Home Posts tagged "Cressey Sports Performance"

Random Thoughts on Long-Term Fitness Industry Success – Installment 10

It's time for the April installment of my thoughts on the business side of fitness.

1. It might take years for you to recognize that a loss leader will pay off.

Wikipedia defines "loss leader" as "a pricing strategy where a product is sold at a price below its market cost to stimulate other sales of more profitable goods or services." I'd add that it doesn't just have to be a price discount to be a loss leader, either. If I go to deliver a free 60-minute presentation to a baseball team, and then some of those athletes come to train with us, you could see that the time and energy I spent on preparing and delivering that talk were the loss leader that yielded longer-term revenues. I often refer to this as a "value addition leaders" because it doesn't devalue your services (the only "loss" is your time). You're simply finding ways to show potential customers a) you care, b) you're qualified, and c) deliver value before the first transaction.

I can't overstate enough the importance of seeing loss leaders as a long game. People are exposed to thousands of marketing messages nowadays, so it's easy to get desensitized to them individually. Collectively, though, they may build to establish longer-term credibility that leads to a business relationship down the road. So, be patient, persistent, and philanthropic in your giving; in many cases, you'll be rewarded down the road.

2. The average American doesn't understand long-term financial planning, and fitness professionals are among the worst.

I recently finished up the book Dollars and Sense by Dan Ariely. It's a fascinating look at the relationship between people and money.

A few interesting statistics Ariely cited as as follows:

1. 46% of financial planners don't have any retirement savings.

2. 30% of Americans of working age have so little retirement savings that they’ll have to work until they’re 80 – even though life expectancy is only 78!

In short, folks aren't particularly good at looking at the long-term when it comes to saving. Fitness professionals are much more likely to make these financial blunders, in my experience, because they very rarely have employer-sponsored retirement accounts. In other industries, 401(k) matching is far more common, so employees not only have a built-in savings strategy that's facilitated by someone else's money, but also built-in accountability as they observe co-workers around them contributing to these plans.

If you're a fitness professional - or any professional, for that matter - and don't have retirement savings, start today. Skip a $3 coffee each week and put that money into savings. Small hinges swing big doors.

3. Gym culture is a moving target on multiple fronts.

When we started Cressey Sports Performance in 2007, all three co-founders (Pete Dupuis, Tony Gentilcore, and me) were closer in age to our high school athletes then we were to their parents. Now, we are all parents ourselves, and closer in age to the adults than the kids.

As a result, we’ve had to make a conscious effort with our staff to get younger to preserve the “cool“ gym culture where athletes and coaches can relate to one another. At the same time, though, it means that it changes our staff culture considerably.

Moreover, as a business grows, the sheer number of people on your staff expands - and your culture becomes even harder to define and standardize. The same goes for the client culture; when you're seeing 100 clients a day, there is a lot more variability in personalities you encounter on a daily basis than what you experienced when only 30 clients stopped in daily.

The point is that you have to stay on top of monitoring and nurturing your culture, both among your staff and clients. This is one reason why I'm working my way through Pat Rigsby's new resource, The Complete Culture Blueprint.

It's on sale for $30 off through the end of the day today, and I'd highly recommend you check it out - whether you own a facility, manage employees, or work as part of any team environment. You won't regret it - especially at an awesome introductory price of only $49.

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The Brightest Cressey Sports Performance Shirt We’ve Ever Made

We've long debated whether we should pull the trigger on making a really bright CSP shirt, and we've finally decided to let it fly! This neon green shirt should get the job done - and is now available for sale. 

These shirts are insanely comfortable and run true to size.

Each shirt is $24.99 + S&H. Click the links below to add shirts to your cart:

XXL

Extra Large

Large

Medium

Small

These usually sell quickly, so don’t delay if you’re interested in picking one up. Enjoy!

