Home Posts tagged "baseball strength and conditioning" (Page 6)

Lose Fat, Gain Muscle, Get Strong: Eric Cressey’s Best Articles of 2010

Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel, and Move Better - This was obviously my biggest project of 2010.  I actually began writing the strength and conditioning programs and filming the exercise demonstration videos in 2009, and put all the "guinea pigs" through the four-month program beginning in February.  When they completed it as the start of the summer rolled around, I made some modifications based on their feedback and then got cracking on writing up all the tag along resources.  Finally, in September, Show and Go was ready to roll.  So, in effect, it took 10-11 months to take this product from start to finish - a lot of hard work, to say the least.  My reward has been well worth it, though, as the feedback has been awesome.  Thanks so much to everyone who has picked up a copy.

Optimal Shoulder Performance - This was a seminar that Mike Reinold and I filmed in November of 2009, and our goal was to create a resource that brought together concepts from both the shoulder rehabilitation and shoulder performance training fields to effectively bridge the gap for those looking to prevent and/or treat shoulder pain.  In the process, I learned a lot from Mike, and I think that together, we brought rehabilitation specialists and fitness professionals closer to being on the same page.

Why President Obama Throws Like a Girl - A lot of people took this as a political commentary, but to be honest, it was really just me talking about the concept of retroversion as it applies to a throwing shoulder - with a little humor thrown in, of course!

Overbearing Dads and Kids Who Throw Cheddar - This one was remarkably easy to write because I've received a lot of emails from overbearing Dads asking about increasing throwing velocity in their kids.

What I Learned in 2009 - I wrote this article for T-Nation back at the beginning of the year, and always enjoy these yearly pieces.  In fact, I'm working on my 2010 one for them now!

What a Stressed Out Bride Can Teach You About Training Success - I wrote this less than a month out from my wedding, so you could say that I had a good frame of reference.

Baseball Showcases: A Great Way to Waste Money and Get Injured - In case the title didn't tip you off, I'm not much of a fan of baseball showcases.

Cueing: Just One Piece of Semi-Private Training Success - Part 1 and Part 2 - These articles were featured at fitbusinessinsider.com.  I enjoy writing about not only the training side of things, but some of the things we've done well to build up our business.

Three Years of Cressey Performance: The Right Reasons and the Right Way - This might have been the top post of the year, in my eyes. My job is very cool.

How to Attack Continuing Education in the Fitness Industry - Here's another fitness business post.

Want to Be a Personal Trainer or Strength Coach?  Start Here. - And another!

The Skinny on Strasburg's Injury - I hate to make blog content out of someone else's misfortune, but it was a good opportunity to make some points that I think are very valid to the discussion of not only Stephen Strasburg's elbow injury, but a lot of the pitching injuries we see in youth baseball.

Surely, there are many more to list, but I don't want this to run too long!  Have a safe and happy new year, and keep an eye out for the first content of 2011, which is coming very soon!

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Weight Training For Baseball: Best Videos of 2010

I made an effort to get more videos up on the site this year, as I know a lot of folks are visual learners and/or just enjoy being able to listen to a blog, as opposed to reading it.  Here are some highlights from the past year: The Absolute Speed to Absolute Strength Continuum - Regardless of your sport, there are valuable take-home messages.  I just used throwing velocity in baseball pitchers as an example, as it's my frame of reference.

Should Pitchers Overhead Press? - This was an excerpt from Mike Reinold and my Optimal Shoulder Performance seminar (which became a popular DVD set for the year).

Shoulder Impingement vs. Rotator Cuff Tears - Speaking of Mike, here's a bit from the man himself from that seminar DVD set.

Thoracic and Glenohumeral Joint Mobility Drills - The folks at Men's Health tracked me down in the lobby at Perform Better in Providence and asked if I could take them through a few shoulder mobility drills we commonly use - and this was the result.

Cressey West - This kicks off the funny videos from the past year. A few pro baseball players that I program for in a distance-based format created this spoof video as a way of saying thank you.

Tank Nap - My puppy taking a nap in a provocative position.  What's more cute?

Matt Blake Draft Tracker - CP's resident court jester and pitching instructor airs his frustrations on draft day.

1RM Cable Horizontal Abduction - More from the man, the myth, the legend.

You can find a lot more videos on my YouTube page HERE and the Cressey Performance YouTube page HERE.

