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Exercise(s) of the Week: Making the Most of Rotational Rows

Today's guest post comes from Cressey Sports Performance - Massachusetts coach Andrew Lysy.

The 1-arm Cable Rotational Row is a versatile exercise for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s a beneficial rowing variation for baseball players who have flat thoracic spines and struggle to get the scapula rotating around the rib cage. This rowing variation focuses more on the protraction and/or upward rotation of the scapula compared to retraction of the scapula, which is what you’d typically see in a conventional rowing exercise.

Another benefit of the rotational row is the ability to teach proper front hip loading and proper hip extension throughout the same exercise. Where you angle the cable is going to determine how much you load your front hip and how much scapular upward rotation you’ll be getting.

There are three main 1-arm Rotational Cable Row exercise variations that we use at CSP regularly:

1. 1-arm Rotational Cable Row – Eye Height: This variation is going to work on more scapular upward rotation and less on hip flexion.

2. 1-arm Rotational Cable Row – Chest Height: This variation is going to work on more scapular protraction and hip flexion than the eye height setting.

3. 1-arm Rotational Cable Row – Lowest Setting: This variation is going to focus more on hip flexion than the rest of the variations, because the cable pulls you into your front hip.

These variations are typically programmed in the beginning of a training session with power as the main focus. I’d suggest easing into the exercise at first, mastering the form before moving the weight faster. We typically program these exercises for 3-4 sets of 4-6 reps.

About the Author

Andrew Lysy was a right-handed pitcher at Rowan University, where he graduated with a degree in Health and Exercise Science. He was a former Cressey Sports Performance – Florida intern and is now a full time Strength and Conditioning Coach at Cressey Sports Performance – Massachusetts. He can be found on Instagram at @ALysyStrength.

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Kevin Youkilis

We're excited to welcome recently retired MLB infielder Kevin Youkilis to this week's podcast. We cover a range of topics, including how Kevin was overlooked during recruiting/scouting; how he moved quickly through the minor leagues; what learning opportunities players commonly overlook; and how he learned from some of the best hitters in the game. With him now involved in player development, "Youk" comments on the status quo and direction of the game, and reflects on the adjustments he's made to transition from player to coach/mentor.

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.

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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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Making Movement Better with Bill Hartman

We're excited to welcome physical therapist Bill Hartman to this week's podcast. Bill discusses how his approaches to training and rehabilitation have evolved over the years, and emphasizes the importance of range as a professional rather than early specialization. We converse on the common mistakes made with training rotational sport athletes, and delve into more complex topics like infrasternal angle and sacral positioning.

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 Bill became involved in the world of rehabilitation and how have his practices evolved since he first entered the field nearly 30 years ago
  • What tools have remained consistent throughout Bill’s professional career and how his perspective has changed despite this consistency
  • Why Bill is still constantly tweaking, adapting, and refining his processes as a physical therapist and how he is working to master his model and find true efficiency in his craft
  • Why professionals should be wary of specialization and should avoid limiting their perspective to the insights of one profession
  • Why the common hierarchical perspective of movement rehabilitation doesn’t capture how we truly drive adaptation in individuals
  • How coaches and rehab professionals alike can start at the ideal outcome and work backwards to create an actionable plan to drive change
  • Why asymmetry may actually be the recipe for elite athletic performance
  • What infrasternal angle is and how this measurement is utilized as an assessment tool
  • What specific insights does infrasternal angle give us for rotational athletes and their capabilities to move efficiently for their sport
  • What the two types of infrasternal presentations are and what action-based plan Bill has for dealing with each respectively
  • Why the dynamics of the rib cage are more important than static infrasternal angle presentation and how professionals can observe an individual's capacity for movement at the core of the body
  • Why the position of the sacrum is an overlooked factor for analyzing optimal movement
  • What sacral position demonstrates to professionals about an individual’s movement profile
  • Why quality training isn’t about changing someone but rather about reinforcing what someone was meant to do
  • Why exercise selection is vital for transforming athletes into the best version of themselves and how professionals can create programs for individuals that match their movement capabilities
  • How much strength is too much strength for athletes and how the dosage of training can drive adaptations that actually make an individual worse at their sport
  • Why defining the amount and rate of force production needed for a sport is essential for properly training athletes of the sport and how these insights set the parameters for training strategies
  • How blind exercise prescription and an overemphasis of strength training are limiting the capabilities of rotational athletes and what Bill’s big rocks for creating elite throwers are
  • Why more strength training is not always better and what key performance indicators professionals can monitor to maintain progress and limit the negative effects of training
  • Why strength training is not inherently bad, but professionals should be more particular about its implementation
  • What Bill’s key competencies for high level learners are and how you can be the best learner possible
  • What three books all performance professionals should read
  • What research Bill would like to see done to progress the field
  • You can follow Bill on Twitter at @BillHartmanPT and and Instagram at @BillHartmanPT. You can also learn more about him at www.BillHartmanPT.com.