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CSP-Massachusetts Seminar Announcement: Movement Foundations

We're excited to announce that on May 20th, 2018, the Resilient Performance Systems team of Doug Kechijian, Trevor Rappa and Greg Spatz will be on-hand delivering their one-day course, “Movement Foundations.” This event will take place at our Hudson, MA location. It’s a great chance for coaches, clinicians, and fitness professionals to learn to more effectively integrate sports medicine concepts with performance training - including biomechanically efficient strength training and running technique, joint preparation for sport and fitness, and programming considerations throughout the lifespan; all within a model that accounts for different professional training and scope of practice.

Resilient seeks to systematically explore the continuum between acute rehabilitation and athletic performance. Resilient’s clientele includes athletes and operators from military special operations forces, federal law enforcement tactical teams, Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), professional mixed martial arts, X Games, Winter and Summer Olympics, Major League Lacrosse (MLL), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and those with a history of persistent pain and extensive surgical backgrounds. Resilient also advises organizations about medical and performance staffing, program development, and injury risk mitigation strategies.

Course Outline:

• Scientific Foundations
    1. Complexity Theory
    2. Managing Uncertainty
    3. Principles of Adaptation
    4. Variability, Capacity, Power
    5. Rehabilitation to Performance Continuum
    6. Emergent Order: Patterning, Checklists, Degrees of Freedom
    7. Mobility, Tightness, Tone
    8. Autonomic Influences

• Assessment
    1. Test What Matters
    2. The Training Process

• Lower Body Foundations
    1. Biomechanics & Arthrokinematics
    2. Anatomy Review
    3. Hip Impingement
    4. Proximal Motor Control
    5. Appropriate Exercise Selection
    6. Stretches & Exercises We Avoid

• Programming Considerations

•Practical Application: Lower Body
    1. Joint Variability Preparation
    2. Hip Dominant
    3. Knee Dominant
    4. Running
    5. Plyometrics

• Lunch Break (1 hour)

• Upper Body Foundations
    1. Biomechanics
    2. Anatomy Review
    3. Proximal Motor Control
    4. Common Pathology
    5. Appropriate Exercise Selection
    6. Stretches & Exercises We Avoid

• Practical Application: Upper Body
    1. Joint Variability Preparation
    2. Push/Pull
    3. Overhead
    4. Frontal/Transverse

Continuing Education

This event has been approved for 0.8 CEUs from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Date/Location:

Sunday, May 20, 2018: 9am-6pm with an hour lunch break.
Cressey Sports Performance
Suite 310
Hudson, MA 01749
Registration Fee: $349.99

Students can save $50 by entering the coupon code STUDENT50 (case sensitive) at checkout.

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.

Click here to register using our 100% secure server.

About the Presenters

Doug Kechijian is a physical therapist and co-founder of Resilient Performance Systems. Before beginning his sports medicine practice, Doug was a Pararescueman in the U.S. Air force where he deployed throughout the world to help provide technical rescue capability and emergency medical care to U.S and allied forces. In 2015, he was selected as one of the U.S. Air Force's Outstanding Airmen of the Year. Doug received his AB in Biology from Brown University and MA in Exercise Physiology/Doctor of Physical Therapy from Columbia University.

Greg Spatz is a physical therapist and co-founder of Resilient Performance Systems. Before launching Resilient, Greg was a Strength & Conditioning Coach in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Greg received his BS in Health & Exercise Science from The College of New Jersey where he competed for the baseball team. He earned the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Columbia University.

Trevor Rappa is a physical therapist and co-founder of Resilient Performance Systems. Before beginning his sports medicine practice, Trevor completed an internship at Mike Boyle's Strength & Conditioning facility. Trevor received his BS in Biology from Amherst College where he competed for the football team. He earned the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Columbia University.

