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Kansas City Announcement: April 18, 2019

I just wanted to give you a heads-up on one-day seminar with me in Kansas City Saturday, April 18, 2020.

Cressey scapula

We’ll be spending the day geeking out on shoulders, as the event will cover Shoulder Assessment, Corrective Exercise, and Programming.  The event will be geared toward personal trainers, strength and conditioning professionals, rehabilitation specialists, and fitness enthusiasts alike.


9:00AM-9:30AM – Inefficiency vs. Pathology (Lecture)
9:30AM-10:15AM – Understanding Common Shoulder Injuries and Conditions (Lecture)
10:15AM-10:30AM – Break
10:30AM-12:30PM – Upper Extremity Assessment (Lab)
12:30PM-1:30PM – Lunch
1:30PM-3:30PM – Upper Extremity Mobility/Activation/Strength Drills (Lab)
3:30PM-3:45PM – Break
3:45PM-4:45PM – Upper Extremity Strength and Conditioning Programming: What Really Is Appropriate? (Lecture)
4:45PM-5:00PM – Q&A to Wrap Up


Elite Sports Mall
2115 East Kansas City Road
Olathe, KS

Continuing Education Credits

This event has previously been approved for 0.7 CEUs through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and our application for this event is in the works.

Cost: $149.99 Early Bird (through March 18), $199 Regular (after March 18)

Click here to register using our 100% secure server!

Note: we'll be capping the number of participants to ensure that there is a lot of presenter/attendee interaction - particularly during the hands-on workshop portion - so be sure to register early, as previous offerings of this evan have sold out well in advance of the early-bird registration deadline.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Questions? Please email ec@ericcressey.com.

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 1/7/20

Happy New Year! Here are a few good listens and reads to kick off 2020:

Eric Cressey: Fatherhood and Forward Thinking - I was a guest on the Art of Coaching podcast with Brett Bartholomew and really enjoyed it. Here's the finished product.

When and How Static Stretching Can Actually Work - Dean Somerset kicked off 2020 with an outstanding post that highlights just how challenging it can be to get static stretching to work for you. Hint: set aside a loooooooong time.

Power Moves - I just finished up this quick audiobook by Adam Grant, and it was outstanding. I'd highly recommend it regardless of the industry in which you work. It's only available as a listen, and I actually think it's better in this medium than as a book.

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The Best of 2019: Guest Posts

I've already highlighted the top articles and videos I put out at EricCressey.com in 2019, so now it's time for the top guest posts of the year. Here goes…

1. The Biggest Mistake in Program Design - Kevin Neeld, Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, reminds us to make sure that our programs evolve as our knowledge and experience in the field accumulate.

2. 5 Non-Traditional Exercises for Catchers - CSP-Florida Director of Performance Tim Geromini works with all our catchers in Florida, and he's devised some creative ways to help them feel, move, and play better. This article includes a few of them.

3. 10 Reasons We Use Wall Slides - Wall slide variations are a mainstay in all of our upper body training and rehabilitation programs. Eric Schoenberg, who serves as the physical therapist at our Palm Beach Gardens, FL location, shares why that's the case.

4. 5 Great Kettlebell Exercises for Baseball Players - Dan Swinscoe is a great physical therapist in the Seattle area, and in this article, he shares some of the KB variations he likes to use with his baseball players.

5. Exercise of the Week: Side Bridge with Top Leg March - CSP-Massachusetts coach Cole Russo shared this great lateral core stability progression. We're using it a lot this offseason.

I'll be back soon with the top strength and conditioning features from 2019.

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The Best of 2019: Strength and Conditioning Videos

With my last post, I kicked off the "Best of 2019" series with my top articles of the year. Today, we'll highlight the top five videos of the year.

