Home Posts tagged "Bench Press" (Page 9)

Random Wednesday Thoughts: 8/13/08

1. Yes, you read that right; it’s Random Wednesday Thoughts. Today (it’s technically 12:01AM), my girlfriend and I are moving to a new apartment. And, tomorrow, we’re headed north to Maine for the weekend. Since the internet still hasn’t been introduced in Maine, I won’t be able to blog while I’m up there. 2. Michael Phelps is pretty dominant, huh? At some point, this is going to get old. Don’t be surprised if he asks them to replace the Star Spangled Banner with “Living in America” by James Brown just to keep things amusing. 3. Speaking of the Olympics, does anyone understand a word that Bella Karolyi is saying? 4. To the folks who were trying to argue against the 40-inch vertical jump I posted earlier this week by implementing complex mathematical equations, I’d strongly encourage you to go back to your Star Trek reruns and get your hand out of your pants. And, try to come up with an elaborate scheme to get your squat up to 135 and maybe, just maybe, actually kiss a girl someday. Female cousins don’t count, though, fellas. 5. I recently received an email question asking if I felt that bench pressing below the “90 degree” elbow mark is harmful for the shoulder, particularly the capsule. The capsular stress argument is really only an issue in those who go into anterior tilt as they approach the bottom position. If you force hyperextension on a scapula in anterior tilt, this will be an issue. Benching with good technique - elbows tucked, chest to the bar, shoulder blades back and down, air in the belly - avoids this problem. For more information, head over to T-Nation.com and read my “Shoulder Savers” series. 6. I’m pretty amazed at how many people have to ask if they need to warm up on their first resistance training exercise. They do the mobility warm-ups prior to lifting, but then wonder if it’s a problem to just throw 315 on the bar and start squatting. Duh! Gradually work your way up. 7. I’ve actually begun to think that all physical therapists should take some sort of class or certification on dealing with overhead throwing athletes. This summer alone, I’ve seen two athletes cleared for return to play with overwhelming glaring movement impairments that are sure-fire recipes for disaster. Long story short, both athletes had internal rotation deficits of greater than 27 degrees on their throwing shoulder. The research has shown that anything over 17.9 degrees markedly increases one’s risk of elbow pain and shoulder (SLAP lesion) problems. Just because an athlete is pain free does not mean he/she is physically ready to participate. 8. Can someone please tell me how synchronized diving was retained as an Olympic sport while baseball and softball are being kicked to the curb? Wow, that was pretty cynical. Michelle must be rubbing off on me. She'll be so proud!
Read more

Random Friday Thoughts: 8/8/08

1. My girlfriend is good at pullups. 2. Nice front squat, Clark (430). 3. Not to be outdone, here's a 350 bench and then an easy 315x3 from me. 4. Last night, I managed to convince one of our new high school pitchers that the YMCA dance was good for shoulder health (Y=lower trap activation, M=pec minor stretch, C=external rotator stretch, A=lat stretch). He totally went for it - but when I asked him if he knew the dance, he looked at me like I had two heads. I guess I'm finally getting old and recognizing the generational gap between my high school guys and I... 5. My girlfriend and I are moving back to the city next week. I'll be ten minutes from Fenway - yet my commute to work is only five minutes longer. Not too shabby - and it'll be nice to be back closer to all the action. 6. Here is a great review on Maximum Strength and Art of the Deload. 7. I've been here (to a degree). Not making weight is the worst feeling in the world - and I can only imagine how rough it is when it's for the Olympics. My heart goes out to him. Poor guy. 8. As a bit of an experiment, we're moving to lighter medicine balls with our guys for our throws over the next few months - particularly with our overhead variations. It'll be interesting to see what happens when we jack up the speed and lower the load a bit - and if it works, I'll need to brainstorm a bit more on which loads are appropriate for which exercises. 9. Speaking of medicine balls, one of my online consulting clients told me the other day that they have "several" BOSU balls at his gym, but ZERO medicine balls. People really don't have a clue what functional is anymore, do they? 10. In the most random thought of the week, if you want to be my friend on Facebook, put your shirt on in your profile picture. If you're that in love with yourself, you probably don't need friends, weirdo. Have a good weekend!
Read more

5 Keys to Bulletproofing Your Knees

Mike Robertson flew up from Indianapolis to check out a seminar up here in Boston this past weekend. We really enjoyed watching Kevin Wilk, Bob Mangine, and Mark Comerford, three fantastic rehabilitation specialists. Additionally, I enjoyed catching up with Mike just as much, as he’s a wealth of information, particularly with respect to the knees. From just talking with Mike this weekend, I picked up some really good stuff – in addition to the entire day the presenters spent on the knee this weekend.