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: Online September 22-24

We’re excited to announce that on Tuesday-Thursday, September 22-24, Pete Dupuis and I will be hosting our fifth CSP Business-Building Mentorship. For the first time, this event will be offered in an online format over Zoom. Pete and I have spent over 13 years 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 capping the number of attendees who participate. The event will run from 12pm-3pm Eastern time (Boston) each day so that we can account for attendees in many different time zones.

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

Day 1 – Introduction & Lead Generation

12:00pm – 12:30pm: Introduction: The Four Pillars of Fitness Business Success
12:30pm – 3:00pm: Lead Generation: Strategic Relationship Development, Identifying & Connecting with Opinion Leaders, Social Media Strategies

Day 2 – Lead Conversion & Business Operations (Part 1)

12:00pm - 1:00pm : Lead Conversion: CSP Selling Strategy & Methodology
1:00pm – 2:00pm: Operations: Accounting for Gym Owners – Guest Lecture from Mike Graham, Certified Public Accountant
2:00pm – 3:00pm: Operations: Internship Program Design & Execution

Day 3 – Business Operations (Part 2) & Long-Term Planning

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Operations: Hiring Protocols, Staff Development & Continuing Ed.
1:00pm – 2:00pm: Long-Term Planning: Lease Negotiation Considerations
2:00pm – 3:00pm: Long-Term Planning: Strategic Brand Dev., Evaluating Opportunities, SWOT Analysis

Note: we will include Q&A opportunities throughout the presentations and at the end of each day, so the 3:00pm is not a "hard stop" time.

Cost: $899.99

Click here to register using our 100% secure server.

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 8/1/20

It's time for another edition of recommended reading/listening from the strength and conditioning world:

Eric Cressey on coaching the individual, building a community of hard work and athlete best practices - I recently joined Lewis Hatchett on the Raising Your Game Podcast for a discussion on a variety of coaching topics.

How to Use the Stage System for Strength, Speed, and Size - Yesterday, I had a conversation with a client after he saw the rep scheme "3x3,1x6" plugged into his program - and it reminded me of this article I wrote about the stage system a while back. I figured today would be a good time to reincarnate it, in case you missed it the first time around.

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art - I just finished up this (audio)book from James Nestor, and found it to be a really good listen, particularly in the context of the history of breathing training/reeducation.

Top Tweet of the Week

Top Instagram Post of the Week

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New Cardinal Red CSP Elite Baseball Development Shirts

We're excited to announce a new color - cardinal red - with our popular Cressey Sports Performance Elite Baseball Development t-shirts (powered by New Balance Baseball). Here's the design:

These shirts are insanely comfortable and run true to size.

Each shirt is $24.99 + S&H. Click the links below to add shirts to your cart:

Small

Medium

Large

Extra Large

XXL

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Tom Koehler

We're excited to welcome recently retired MLB pitcher Tom Koehler to this week's podcast. Tom shares some great stories from his playing career, reflecting on how he developed - and how up-and-coming players and their parents and coaches can learn from his path.

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 growing up playing football and being raised in a blue collar family gave Tom an edge early in the game of baseball
  • How Tom became an 18th round draft pick out of Stony Brook
  • How Tom worked to make such a strong initial impression in pro ball and what adjustments he had to make to ascend through the ranks of minor league baseball
  • Why the biggest initial adjustment for Tom in professional baseball was throwing on a 5-day rotation and how finding a routine transformed the direction of his career
  • How entering affiliated baseball and throwing to wood bats impacted Tom’s outcomes
  • Why Tom reworked his off speed as he developed through pro ball and how he transformed two blending breaking balls into a hard slider and sharp curveball
  • How Tom eventually learned to throw a true slider
  • What grip and mental cues Tom used to continue to remain consistently nasty with these two different breaking pitches
  • How each of Tom’s pitches fit into his game plan on the mound and what specific counts and scenarios he looks to use each pitch
  • What level Tom found to be the toughest promotion in the minors and how the game changes as players progress to show ball
  • How Tom consistently made his starts every 5 days for nearly 8 years (2008-2017) and how finding a routine and having a bulldog mentality gave him 30+ starts in 3 of those 8 years (2014-2016)
  • Why Tom’s greatest attribute was his consistency and durability
  • Why the IL was more detrimental to Tom than other professional players and how Tom fought to never miss a start even on days he wasn’t 100%
  • How a shoulder capsule issue developed into a career ending injury and how Tom believes currently technology could have impact the derailing of his career
  • What TK’s Pitching Policy is and how your sweet spot on the mound is the balance between what your nastiest stuff is and what you can execute consistently
  • What value Tom finds in the new analytical side of baseball and how these numbers should be used to support your strengths as opposed to causing confusion in your ability
  • What Tom loves and hates about the direction the game of baseball is heading
  • How coaches can also learn to be more adaptable in their tactics and interventions and learn to recognize each player’s unique needs
  • You can follow Tom on Twitter at @TKRefresh22 and Instagram at @TKRefresh22.

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
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Understanding and Managing Ulnar Nerve Hypermobility

After an Instagram post of mine last week generated quite a few inquiries on how to manage ulnar nerve hypermobility, I thought I'd record a follow-up video to dig in a bit deeper on the topic.

