Home Posts tagged "Bill Hartman" (Page 6)

The Best Thing I’ve Seen All Year…

This ran in my newsletter yesterday, and for those who didn't see it, a) What's wrong with you? Why not subscribe to my FREE NEWSLETTER?!?!?! b) Read on. It's a great product. Last week, I was fortunate enough to get a free copy of Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman’s 2008 Indianapolis Performance Enhancement Seminar DVD Set. To be honest, the word “fortunate” doesn’t even begin to do the product justice; it was the best industry product I’ve watched all year. The DVD set is broken up into six separate presentations: 1. Introduction and 21st Century Core Training 2. Creating a More Effective Assessment 3. Optimizing Upper Extremity Biomechanics 4. Building Bulletproof Knees 5. Selecting the Optimal Method for Effective Flexibility Training 6. Program Design and Conclusion To be honest, I’ve already seen Mike Robertson deliver the presentations on DVDs 1 and 4 a few times during seminars at which we’ve both presented, so more of my focus in this review will be on Bill’s presentations because they were more “new” to me. That said, I can tell you that each time I’ve seen Mike deliver there presentations, he’s really impressed the audience and put them in a position to view training from a new (and better) paradigm, debunking old myths along the way. A lot of the principles in his core training presentation mirror what we do with our clients – and particularly with those involved in rotational sports. Bill’s presentation on assessments is excellent. I think I liked it the most because it really demonstrated Bill’s versatility in that he knows how to assess both on the clinical (physical therapy) and asymptomatic (ordinary client/athlete) sides of the things. A few quick notes from Bill’s presentation that I really liked: a. Roughly 40% of athletes have a leg length discrepancy – but that’s not to say that 40% of athletes are injured or even symptomatic. As such, we need to understand that some asymmetry is normal in many cases – and determining what is an acceptable amount of asymmetry is an important task. As an example, in my daily work, a throwing shoulder internal rotation deficit (relative to the non-throwing shoulder) of 15 degrees or less is acceptable – but if a guy goes over 15°, he really needs to buckle down on his flexibility work and cut back on throwing temporarily. If he is 17-18° or more, he shouldn’t be throwing – period. b. It’s important to consider not only a client/patient/athlete looks like on a “regular” test, but also under conditions of fatigue. There’s a reason athletes get hurt more later in games: fatigue changes movement efficiency and safety! This is why many tests should include several reps – and we should always be looking to evaluate players “on the fly” under conditions of fatigue. c. Bill made a great point on “functional training” during this presentation as well – and outlined the importance difference between kinetics (incorporates forces) and kinematics (movement independent of forces). Most functional training zealots only look at kinematics, and in the process, ignore the amount of forces in a dynamic activity. For example, being able to execute a body weight lateral lunge with good technique doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be “equipped” to handle change-of-direction challenges at game speed. In reality, this force consideration is one reason why there are times that bilateral exercise is actually more function than unilateral movements! d. Bill also outlined a multi-faceted scoring system he uses to evaluate athletes in the context of their sports. It’s definitely a useful system for those who want a quantifiable scheme through which to score athletes on overall strength, speed, and flexibility qualities to determine areas that warrant prioritization. DVD #3 is an excellent look at preventing and correcting shoulder problems – and in terms of quality, this presentation with Mike is right on par with their excellent Inside-Out DVD. Mike goes into depth on what causes most shoulder problems and how we can work backward from pathology to see what movement deficiency – particularly scapular downward rotation syndrome – caused the problem. There is a great focus on lower trapezius and serratus anterior strengthening exercises and appropriate flexibility drills for the pec minor, levator scapulae, and thoracic spine – as well as a focus on the effects of hip immobility and rectus abdominus length on upper body function. To be honest, I think that DVD #4 alone is worth far more than the price of the entire set. It actually came at an ideal time for me, as I’m preparing our off-season training templates for our pro baseball guys – and flexibility training is a huge component of this. Whenever I see something and it really gets me thinking about what I’m doing, I know it’s great. Bill’s short vs. stiff discussion really did that for me. Bill does far more justice to the discussion than I can, but the basic gist of the topic is that the word “tight” doesn’t tell us much at all. A short muscle actually has lost sarcomeres because it’s been in a shortened state for an extended period of time; this would be consistent with someone who had been immobilized post-surgery or a guy who has just spent way too long at a computer. These situations mandate some longer duration static stretching to really get after the plastic portion of connective tissue – and this can be uncomfortable, but highly effective. Conversely, a stiff muscle is one that can be relatively easily lengthened acutely as long as you stabilize the less stiff segment. An example would be to stabilize the scapula when stretching someone into humeral internal or external rotation. If the scapular stabilizers are weak (i.e., not stiff), manually fixing the scapula allows us to effectively stretch the muscles acting at the humeral head. If we don’t stabilize the less-stiff joint, folks will just substitute range of motion there instead of where we actually want to create it. In situations like this, in addition to good soft tissue work, Bill recommends 30s static stretches for up to four rounds (this is not to be performed pre-exercise, though; that’s the ideal time for dynamic flexibility drills. DVD #5 is where Mike is at his best: talking knees. This is a great presentation not only because of the quality of his information, but also because of his frame of reference; Mike has overcome some pretty significant knee issues, including a surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Mike details the role of ankle and hip restrictions in knee issues, covers the VMO isolation mindset, and outlines some of the research surrounding resistance training and rehabilitation of knee injuries in light of some of the myths that are abundant in the weight-training world. DVD #6 brings all these ideas together with respect to program design. I should also mention that each DVD also includes the audience Q&A, which is a nice bonus to the presentations themselves. The production quality is excellent, with “back-and-forths” between the slideshow and presenters themselves. Bill and Mike include several video demonstrations in their presentations to break up the talking and help out th e visual learners in the crowd, too. All in all, this is a fantastic DVD set that encompasses much more than I could ever review here. In fact, if it’s any indicator of how great I think it is, I’m actually going to have all our staff members watch it. If you train athletes or clients, definitely get it. Or, if you’re just someone who wants to know how to keep knees, shoulders, and lower backs healthy while optimizing flexibility, it’s worth every penny. You can find out more at the Indianapolis Performance Enhancement Seminar website.
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Prehabilitation and Deloading