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Going Out with a Bang: Creating and Implementing Workout Finishers

Today's guest post comes from Cressey Sports Performance - Florida coach Jason Jabour. Jason heads up the strength camps at the Jupiter location. Enjoy! -EC

In the fitness and performance industry, a coach’s job is to provide clients with a powerful, positive workout experience that yields results. A large part of a client’s success is dependent on their view of the gym experience. Happiness. Motivation. Commitment. Positivity. Energy. These are what we, as coaches, hope to bring out in our clients on a daily basis through relationship building and effective training programs. A properly designed and executed workout “finisher” can be a valuable asset to a trainer or strength coach trying to do just that.

A finisher may take on various forms or structures, but it is ultimately the last segment of a workout that is intended to hit your clients hard with a desired stimulus, putting them on the fence between “I don’t know why I pay money for this” and “whoa, that felt great.” The intent may be to spike the heart rate for conditioning purposes, to mechanically and metabolically challenge a muscle group (the “PUMP!”), or to simply allow your clients to compete and have fun together.

With that said, there are some important DOs and DON’Ts when programming finishers to keep your clients happy, healthy, and coming back for more.

DO:

1. Consider the goals of your clients.

Whether you are training somebody 1-on-1 or leading group training, clients must walk out feeling as if the last thing that they did got them closer to their desired goals. I may blast a guy’s biceps and triceps if his goal is to have bigger arms, as opposed to doing high intensity intervals on the bike. Conversely, a group of women who aren’t too concerned with upper body muscle mass may prefer the latter option. It comes down to communicating with and knowing your clients.

2. Allow for some autonomy and autoregulation.

Make your clients part of the programming process and, occasionally, give them some say in creating a finisher. Further, know when to push and pull back based on the energy, body language, and movement quality of an individual or the group. Just chatting with someone at the beginning of the session can be enough to make that call. If football players had a game the night before, it may not be the best time to run them through a sprint finisher.

3. Pick simple and familiar exercises.

Exercise selection is very important in delivering a potent finisher. There is a positive self-limiting effect that takes place when the appropriate exercises are chosen. Use movement patterns that clients have performed and been coached through a number of times previously. If a movement pattern has been trained, the client can attack it with higher intensity while maintaining quality movement.

Here are some exercises often found in CSP-Florida Strength Camp finishers:
Sled Pushes/Drags/Rows
Sprints
Assault Bike
Battleropes
Bodyweight Lunges
Jump Rope / Jumping Jacks
Pushups
Dumbbell Farmer Carries
Bear Crawls
Low Level Isometric Holds (air squat, hollow body, etc)
Medicine Ball Slams 

As a whole, these movements:

a) are not heavily loaded
b) test different movement patterns
c) can be easily scaled,
d) do not put the client at a high risk of injury if technique falters slightly
e) can all be biased for more conditioning or for more strength/power.

Choose wisely!

4. Consider the physiological and mechanical stimulus you will create.

In creating an effective finisher, one must consider how one exercise affects the execution of the subsequent exercises, potential breathing patterns and heart rate spikes, target muscle groups, and metabolic byproduct accumulation in muscle. I am not saying you have to get super geeky with it, but have an idea of what type of monster the finisher will be.

5. Be creative.

Simple as that! Be smart, but be creative. You can take the same four exercises and create countless finishers simply by changing time domain, rep scheme, exercise order, tempo, etc.

6. Challenge clients and offer opportunities for them to work together.

My clients will often challenge each other’s scores or time on a finisher. Additionally, clients push each other as they work out side-by-side. It is also be beneficial for the culture of a group/class if you challenge clients to work together to accomplish tasks, such as relay races or completing a given amount of work as a team.

DON’Ts:

1. Don’t introduce a new exercise in a finisher.

If you make this mistake, one of two things will happen. The client will spend too much time trying to execute the movement properly and intensity will diminish, or they will try to power through the movement at high intensity and butcher the technique. Either way, the objective is not accomplished.