If you're looking to learn a bit more about the structure and function of the elbow (particularly throwing elbows), my presentation, Everything Elbow, would also be worth checking out.

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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Exercise of the Week: Bottoms-up Kettlebell Arm Bar

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

The Kettlebell Arm Bar is an exercise you will commonly see performed in facilities across the country. Admittedly, it was an activity that we stayed away from for a period, mostly because of the population that we work with and the vulnerable position it could put them in. Many of the high-level pitchers that come to us have experienced anterior shoulder pain. Obviously, these symptoms could be present for a number of reasons, including a loose anterior capsule, labral tear, cranky biceps tendon, nerve-related issues, rotator cuff issues, or a most of other challenges. Regardless of what is causing the symptoms, one of our jobs as performance specialists is to make sure that we are making appropriate exercise selections and not provoking any of these symptoms. What we have found over time with the Kettlebell Arm Bar is that – when executed in a specific manner, at the right time, with appropriate loads – it gives us a lot of return on investment and has not provoked any of these symptoms with any of our athletes.

Many coaches utilize this exercise with their athletes for reflexive shoulder stability (irradiation) and rotary core stability benefits, which can be useful reasons to include them in a program. However, we can also use this activity to accomplish other important training outcomes if it is performed the way that is shown in the video below:

As physical therapist Bill Hartman has done a great job of demonstrating (and be sure to check his stuff out), when we can use internal forces (air pressure, fluid volumes, etc.,) to our advantage in order to help reshape the ribcage and improve scapulothoracic mechanics, that is where we can potentially restore shoulder range of motion without working directly on the joint. Certainly, there are manual interventions that may be necessary, but if we can assist in re-establishing normal joint mechanics with movement alone, I think that is extremely valuable. While many of our throwing athletes possess plenty of external rotation on their throwing shoulder (though we do sometimes see those who have limitations here as well), most will possess very limited internal rotation, especially after a long season. With this movement paired with specific breathing sequences, you can potentially improve shoulder motion in both directions. Traditionally, this movement was thought of as purely a “stability” exercise, but it just goes to show that how you implement or coach the exercise matters.

You may be wondering how heavy this exercise needs to be loaded. My simple answer to this is that if you struggle to breathe during the exercise, there is a good chance it’s too heavy. In that case, keep the goal the goal, and go down in weight. The kettlebell can be held in the normal position (bell is sitting on the outside of your wrists) or, as seen in the video, you can utilize the bottoms-up position to challenge the movement further. We typically like to use the KB Arm Bar in either the warm-up, or paired with medicine ball work for 2-3 sets of 4-6 reps/side.

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.

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Tackling Controversial Throwing Topics with Mike Reinold

We're excited to welcome physical therapist Mike Reinold to this week's podcast. Mike has extensive experience working with baseball players. In this episode, we take on two controversial topics in the world of managing throwers: the sleeper stretch and weighted baseballs. Mike and I collaborate to discuss whether they belong in your training and rehabilitation programs, and if so, how?

In lieu of a sponsor for this podcast, we're instead going to highlight our Functional Stability Training sale that's ongoing. Through this Sunday at midnight, you can get 25% off on this popular series with coupon code MLB2020EC at www.FunctionalStability.com.

Show Outline

  • Why baseball players lose internal rotation in their throwing shoulder
  • Why professionals should care more about total range of motion at the shoulder as opposed to just ER vs. IR
  • How Mike teaches professionals to assess shoulder range of motion and what common mistakes are being made when testing for this information
  • How clinical research has progressed our understanding of the loss of IR in throwing shoulders and how previous notions (such as a thickening of the posterior capsule) could not be further from the truth
  • Why giving baseball players more internal rotation may not be the answer for building healthy arms and why this strategy may cause more harm than good in throwing populations
  • What Mike’s thoughts on the sleeper stretch are and how his perspective on the drill have evolved since the beginning of his career
  • What is happening mechanically at the shoulder joint during the sleeper stretch
  • What the true occurrence of internal rotation deficit cases in Mike’s practice is and how he goes about resolving the issue
  • Why there is so much hype about weighted balls and how can we implement them safely in athletes’ throwing programs
  • What Mike’s research demonstrated with respect to weighted balls and what insights can we gain from Mike’s breakdown of the study and its execution
  • What specific physical adaptations throwing weighted balls creates and how the weight of the balls thrown impacts these outcomes
  • What immediate physical changes throwing weighted balls creates and how these changes may increase the risk for injury
  • Why athletes need to be well-trained and prepared to withstand the stress of throwing weighted balls before looking to push the limits of their physiology
  • How injuries in baseball have evolved from repetitive to traumatic and why the next generation of baseball is in danger
  • Why the answer for the abuse of arms across baseball calls for the education of coaches and how we can continue to find the right balance in throwing volume, frequency, and intensity for our athletes

You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeReinold and on Instagram at @MikeReinold, and learn more about Functional Stability Training at www.FunctionalStability.com. Again, the coupon code for 25% off is MLB2020EC.

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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