New Article

I had a new article published on Tuesday at T-Nation; be sure to check out The Prehab Deload.

You can never get enough Hartman…

Earlier this week, Bill Hartman provided us with seven great tips; here are eight more than certainly won’t disappoint!

8. Unilateral lower body training is well accepted, but unilateral upper body training is no less valuable and gets ignored by most trainers and coaches. It’s not uncommon for strength and conditioning coaches to recommend unilateral lower body exercises in an effort to maintain functional relationships in the trunk and hips. There are equally if not more important relationships between the upper extremity, the trunk, and the hips. Consider working toward developing the ability to perform a single-arm push-up as much as you develop your single-leg strength. It will go a long way toward maintaining your shoulder health and improve your performance.

9. It is a rare occasion that athletes needs complex training programs. Most athletes, regardless of level, are not well-trained strength athletes. Just as many HATE supplementary strength/performance training and don’t understand the value that it provides by allowing them to perform at their highest levels of performance. They would rather just play their sport. The exceptions are those athletes who have spent 3 to 4 years in a progressive, controlled, and properly designed strength program. Being advanced in a particular sport does not mean they are advanced in regard to supplementary training. When in doubt simplify.

10. If you choose to emphasize bench pressing in your training program, you need to spend more time strengthening your lower trapezius and rotator cuff.

The lower trapezius tends to be the weak point in your ability to stabilize the scapula and the rotator cuff is the big stabilizer for the glenohumeral joint. It is the ability to stabilize these areas that allows the larger prime movers to lift big weights. If these muscles don’t keep pace, your bench press will stall and you will most likely get injured.

11. Stand more and sit less. If you’re sitting on your ass, you’re not using it. If you’re not using it, you’ll forget how to use it when you train or play a sport. This can result in lower back pain, hip pain, or pain anywhere down the kinetic chain. You’ll also go a long way to prevent the loss of hip motion that will increase joint wear and tear and rob you of your athleticism at a premature age.

12. I recommend four recovery/restoration tools for everyone: sleep, food, soft-tissue work, and ice because they work for everyone.

I know a lot of things that have been used as recovery tools with world-class athletes. Most people are not world-class athletes and I question the value of many restorative tools. I’ve never been able to identify a measurable effect from something like a contrast shower other than shrinkage (you know what I mean). However, the four tools I recommend will apply to everyone.

Sleep is essential. The nervous system needs sleep to function at top efficiency. Food provides energy, reparative materials, and nutrient-based recovery. Soft-tissue work, whether it be massage, foam rolling, ART, or whatever, will maintain a more optimal condition of the soft-tissues. Trigger point, adhesions, and scar tissue affects mobility, tissue extensibility, and the ability to produce strength. An ounce of prevention goes a long way to assure optimal functional relationship between and within muscles and groups of muscles. Ice is under utilized by just about everyone. It is inexpensive and will go a long way to preserve your joint surface. Fifteen minutes of ice to heavily trained joints has been shown to have a preservation effect on joint cartilage.

13. Make your icing more effective by periodically moving the joint or muscle to which you’re applying ice. It promotes a more uniform application of the cold to the affected area. After you remove the ice, limit the motion of the affected area to preserve the cooling effect, as movement will increase rewarming.

14. Hip mobility affects more than you think. A lack of hip mobility will promote overuse of the lumbar spine to compensate for the lack of mobility. In patients with unilateral shoulder instability, almost half of those patients also showed poor hip mobility on the opposite side.