2. Don’t program technical lifts – no heavy axial or heavy overhead loading.

It is one thing if a client is competing in the sport of fitness, but chances are they are not, so the risk outweighs the reward. As fatigue, heart rate, and intensity increase, it is likely that one will lose core and joint stability and have subtle deviations in movement patterns, a recipe for injury. For an athlete aiming to get better at a sport or for a general population client looking to get strong and feel good, the following lifts should be done fresh and in a controlled manner, not in a finisher:

Deadlifts
Barbell Squats
Olympic Lifts (Dumbbell and Barbell Snatches, Cleans, and Jerks)
High Repetition Pull-ups
Heavy Upper Body Pressing

What is the common theme here? Don’t move a heavy load up and down. Save it for your strength work.

As a side note, it is probably not a good idea to finish with core exercises that take the spine through high repetition flexion and extension patterns, as this may contribute to subsequent back pain. Further, don’t destroy your client's core; it still needs to be able to work the rest of the day.

3. Don’t over-coach a finisher.

A finisher should be an opportunity for the client to let loose and just get after it for a few minutes. If you have done your job and programmed appropriately, you shouldn’t have to do much coaching outside of holding a stopwatch.

4. Don’t be married to your finishers.

The hay is already in the barn with all the work your client has put in during that session. The finisher is just the cherry on top. If you don’t get to it one day because you spent more time on deadlift technique, oh well. If you have to change your finisher to five minutes of box breathing because your client took a red-eye flight home last night, no big deal.

5. Don’t be a drill sergeant.

Be unconditionally positive and empathetic. Remember, your client is paying you, you are not paying your client. As coaches, we cannot make anyone do anything, we just make strong suggestions and give guidance. The client chooses whether to listen.

CSP Strength Camp example finishers:

2 max effort rounds (rest as needed between):
50 yard Sled Push
25 yard Sprint
15 Overhead Med Ball Stomps
25 yard Sprint
15 Jumping Jacks

In teams of 2, complete:
300 Battlerope Slams
*one person works, while one person performs a hollow body hold

4 rounds, for time:
10 Calorie Assault Bike
30 Jump Rope
5 yard Bear Crawl

A finisher allows a coach to make sure that clients end the training session on a high note. An effective finisher is simple, but it is not easy. It is purposeful and moves the client’s needle in the right direction. It is a time to have fun, to go hard, and to finish strong.

About the Author

Jason Jabour is a strength and conditioning coach at Cressey Sports Performance - Florida. He also serves as Strength Camps Coordinator at the Jupiter, Florida location. You can contact him at jasonjabour@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram.

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When Pitching Goes Poorly: 5 Strategies for Righting the Ship

Pitchers can struggle for a number of different reasons, whether it's command, velocity, "stuff," or actual pain/soreness. Historically, when players run into these tough patches, they've been conditioned to look to their mechanics first - and often unnecessary modifications are made on this front before looking deeper into the situation. With that in mind, I thought I'd use today's post as a quick look at some of the other "big picture" considerations.

1. Health

Very simply, if you hurt, it will alter movement patterns. It will change the way that you prepare and, in turn, execute pitches.

When it comes to optimizing pitching performance, the challenging thing (and this will sound crazy) about pain is that it can be covered up. Anti-inflammatories/pain killers can make symptoms and allow throwers to get away with bad patterns over an extended period of time.

2. Movement Quality

There are also instances where an athlete may have a significantly out-of-whack movement pattern, but without any symptoms. The goal with these individuals is obviously to optimize movement quality to get improvements without having to touch mechanics - and before pain kicks in.

3. Fatigue

Fatigue both acutely (within a game) and chronically (over the course of a season) can markedly impact a pitcher's consistency. It's a topic that also warrants much deeper digging, too, as it can be impacted by nutrition, initial work capacity, sleep quality, environmental conditions, and a host of other factors. We know that fatigue impacts not only mechanics, but also the motor learning we're trying to achieve in our preparation work.

4. Extrinsic Factors

Some guys pitch (and feel) terribly in cold weather. For others, really hot, humid days are the problem.

Pitching on a poorly maintained mound can minimize the effectiveness of even the most elite pitchers.