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Weight Training for Baseball: Featured Articles

I really enjoy writing multi-part features here at EricCressey.com because it really affords me more time to dig deep into a topic of interest to both my readers and me.  In many ways, it's like writing a book.  Here were three noteworthy features I published in 2010: Understanding Elbow Pain - Whether you were a baseball pitcher trying to prevent a Tommy John surgery or recreational weightlifter with "tennis elbow," this series had something for you. Part 1: Functional Anatomy Part 2: Pathology Part 3: Throwing Injuries Part 4: Protecting Pitchers Part 5: The Truth About Tennis Elbow Part 6: Elbow Pain in Lifters

Strategies for Correcting Bad Posture - This series was published more recently, and was extremely well received.  It's a combination of both quick programming tips and long-term modifications you can use to eliminate poor posture. Strategies for Correcting Bad Posture: Part 1 Strategies for Correcting Bad Posture: Part 2 Strategies for Correcting Bad Posture: Part 3 Strategies for Correcting Bad Posture: Part 4

A New Paradigm for Performance Testing - This two-part feature was actually an interview with Bioletic founder, Dr. Rick Cohen.  In it, we discuss the importance of testing athletes for deficiencies and strategically correcting them.  We've begun to use Bioletics more and more with our athletes, and I highly recommend their thorough and forward thinking services. A New Paradigm for Performance Testing: Part 1 A New Paradigm for Performance Testing: Part 2 I already have a few series planned for 2011, so keep an eye out for them!  In the meantime, we have two more "Best of 2010" features in store before Friday at midnight. Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter:
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Should Pitchers Bench Press?

Q: One of my favorite (insert generic sarcastic look here) things to watch in the weightroom is my pitchers getting under the rack for bench presses.  It's not the fact that they're benching that upsets me, but the "Beach Body" mindset that is behind it.  What's the most efficient way for a pitcher to work on his bench, and more importantly, what should he be trying to gain by performing the bench press correctly?

A: Okay, let's get right to opening this can of worms.

can-of-worms

With any exercise, we look for carryover to the functional demands of our sport.  However, we accept that general strength gains transfer in most cases.  As an example, we know that we can improve throwing velocity with a variety of training initiatives, but training specificity like this is stupid:

Now that we've all gotten a bit dumber, let's continue...

As it relates to pitching, the fundamental problem with the conventional barbell bench press (as performed correctly, which it normally isn't) is that it doesn't really train scapular movement effectively.  When we do push-up variations, the scapulae are free to glide - just as they do when we pitch.  When we bench, though, we cue athletes to lock the shoulder blades down and back to create a great foundation from which to press.  It's considerably different, as we essentially take away most (if not all) of scapular protraction.

Additionally, the closed-chain nature of push-ups is much more shoulder friendly, even if pitching is an open-chain exercise.  In fact, most rehabilitation progressions - regardless of the shoulder issue in question - will begin with push-up variations before any open-chain pressing exercises.

With dumbbell benching, we recognize that we get better range-of-motion, freer movement of the humerus (instead of being locked into internal rotation), and increased core activation - particularly if we're doing alternating DB presses or 1-arm db presses.  There is even a bit more scapular movement in these variations (even if we don't actually coach it).

With a barbell bench press, you don't really get any of these benefits - and it's somewhat inferior from a range-of-motion standpoint.  While it may allow you to jack up the weight and potentially put on muscle mass a bit more easily, the truth is that muscle mass here - particularly if it leads to restrictions in shoulder and scapular movement - won't carry over to throwing the way the muscle mass in the lower half and upper back will.  I've seen a ton of guys with loads of external rotation and horizontal abduction range-of-motion throw the crap out of the baseball, but can't say that I've ever seen any correlation - in the research or my anecdotal experience - between a good bench press and throwing velocity.

wagner2

That said, I recognize that there are still a lot of "wannabe meatheads" in the pitching world, so we do our best to meet our athletes halfway and please the bench press gods. Most of the time, dumbbell bench pressing and push-up variations will be sufficient, but we will sometimes us the multipurpose bar with our pitchers because it puts them in a more shoulder-friendly neutral grip.

Add some chains to the bar, and you have a great stabilization challenge that works the true function of the rotator cuff.

That said, if you absolutely feel like you need to do traditional benching, keep the volume down, keep the elbows tucked, and keep the shoulder blades stable underneath you.  And, be sure to recognize that your ego probably isn't doing much for your success on the mound - as there are training initiatives with better returns on investment.  Remember that pitchers have loads of competing demands - from throwing, to mobility training, to soft tissue work, to fielding practice, to movement training - so what you do in the weight room has to highly effective to justify its inclusion.  I just struggle to consider bench pressing "highly effective" for pitchers.

 

For more information on managing throwing shoulders, be sure to check out the Optimal Shoulder Performance DVD set.

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