15. There are “money muscles” in almost every type of injury that when treated or activated immediately improve function. For shoulders, it’s the subscapularis. The subscapularis prevents the humeral head from moving forward and upward into the acromion in cases of impingement. Many times it’s overused due to repetitive movement, heavy loading, or both. Get it functioning again (ART does wonders) immediately restores shoulder function in a majority of cases.

For lower back pain, it’s the psoas. If someone has trouble forward flexing AND extending the spine (you can also see that they limit hip extension when they walk) check the psoas for spasm or adhesions. Restoring normal psoas function immediately restores spinal range of motion.

For lower back pain, it’s the psoas. If someone has trouble forward flexing AND extending the spine (you can also see that they limit hip extension when they walk) check the psoas for spasm or adhesions. Restoring normal psoas function immediately restores spinal range of motion.

For the knee, it’s the popliteus. Many times when rehabbing an athlete or patient with a knee injury, there’s sense of residual instability. Rather than going for the wobble board, consider checking the function of the popliteus. The popliteus assists in rotatory control of the knee. Restoring the popliteus function with soft-tissue work and a little strengthening often restores stability in no time.

About Bill Bill Hartman is a physical therapist and strength and conditioning coach in the Indianapolis area.  Bill is the co-creator of Inside-Out: The Ultimate Upper-Body Warm-up and a contributing author to Men's Health Magazine.  He is also the creator of Your Golf Fitness Coach's Video Library, available at www.yourgolffitnesscoach.com.  You can contact Bill directly via www.billhartman.net.

I’m off to Maine to lift some heavy stuff and see the family. Have a great weekend, everyone!

All the Best,

EC

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Tips from Bill Hartman

On top of dropping a 45-pound plate on my (now broken) toe on Thursday night and having a pro baseball player staying at my condo, it was the busiest week ever at Cressey Performance. There is, however, a silver lining to this cloud. I don't need healthy toes to deadlift at my meet next weekend, and you're going to get an even better holiday sale as a result of my high tolerance for pain and propensity for clumsy self-destruction. To atone, I’m going to offer a big discount – to the tune of 30% off – on my Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual. Just click HERE and the discount will automatically be applied at checkout. This discount will be in place through December 12, too.

Talking Shop with Bill Hartman

Bill Hartman is a smart dude. Really smart. A lot of you think I’m a bright guy when it comes to kinesiology, biomechanics, and corrective exercise. Let’s put it this way: Bill is the guy I email or call when I’m stumped. Were it not for his sense of humor, I might actually believe that he’s a robot designed to know everything about the human body. He co-created Inside-Out, a great DVD and manual set that I feel is the best shoulder-health-specific product on the market. This week, however, Bill is extra special because he provided some kick-butt content for my newsletter when life was crazy. In a sense, he’s like the cheerleader who does your homework, but he’s much smarter, more masculine, and doesn’t wear a skirt (at least not in public). Here are tips 1-7 from Bill: 1. Making true postural corrections and improvement in mobility is a 24-7 endeavor. Your daily postures and repetitive activities have a far greater effect on your mobility and posture. The body will adapt to what you do most often. If you spend all day in a chair, your body will adapt to that posture. If you perform activities for extended periods of time in a limited range of joint motion, you body will adapt to that limited range of motion. You can use the same premise to make a correction. For instance, if you’re trying to improve your shoulder girdle posture, practice holding it in better alignment for extended periods of time (up to 20 minutes) to promote actual changes in the length and stiffness of tissues. 2. Static stretching as it is typically performed (1-3 reps of 20-30 seconds or whatever) has a very limited benefit. This type of stretching functions more on the basis of increasing your tolerance to the stretch, therefore range of motion will improve temporarily. I tend to use it for its acute benefits. For instance, if you’re trying to improve glute max activation, stretch the hip flexors first. Range of motion into hip extension will improve and allow greater glute max activation. As far as long-term, relatively permanent changes in range of motion, tissues need to adapt (see number 1) and the nervous system needs to be involved in the changes. This makes strength training a great way to improve range of motion. Emphasize getting strong at the end range of motion with a muscle in the stretched position. Examples would be performing ISO holds at the bottom of a Bulgarian split squat, push-up, RDL, or pullover at the end of your workouts. 3. Exercise tempo matters Bar speed will affect what type of training effect will result from training. A very fast tempo will increase contribution of the spring-like effect from a tendon much like plyometrics. Slower training tempos will reduce this effect and promote more muscular adaptations. Determining where you lack function, either in the elastic component of the tendon or more of the muscular contributions, will allow you to target training to significant improvements in performance in a very short time. 4. When in doubt, simplify your programming Most trainees who are training diligently, attending to nutritional issues adequately, but lack progress are typically training at least one level of complexity (or more) above where they should. Reduce either the frequency, the training volume, or the complexity of the periodization scheme or all of the above. Look back in your training journal (you DO have one right?) to where you made your best progress. Start there for clues on how you should progress. Then read #5. 5. Your body can’t differentiate between stressors Most periodization programs work for a very limited group of people. Any programming recommendations based on professional or Olympic athletes rarely works for the real-world population. Those athletes lived in controlled environments where outside stressors were limited or didn’t exist. We live in a world where we are frequently sleep deprived, have money issues, family and relationship issues. All these stressors are cumulative in respect to how your body reacts to them. Training is also a stressor and is most often the only one we can control. When you feel good, go for the extra weight or reps. When you’re not feeling your best, back it off. 6. Warm-up first before you decide you’re going to have a bad workout The daily grind can wear on you and many times you don’t feel like training. Your attitude will affect the outcome of you workout. Many times the simple activation of your nervous system with a dynamic warm-up and few warm-up sets will reset your attitude. Warm-up before you allow your brain to get in the way of what may be the best workout of your life. 7. Develop a group of “Go-to” people It was a bitter pill to swallow, but I’ve learned that I can’t learn everything. There are always others who specialize in certain area of life or training or whatever who have a deeper understanding of certain things. Make friends with them. Take advantage of their specialized knowledge. Share what you know and learn what they know. About Bill Bill Hartman is a physical therapist and strength and conditioning coach in the Indianapolis area. Bill is the co-creator of Inside-Out: The Ultimate Upper-Body Warm-up and a contributing author to Men's Health Magazine. He is also the creator of Your Golf Fitness Coach's Video Library, available at www.yourgolffitnesscoach.com. You can contact Bill directly via www.billhartman.net. We’ll be back with tips 8-15 from Bill later this week. All the Best, EC
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2007 Ford Ironman Results