Throwing to an inferior catcher - or in front of a bad umpire - can have a dramatically negative impact on pitchers' success.

Only some of these factors can be modified, but the important thing is being able to recognize them so that you don't automatically assume that the struggles are coming from a different category from this list.

5. Feel

This is likely the most subjective and hard-to-describe issue. Some days, guys just don't have "feel" for a particular pitch on a given day, week, or month. At the younger levels, it is usually secondary to one of the first four factors I've outlined. At the more advanced levels, though, you almost have to chalk it up to a bit of random variation. Even the best pitchers on the planet have some considerable variation in their spin rates and extension numbers from pitch-to-pitch (as I outlined in this blog last year: Are Pitching Mechanics Really That Repeatable?)

I think this "feel" discussion reminds us that we don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water just because a guy struggles in one outing. When someone is struggling on the mound, look for trends and ask a lot of questions.

Wrap-up

These factors don't exist in isolation. For example, sometimes a physical issue (e.g., shoulder pain) can become a mechanical issue (e.g., lower arm slot). Moreover, thoracic outlet syndrome would qualify as a condition that spans the health, movement quality, feel, and fatigue realms.

There is a time and place for mechanical corrections, but before you go down that path, check these factors out first. We apply this sequential approach to development with all of our pitchers, aiming to identify "big rocks" early on that will deliver the most profound performance improvements.

This comprehensive approach to developing pitchers will be utilized heavily in our Elite Collegiate Baseball Development Summer Program. For more information, click here.

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2018 Cressey Sports Performance Collegiate Elite Baseball Development Program

Registration is now open for the 2018 Cressey Sports Performance Collegiate Elite Baseball Development Program. This event takes place at our Hudson, MA facility, and runs from 6/4/18 through 8/11/18.

During last year's offering, we had pitchers move to Massachusetts from eleven different states (plus Australia!). This summer, we anticipate another awesome collection of motivated athletes who'll push each other to get better in conjunction with the same training opportunities and expertise we provide to our professional athletes.

This program is a good fit for pitchers who need to prioritize development over just getting innings or exposure. In other words, it's a suitable replacement for those who still need to throw, but also need to gain 20 pounds, learn a new pitch, sort out old aches and pains, or improve their mobility.

Each athlete will begin with a thorough initial movement and pitching assessment that will set the stage for individualized strength and conditioning and throwing programs, respectively. These programs correspond to six days a week of training. Generally, four of the six training days per week are double sessions, with throwing in the morning and strength and conditioning in the afternoons. A typical training week would look like the following:

Monday: AM throwing, PM Strength and Conditioning
Tuesday: AM throwing, PM Strength and Conditioning
Wednesday: Late AM throwing and movement training (at field)
Thursday: AM throwing, PM Strength and Conditioning
Friday: AM throwing, PM Strength and Conditioning
Saturday: Optional AM Kinstretch (mobility) class, followed by throwing and movement training
Sunday: Off

In our throwing programs, we integrate weighted ball work, long toss, and bullpens (including video analysis). We'll integrate Rapsodo and Motus sleeves in these bullpens as well.

All the athletes will receive manual therapy with our licensed massage therapist weekly, and nutritional guidance throughout the program. Also to help with recovery, athletes have access to Fatigue Science Readibands (to help monitor sleep quality and quantity), MarcPro, and Normatec.

Last, but not least, we'll incorporate a regular educational components to educate the athletes on the "why" behind their training. Last year, this consisted of not only staff presentations, but also conference calls with Alan Jaeger, Noah Syndergaard, Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler, and Oliver Drake.

The best part is that it'll take place in a motivating environment where athletes can push each other to be the best they can be. By optimizing the situation, you can help change the person.

Interested in learning more? Email cspmass@gmail.com - but don't delay, as spaces are limited; this offering sold out last year, and we'll be capping the group size.