1. Glute-Ham Raise with Banded Reach

If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I'm a big fan of training the posterior chain and also working on getting serratus anterior firing to improve scapular upward rotation. So, you can imagine how excited I am to present to you a video that hits both. Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard offered a great demo: 

2. Subscapularis 101

The subscapularis is the largest of the four rotator cuff muscles, but it might also be the most misunderstood. This excerpt from my Sturdy Shoulder Solutions resource will bring you up to speed on it.

3. 1-leg Dumbbell Pullover - The 1-leg dumbbell pullover is a nice variation on a classic. It’ll add a rotary stability challenge to what is normally considered an upper body and anterior core drill. I’m using this variation a bit more in the late offseason (with throwing volume and intensity ramping up), as you can get a good training effect with less external loading.

4. Half-kneeling Cable Lift with Flexion-Rotation Hold

The half-kneeling cable lift w/flexion-rotation hold is a new variation on an old drill, and we've been implementing it quite a bit with athletes this year. It's a creation of CSP-FL co-founder and pitching coordinator Brian Kaplan.

5. Landmine Squat to 1-arm Press

It's not secret that I love landmine presses, and this is a great progression. This drill fits well as a first exercise on a full body day and pairs well with horizontal or vertical pulling. I really like it late in the offseason when we’re trying to keep sessions a bit shorter and get extra bang for our training buck. I’d do sets of 3-5 reps per side.

I'll be back soon with the top guest posts of 2019!

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The Best of 2019: Strength and Conditioning Articles

With 2019 winding down, I'm using this last week of the year to direct you to some of the most popular content of the past 12 months at EricCressey.com, as this "series" has been quite popular over the past few years. Today, we start with the most popular articles of the year; these are the pieces that received the most traffic, according to my hosting statistics.

1. The Most Important Coaching Responsibility - Coaches are some of the most important influences in young athletes' lives on a number of fronts. In this post, I focused on what I believe to be the single most important responsibility of a coach.

2. 3 Thoughts for Getting the Glutes Going -This was a big hit with all the functional anatomy nerds out there.

3. The 4 Most Common Barbell Hip Thrust Technique Mistakes - I’m a fan of barbell hip thrusts. Like most exercises, though, there are some common technique pitfalls. Check them out in this article.

4. Mid-Week Movement Miscellany - This was a collection of random thoughts on movement that unexpectedly proved to be a big hit. I might have to turn it into a regular series.

5. Why Fitness Industry Hiring is Different Than What You Think It Is - The fitness industry is different than other industries on a number of fronts, and approaches to hiring are one such example. Here's why.

I'll be back soon with another "Best of 2019" feature. Up next, the top videos of the year!

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 12/16/19

We skipped a week of recommended reading/listening, but the good news is that it gave me some time to stockpile some good stuff for you!

Trusting the New Coach: A Challenging Conversation with Clients - This might be my favorite article my business partner, Pete Dupuis, has ever written. That's because it's one of the biggest challenges our business has faced over the past 12 years, and he's navigated it masterfully. If you own or manage a training facility, this is a must-read.

Keith Baar on the Physical Preparation Podcast - Mike Robertson's interview with Keith was fascinating, as he's done some great research on tendon function and adaptation.

Adam Grant: The Man Who Does Everything - This was an outstanding podcast from Tim Ferriss with Adam Grant on the topic of time management. Regardless of your industry, you'll take away some great nuggets.

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7 Small Business Saturday Sentiments

Every year at this time, as a way to celebrate entrepreneurs fighting the good fight in a retail world of corporate giants, "Small Business Saturday" is sandwiched right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I love the concept, as I've been around small businesses my entire life. My father owned one, my in-laws had one, my brother owns one, my wife owns one, and I'm part of three separate LLCs myself.

I've always been fascinated by looking at what differentiates the ones that thrive from the ones that don't. This chart from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is pretty sobering.

Having co-owned gyms for over 12 years now, I'm particularly intrigued about what makes small businesses successful in the fitness industry. Here are a few quick observations on fitness businesses that have "made it."