2007 Ford Ironman Results

A huge congratulations goes out to Dede Griesbauer, who had her first ever podium finish (7th place) in this past weekend’s Ironman in Kona, Hawaii.  Dede was the top American female finisher with a time of 9:33:34.

To make the feat even more impressive, after a mishap just before she left for Hawaii, she did so with a fractured ulna that just so happened to press right on the aero bars of her bike for all 5:13:05 of her bike.  Who would have thought that there would actually be a way to make 5+ hours on a bicycle seat more uncomfortable?  Leave it to Dede to find it!

Kidding aside, Dede worked harder in the weight room over the past nine months than any endurance athlete I’ve ever trained.  And, that was on top of the 15 swim/bike/run sessions she did outside the gym with her great endurance coach, Karen Smyers.  Congratulations, Dede!

A Podcast Interview with EC

A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by Chris Peacock for his blog; we covered mobility questions and a few other odds and ends.  Just a heads-up: it’s an audio file, and Chris has a thick Scottish accent (or I just have a thick American accent, depending on who you ask).  I’ve seen Braveheart several times and talk to Alwyn Cosgrove frequently, so I think I understood him pretty well.  Or, I could have been answering all the wrong questions.  I guess the only way to find out is to listen!

An Interview with Eric Cressey

For more information, check out www.MagnificentMobility.com.

Along those same lines…

As a follow-up to my interview on baseball training at T-Nation, I received an inquiry about what mobilizations besides the sleeper stretch that we use to improve internal rotation range-of-motion in the throwing shoulder of baseball players.

Given that I’m much bigger on mobility than static stretching, and the fact that a recent study demonstrated that a cross-body stretch was superior to the sleeper stretch in improving internal rotation ROM, we’ve made some modifications.  One drill we’ve used for nearly a year now is the cross-body lat mobilization; with the new research, we’ve just increased the frequency of it relative to a few of the others.   I like this drill because it not only mobilizes the posterior shoulder girdle and does so in a dynamic fashion, but also because it involves some overhead motion and therefore requires a bit of scapular rotation to accomplish.  The more we can train ideal upward rotation patterns in overhead throwing patterns, the better.  This is especially true in pitchers, as another recent study demonstrated that pitchers have less scapular upward rotation than do position players.

You can check out a video of the mobilization HERE.

Anytime you can perform an upper-body mobilization and link it with the lower-body without compromising the effectiveness of the movement, definitely do so.  There is a huge link between shoulder dysfunction and dysfunction in the opposite hip and ankle.  For instance, Bill Hartman pointed me in the direction of this study that showed that there is a hip ROM deficit or abduction weakness in approximately half of all individuals with diagnosed posterior-superior labral tear.

Contrary to what many people seem to think, getting healthy shoulders isn’t just about silly rubber tubing exercises.  For more information on some excellent alternatives, check out the Inside-Out DVD.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and keep your fingers crossed for the Red Sox!

All the Best,

EC

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