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Performance Programming Principles: Installment 2

As I promised back in November, I've decided to dedicate a regular series to the principles that govern a lot of our program design at Cressey Sports Performance. Here's the second installment:

1. A few positional breathing drills can be a game changer, but don't let them take over the training session.

Positional breathing drills have really surged in popularity in recent years, largely thanks to the great work of the folks at the Postural Restoration Institute. Forceful exhalation in certain positions can both activate certain muscles and inhibit others. Take, for instance, TRX Deep Squat Breathing with Lat Stretch.

We're firing up several muscles of exhalation: rectus abdominus, external obliques, serratus anterior - and toning down our lats, rhomboids, lumbar extensors, and calves (to name a few). It's not uncommon for folks to get up from this exercise after 30 seconds and feel dramatically different.

That said, as is often the case in the fitness industry, if a little is good, then a lot must be better, right? It didn't take long for us to find the zealots who are spending 30 minutes doing positional breathing at the start of every training session. It's somewhat analogous to the folks who foam roll for an hour every day.

You're better off doing 1-2 breathing drills at the start of a warm-up (and possibly as a cool-down) and then following it up with good resistance training technique to make those transient changes "stick." Patience and persistence always win out over short-term "overindulgence."

2. Follow these two great Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) strategies.

SFMA was one of the better courses I've taken in the past few years, and two programming principles they discuss really stand out:

a. Chase dysfunctional, non-painful patterns first.

Let's say someone walks in with a cranky shoulder that's limited into internal rotation: a dysfunctional, painful pattern. If you just throw caution to the wind and stretch that shoulder into internal rotation, more often than not, you're going to flare things up even further.

Let's say that individual also has a pronounced scapular anterior tilt and very limited thoracic extension and rotation. If you do some soft tissue work on pec minor and work in some thoracic spine mobilizations, there is a  very good chance that when you go back to retest shoulder internal rotation, it'll be improved and pain-free. Sometimes, the best way to get from A to B is through C or D.

b. Find and address areas were passive range-of-motion far exceeds active ROM.

There's a reason a lot of gymnasts and dancers retire with stress fractures in their lower backs; they have a lot of passive range-of-motion, but not always much motor control to stabilize those ranges of motion. This is why it's important to have assessments that test both passive and active ROMs (straight leg raises and supine vs. standing shoulder flexion are great examples). And, you need to have training initiatives that build control in those passive ranges.

3. Check out the Acumobility Ball.

I posted this on my Instagram and thought it might be of interest. The Acumobility Ball has been a game changer for us. You can save 10% on it at www.Acumobility.com with the coupon code cressey.

Here's a little example of how we'd use it on the pec minor/coracobrachialis/short head of biceps attachments on the coracoid process.

4. There's nothing that says you have to progress or regress programming - and there are many different ways to make lateral moves.

As few years ago, Charlie Weingroff coined the term "lateralizations" for times when you don't progress or regress an exercise, but rather, move laterally.

An example would be something along the lines of going from a standing 1-arm cable row to a split-stance 1-arm cable row. There really isn't any change to exercise complexity, but it does give the trainee some variety in their programming.

I'd say that lateralizations are the most useful with adult clients who don't have crazy lofty fitness goals - and therefore aren't interested in taking on a ton of risk in their training programs. They might not crave being sore all the time from all the innovative new exercises you can throw at them. Lateralizations can keep training fun via novelty without adding a steep learning curve.

Additionally, remember that exercise selection isn't the only way to progress or regress the challenge to the athlete or client in front of you. You can increase or decrease volume, alter the tempo, modify the load, or adjust the rest intervals.

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Checks and Balances in the Shoulder of the Throwing Athlete

For today's guest post, I've collaborated with physical therapist Eric Schoenberg, one of my co-presenters at the Elite Baseball Mentorship. Enjoy! -EC

The #1 reason why a player or team does not succeed in baseball is injury. Today, there is a surplus of information, but at the same time a lack of basic understanding of how to keep a baseball player healthy. When in doubt, you can never go wrong by understanding and relying upon anatomy and quality human movement.