1. They prioritized systems early.

A lot of people get in to the gym business because they enjoy working out and think it'd be fun to run a fitness facility. The problem is that when you're just exercising, you fail to see all the behind the scenes that takes place to keep the trains running on time. The best businesses I've seen set up sustainable systems early so that they can handle growth without having to overhaul their operations.

2. They have a strong owner presence, especially early on.

I know the owner of a restaurant that opened in our town about nine months ago. It's a spot where we'll pick up a healthy dinner to go for the family about once a week, and I ate takeout from there pretty much non-stop when our daughter was born in March. Every time I've gone in - regardless of time of day - he's behind the counter. He interacts with customers, mentors employees, keeps an eye on the cleanliness of the place. It's a huge time investment, but it's the right thing to do to ensure quality control early on, and that systems and expectations of acceptable are established early on.

For some reason, the opposite of this commonly happens in the fitness industry. Many gym start-up owners think fitness businesses are far more "turn key" than they really are, so they take a lot more time away from the operation sooner in its existence. I know it was well over two years in business before my business partner, Pete, and I were both away from Cressey Sports Performance on the same day.

This number might be a bit extreme, but this statement isn't: a strong owner presence drives success on many fronts in any business, but particularly the fitness industry.

3. They compete on offering, not price.

Ask any mom-and-pop pharmacy that got crushed by Walmart in the past few decades how competing on price has worked out, and you'll understand where this is going. Just remember that in many small communities with five different bootcamp-style workout options, competing on price is the quickest way to the bottom. You're always better off differentiating yourself based on offering.

4. They drive business via marketable, differentiated skills - not just passion.

I've written extensively (here and here) on why I don't think passion for fitness alone is a good reason for starting a gym. The most successful fitness businesses out there have other things they do really well; passion just helps to deliver these benefits more consistently and with a better culture. Over the long term, it's hard to "out-passion" a terrible business model or poor training, though.

5. How they do one thing is how they do everything.

Any time I go into a new gym to train while I'm traveling, I take note of whether the person at the front desk (if there even is one), asks me to sign a waiver and health history. To me, it's kind of like a tripwire that alerts me to whether or not they have attention to detail in everything from equipment maintenance, to cleanliness, to staff education. If you're totally cool with overlooking something that important, you're probably missing a lot of other "big rocks."

6. They're authentic.

The staff at CSP and Mark Fisher Fitness have a host of awesome, decade-long friendships even though our client demographics are nothing alike: baseball players and Broadway performers, respectively. MFF's staff does a phenomenal job engaging their clients with crazy outfits, risqué jokes, and bright facility color schemes. These initiatives perform incredibly well for them, but would fail miserably for us with our baseball guys. Conversely, their clients aren't going to nerd out about fastball spin axis, scapular upward rotation, and positional breathing the way our baseball clients do. Both businesses are authentic to what they do well, but that doesn't mean our models are universally applicable across the industry. 

7. They're consistent.

Our landlord once said, "Your clients hire and fire you every day." It's a phrase that's really stuck with me. The best fitness businesses I've seen are the ones that don't have lulls in the client experience, facility look, or quality of training even though over time, all these things tend to "slide" if you let them. Earlier this week, I had my first sick day in 12 years of business, and it made me realize that it had less to do with an impressive immunity strategy, and more to do with the fact that I never want to miss an opportunity for us to get better. The attendance might be excessive, but the lesson can't possibly be overstated.

In wrapping up, I should mention that this small business is having some sales this weekend. Head HERE to learn more about our ongoing 25% off sale on many of my products; it wraps up Monday at midnight. Thanks for your support!

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2019 Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales!

Just like everyone else on the planet, I'm offering some great Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. We're just going to kick it off a week early so you have time to sort through it all! From now through next Monday (12/2) at midnight, you can get 25% off the following resources by using the coupon code BF2019 at checkout.

These eight resources can be purchased through my secure website:

Sturdy Shoulder Solutions - My most recent product release delves going into a ton of depth on some important topics with respect to upper extremity evaluation, programming, and training. Learn more HERE.

