Five Tips from Brijesh Patel

About the Author: Eric Cressey

Vinkofest Wrap-up

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to the attendees and organizers of this past weekend’s Vinkofest seminar. I know I can speak on behalf of all of the speakers when I say that we really appreciate you making the trip out; it was great to meet all of you. Thanks for a fantastic weekend; I’m looking forward to the 2008 event already. Very Cool Stuff

Some of you may have been familiar with, and others might have frequented the forums at over the years. In case you haven’t heard, the two have merged so that the great content on Mike’s forum can be blended with a more solid infrastructure at SS to form

This is one of the very few forums I frequent and post on – and it’s because the information is very high-quality. Just as importantly, there are “beginners” and “advanced topic” forums, so it’s not as cumbersome to navigate if you’re looking for quality information – regardless of your experience level.

Obviously, Coach Boyle himself is very active on the forum (as am I), and he’s also got some other great expert contributors, including:

John Pallof: the best physical therapist with whom I’ve ever worked personally

Dana Cavalea: New York Yankees Strength and Conditioning Coach

Sean Hayes: Buffalo Bills Strength and Conditioning Coach

Mike Potenza: San Jose Sharks Strength and Conditioning Coach

Sean Skahan: Anaheim Ducks Strength and Conditioning Coach

Craig Friedman: Strength and Conditioning Coach at Athlete’s Performance

Robert Dos Remedios: NSCA Strength Coach of the Year, and Strength and Conditioning Coach at College of the Canyons

Brijesh Patel: Strength and Conditioning Coach at the College of the Holy Cross (and our featured contributor for this week)

Brian Grasso: President of the International Youth Conditioning Association

These are just a few of the great minds putting excellent material out there on the forums and contributing articles to the site’s content library.

For a limited time, they’re allowing you to “test-drive” the site; this special offer enables you two weeks of full access to the articles and forum for only $1. It’s a no-brainer to give it a shot. Have a look for yourself:

Five Tips from Brijesh Patel

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Brijesh Patel, let’s just say that he was the first guy I ever interviewed for my newsletter; check it out HERE. There’s a reason for it; he knows his stuff and has been a tremendous influence on me for years. Without further ado, here are five tips from Brijesh.

1. Include Push-ups at least once a week

The classic push-up seems to be have lost and forgotten with the number of new cable machines and lack of loading that is associated with the exercise. There’s no external loading involved so surely it’s too easy, right? Wrong, we should always be able to handle our own bodyweight before jumping to external loading with bars, dumbbells, and using cable machines. The push-up is a fantastic closed-chain total body exercise that works shoulder stability along with trunk stability and can be done in a variety of ways. Play around with different hand positions, tempos and surfaces to change it up.

2. Integration work

Everybody seems to be discussing more and more the importance of activation exercises for dormant/inhibited muscles, particularly the glute max, medius, and hip external rotators. But I think the missing step between performing activation exercises lying down on the floor (i.e. glute bridge) and performing dynamic loaded exercises (i.e. squat) is to get the muscles functioning the way they need to when you are standing up. When your foot is in contact with the ground everything changes. The primary job of your glutes is to not only function concentrically, but also eccentrically and isometrically. Activation exercises target the muscles with concentric movements, and do very little for the eccentric and isometric function that these muscles do.

A simple integration exercise is to do single leg reaches forward, rotating away from and rotating into your stance leg. Make sure you stand all the way up in between to emphasize posture and glute contraction.

3. Get Warm before you Get Loose

Next time you go to warm-up before your next workout, try actually warming your body up instead of going straight into your mobility/dynamic flexibility exercises. Going into full ROM’s without a high enough body temperature may cause more muscle damage. Placing joints into deep ranges of motion cold with high levels of force (internal bodyweight) can create unnecessary strains that can cause small tears. After months or even years of warming up this way, imagine the build up of scar tissue and adhesions. Try this way out instead:

a. Foam Roll

b. Core/Activation Work

c. Warm-up (general calisthenics, basic movement patterns)

d. Loosen-up (mobility/dynamic flexibility)

This way you can ensure that your body temperature is high enough before engaging in your mobility exercises.

4. Make the most of your time

We all complain that we don’t have enough time to get everything we want into our training, but find ourselves have an extra minute or two between sets. Instead of just standing there, work on your weaknesses. In my case, what I do with my athletes is to work on mobility or some corrective exercise in between sets of acceleration, and plyometrics. I have very limited time, and need to make the most out of it. If I have them stand around, they’re end up talking to their teammates about something irrelevant. I need them to stay focused and I would rather have them continue to do something that’s not going to fatigue them and is beneficial for them.

5. Teach your athletes how to land effectively

How you land will dictate how you start. Movement is as simple as that statement. We need to teach our athletes how to land properly and in the right position to ultimately produce force so they can move efficiently.

Next time you go to an athletic event, really watch the athletes’ feet. The ones that move the best are the ones who are the most efficient at being in the correct position to apply force. They have a minimal coupling time between force absorption and production.

The best way to teach to your athletes to land from a two-legged jump is to have their feet hip-width apart, toes straight ahead, weight on the ball of their feet, butt back, knees slightly bent and chest up with a neutral spine. If they land heel first are on the outside part of their feet, they won’t be in an efficient position to jump or move again.

The best way to teach your athletes to land from a single-leg jump is similar to the two-legged jump, except you are on one leg. The foot should be under their hip, toe straight ahead, butt back, knee slightly bent, and chest up with a neutral spine.

Getting your athletes to land effectively is vital to improving movement efficiency.

About Brijesh

Brijesh Patel, MA, a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (NSCA) and USA Weightlifting Club Coach (USAW), has been a Strength & Conditioning Coach at the collegiate level since 2000. Brijesh is currently the Associate Director of Strength and Conditioning at the College of the Holy Cross, and has also worked with Mike Boyle at his professional facility in Massachusetts, the University of Connecticut, and with the Worcester Ice Cats of the AHL (American Hockey League). Patel has trained a variety of athletes ranging from middle school to the professional and Olympic levels. Brijesh has been published in magazines and has presented on the regional level. Check out his website at

As always, Go Sox!

All the Best,