With that in mind, on Sunday, I wrote down five things that caught my attention this weekend. Then, I handed them to Mike and asked him to elaborate on them on his laptop on the plane ride home for a “guest spot” in my newsletter. Here’s what you’ve got:

5 Keys to Bulletproofing Your Knees

1. VMO specific work is currently poo-poo in the strength and conditioning industry. While I agree that we need to focus on strengthening the hip abductors/external rotators (especially glute max and posterior glute med), current literature leads us to believe that there’s more to the VMO than we might have expected.

Several studies in the past two years have indicated that there is a definite change in fiber pennation between the vastus medialis longus (VML) and the vastus medialis obliquus (VMO). Beyond that, while your other quad muscles like rectus femoris and vastus lateralis only have one motor point, the entire vastus medialis actually has THREE motor points! We may not totally understand the VMO yet, but I’m not willing to write off its importance with regards to knee health.

2. When looking at the body as a functional unit, we can’t overlook the core with regards to knee health. More specifically, we know the rectus abdominus and external obliques work to keep us in pelvic neutral and out of anterior pelvic tilt. Lack of strength in these core muscles increases anterior pelvic tilt, which drives internal rotation of the hip and valgus of the knee. Getting and keeping these muscles strong could go a long way to preventing knee injuries, especially in female athletes.

3. Are accelerated ACL rehab programs what we need? I’m not so sure, and I think making young athletes follow the accelerated programs the pros use may do more harm than good. Unlike the pros that are getting paid to play, we need to focus on the long-term outcomes of our young athletes, not simply getting them back on the field ASAP. Many have done an excellent job of rehabbing patients and getting them back on the field quickly, and quantifying strength and power production/absorption is critical.  Many of the leading PT’s and orthos, however, are moving back to a slightly more conservative approach to allow the graft itself more time to heal. The properties of a tendon graft slowly take on the properties of a ligament over time; this is called ligamentization. However, ligamentous changes can still be seen as late as 12-18 months post-surgery.

[Note from EC: so, if you have a patellar tendon graft for a new ACL, you might not really have what you want until 1-1.5 years post-surgery. Tendons and ligaments have different qualities.] 4. To piggy-back on the previous point, another factor that isn’t examined as often as it should is long-term outcomes of ACL rehabbed clients. Sure it’s great to get them back on the field in 6, 9 or 12 months, but what are the long-term ramifications? We know that females who have suffered ACL tears are much more likely to develop early osteoarthritis. If we can improve long-term outcomes by keeping them out a little longer, isn’t that worth it? As a PT or strength coach, it’s our job to help clients/athletes make the best decision for their long-term health, especially if they are too young to understand the long-term repercussions of their decision.

5. When an athlete tears their ACL, proprioceptive deficits are seen as quickly as 24 hours post-injury. What’s really intriguing, however, is that we often see this same deficit carried over to the healthy knee as well! Even after reconstruction this deficit can be seen for up to six years. To counteract this, don’t forget to include basic proprioceptive training (barefoot warm-ups, single-leg stance work, etc.), and train that “off” leg in the interim. For more tips, tricks, and programming recommendations on knees, check out Mike Robertson’s Bulletproof Knees manual. It’s by far the best resource I’ve seen on preventing and addressing knee pain.

New Blog Content

Just One Missing Piece

Training Around Elbow Issues in Overhead Athletes

Random Thursday Thoughts

Sturdy Shoulders: Big Bench

All the Best,


PS - For those who missed it last week, be sure to check out my new e-book, The Truth About Unstable Surface Training, at www.UnstableSurfaceTraining.com.
Read more

Pressing and the Overhead Athlete

Many of you are going to hate me for what I’m about to say. I don’t let my overhead throwing athletes overhead press or bench press with a straight bar. There. I said it. Call me all the names you’d like but ask yourself this: “Am I cursing Eric’s name because I think that the cost-to-benefit ratio of overhead pressing and straight bar bench pressing justifies their use, or is it because I feel naked without these options? I have to bench press. I can’t start an upper body day with any other exercise.” Continue Reading... Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive a Copy of the Exact Stretches used by Cressey Performance Pitchers after they Throw!
Read more

An Interview with Bob Youngs

As one of the best powerlifters in the world today, Bob Youngs has forgotten more than most lifters will ever know. He has more under the bar knowledge than almost anyone you'll meet, and just as importantly, he’s as down to earth as they come. I’ve been working with Bob as he works to rehabilitate a few old powerlifting injuries. In the process of interacting with him, I’ve come to realize just how much the strength and conditioning community is missing with this guy flying somewhat “under the radar.” Fortunately, he was more than willing to do this interview for us. Enjoy! Continue Reading...
Read more
Page 1 7 8 9
  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series