CSP Innovations - A collaborative effort by the Cressey Sports Performance staff about a variety of topics. Learn more HERE.

The Specialization Success Guide - A great resource for those looking to pursue strength gains on the big three (squat, bench press, deadlift). Learn more HERE.

The Ultimate Offseason Training Manual - This was the first book I wrote, and it's stood the test of time because of how much of the writing was based on principles that'll last forever. Learn more HERE.

Understanding and Coaching the Anterior Core - A presentation that will bring you up to speed on an important aspect of core training for health and high performance. Learn more HERE.

The Truth About Unstable Surface Training - This e-book covers one of the more controversial topics in the training and rehabilitation worlds today. Learn more HERE.

Everything Elbow - A quick presentation that highlights the key aspects of taking care of throwing elbows. Learn more HERE.

The Art of the Deload - A special report that helps you sort through various approaches to deloading in training programs. Learn more HERE.

And, these two resources I co-created with Mike Reinold can be purchased through his website:

Functional Stability Training (includes Core, Upper, Lower, and Optimizing Movement) - We cover everything from assessment, to programming, to coaching cues, to bridging the gap between rehab and high performance.

Optimal Shoulder Performance - This is a great "primer" on the basics of the shoulder.

Remember, just enter BF2019 to get the discount.


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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 11/18/19

Let's kick off the week with some recommended reading and listening from around the 'Net:

Eric Cressey Talks Shoulders and Modern Baseball - I joined Jason Glass on his podcast to discuss baseball training and much more.

He told a kid to slide. Then he got sued. - This is a great write-up on a legal battle with implications for every coach. It's scary to think that our society is this litigious, particularly when it comes to a well-intentioned, under compensated high school baseball coach.

Todd Hamer: Getting Fired, Re-creating Yourself, and Shaping Your Role - Todd Hamer is one of my favorite people in the strength and conditioning field, and he shares some excellent career insights on this podcast with Brett Bartholomew.

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One of the most important “competencies” for being a durable pitcher is having as much active control of your passive external rotation range-of-motion at the shoulder. 👇 It’s a big red flag for me when I see a pitcher with loads of passive external rotation (measured in supine) who is weak as a kitten in a prone external rotation against gravity past 90 degrees of external rotation. Here, @ckluber28 shows off really good active control over a big ROM on a prone external rotation end-range lift-off. Notice that he avoids the most common substitution patterns: wrist extension, elbow flexion, elbow extension, and scapular depression. 👏, Corey. 👍 I would call this exercise a motor control drill. We use it in warm-ups and as fillers between medicine ball drills. It complements cuff strength and timing drills nicely in a comprehensive arm care program. 👊 Apologies for the shaky camera work. I get excited when I see good arm care work in action.😂 #cspfamily #clevelandindians

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 11/9/19

I hope you had a great weekend. Here's a little reading and listening material to kick off your week!

EC on the Inspiring Lives Podcast - I joined the crew at Athletic Greens on their podcast to talk coaching and business.

10 Assumptions You Should Stop Making About Your Clients - This might be my favorite blog post my business partner, Pete Dupuis, has ever written, as he covers a lot of common misconceptions of gym ownership.

Training the Hypermobile Client - I've features multiple articles about training hypermobile individuals on this site over the years, and Dean Somerset puts out some good information to complement those materials (you can find them here and here, if interested).

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One of the first things some individuals notice when they come to observe at @cresseysportsperformance is that we often pair “big bang” strength and power movements with lower intensity drills that might train mobility, balance, or arm care. As an example, we might pair a prone trap raise with a deadlift, or a hip mobility drill with a bench press. We call these low-intensity inclusions “fillers.” Truthfully, though, I’m not sure that this name does them justice, as “filler” seems to imply a lack of importance. In reality, I think these drills have a profound impact on improving each client/athlete’s session. Here are five reasons why.👊 . . What are some fillers you like to use and why? Please share your comments below!

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