response was, "Absolutely - and with every single overhead throwing athlete I've ever encountered."

You see, "valgus extension overload" simply described the two most common injury mechanisms in throwers. Your elbow can get hurt at lay-back (max shoulder external rotation) or full elbow extension. This terminology doesn't describe a specific tissue pathology, nor an underlying movement competency that is insufficient and therefore allowing an individual to become symptomatic. To me, it's a completely incomplete "diagnosis." Let's dig deeper.

You have medical diagnoses and movement diagnoses. Both are important.

A medical diagnosis might be a rotator cuff tear, MCL sprain, or tibial fracture. These deviations speak directly to the damaged tissue and relate the severity of this structural change.

A movement diagnosis (popularized by physical therapist Shirley Sahrmann) might be scapular downward rotation syndrome, femoral anterior glide syndrome, or lumbar extension-rotation syndrome. These diagnoses speak to the deviation from normal movement that’s observed.

At times, both types of diagnoses are bastardized.

On the medical side, examples would include “shoulder impingement,” “shin splints,” and “valgus-extension overload.” All of these flawed medical diagnoses speak to a region of the body, but not a specific structure.

On the movement side, examples would be vague things like “weak posterior chain,” “scapular dyskinesis,” or “poor stability.” They don’t speak to the specific movement competencies that need to be improved.

I'm all for simplifying things as much as possible. However, diagnosis is an area where oversimplifying is completely inappropriate. Diagnosis is what establishes the road map for the journey you're about to begin - so make sure to eliminate any guesswork in this regard, whether it's on the medical or movement side of things.

Looking to learn more about how we assess and correct movement inefficiencies - and relate them to the rehabilitation and prevention of common medical diagnoses? Be sure to check out the Functional Stability Training series from Mike Reinold and me. It's on sale for 25% off through this Tuesday at midnight. Just head to THIS LINK and enter coupon code allstar2019cressey to get the discount.

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 7/3/19

I hope you're having a great holiday week. I'm long overdue with a list of recommended reading, so I've luckily got some good stuff stockpiled.

Keeping the Fun in Children's Sports - This was a great piece in the New York Times that summarizes some new findings from an American Academy of Pediatrics report on organized sports.

Why We Sleep - Brandon Marcello recommended this book when he came on the podcast (listen to his interview here), and it hasn't disappointed. I'd highly recommend it.

The Language of Coaching - Nick Winkelman put up his slides from this year's Perform Better presentations, and he's got some great information on optimizing coaching cues.

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*Exhale fully to get more out of your anti-extension core exercises and shoulder flexion mobility drills.* 👇 One of the central points of the @posturalrestoration philosophy is that folks who live in a gross extension pattern (forward head posture, excessive lordosis, anterior pelvic tilt, plantarflexed ankles, etc.) live in a constant state of inhalation. In other words, they have absolutely no idea how to get air out. When you exhale, your ribs should come down, so the best time to challenge this function is when the arms are flexed overhead, as folks with an anterior-weight-bearing tendency often "flare" the ribs up during this overhead reach. It's challenging enough for folks with these heavily ingrained habits to get their arms overhead in a neutral spine position, but ask them to exhale in this position and you'll make folks feel inadequate really fast. Here's a good progression you can use, from mobility drills to stability ones. Exhale fully at the position in each drill when the arms are overhead (lats are on the biggest stretch): Bench T-Spine Mobs -> Dead Bugs -> Back to Wall Shoulder Flexion -> Tall Kneeling TRX Fallouts . . . #cspfamily #mobility

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