One key principle to understand in this regard is that there is a tremendous system of checks and balances working at the shoulder girdle to make sure that we control both the big movements (osteokinematics) and subtle joint movements (arthrokinematics) in a small window for health and performance. If we look to anatomy, we can appreciate a very important concept by looking at the attachment points for the deltoid, latissimus dorsi, and pectoralist major: your three biggest prime movers in the upper extremity. You'll notice that all three attach on the shaft of the humerus, not the humeral head. Take a look at their attachment sites on this anatomical chart, and then compare them to where the rotator cuff (supraspinatus, subscapularis, teres major, and teres minor) attach further up on the humeral head.

Source: http://howtorelief.com/humerus-anatomy-bony-landmarks-muscle-attachment/

You can appreciate that all these big muscles attach on the anterior (front) aspect of the humerus, which means that they have powerful pulls into internal rotation that have to be counteracted by fewer, smaller muscles that attach on the posterior (back) aspect of the shoulder.

Here are three specific implications of these anatomical observations that relate to how you manage your throwing athletes:

1. The Deltoid is strong/active enough!

The deltoid works in conjunction with the supraspinatus to form a “force couple.”

Source: www.MikeReinold.com

If the strength, recruitment, or timing of the deltoid is greater than the supraspinatus, then the result will be superior migration of the humeral head in the glenoid. This results in superior humeral head stress (chondral defect), undersurface rotator cuff tear, labral pathology, among other structural injuries to the glenohumeral joint.

Tip: Be sure that athletes feel rotator cuff strengthening exercises in the cuff and not the deltoid or biceps.

2. The lat is strong/active enough!

The lat (as it acts on the scapula) is opposed by the serratus anterior, lower trapezius, and upper trapezius to control scapular rotation. Increased relative stiffness of the lat results in excessive scapular depression and downward rotation at rest.

Additionally, if you have decreased activation or muscle performance of the scapular upward rotators and elevators with overhead motion, the outcome will be inferior migration of the glenoid on the humeral head.

This results in superior humeral head stress (chondral defect), undersurface rotator cuff tear, labral pathology, among other structural injuries to the glenohumeral joint.

Tip: Be sure that the athlete’s programs have a good balance of overhead reaching tasks done with proper mechanics and timing of the glenohumeral and scapulothoracic joints.

3. The pecs are strong/active enough!

Pectoralis major's impact on the anterior glenohumeral joint is opposed by the rotator cuff to prevent anterior humeral glide. Effectively, the pec and lats want to pull the ball forward on the socket as the arm goes through gross movements, and the rotator cuff works hard to prevent this gliding at the joint level.

Dominance of pec major over the rotator cuff muscles (namely subscapularis) will play a role in an athlete presenting with anterior humeral glide. We often hear the athlete report “tightness” in the front of the shoulder and their first option is to "stretch it."

This can lead to anterior shoulder pain and potential structural pathology including anterior joint laxity, biceps tendon pathology, and labral pathology – all common injuries in throwing athletes.

Tip: Rather than trying to decrease the “tightness” in the front of the shoulder by aggressively stretching—instead, focus on improving static alignment, proprioceptive awareness, and recruitment of the cuff. If you couple this with some self-massage work, this approach will yield far more favorable results.

In closing, the shoulder joint is happiest when alignment is optimal. Injury will occur if preferred alignment is altered. Examples of altered alignment at rest or with movement are the humeral head is riding too high in the socket, the socket is riding too low on the humeral head, or the humerus is gliding too far forward. The resultant stress to the active or passive restraints of the shoulder leads to injury and loss of playing time. Do yourself (and the players that you work with) a favor and master the basics to help improve success on the field.

Looking to learn more about our unique approach to assessing and managing throwing athletes? Check out the upcoming Elite Baseball Mentorship Upper Extremity Course on January 14-16, 2018. For more information, click here.  The early-bird registration discount ends tonight at midnight.

About the Co-Author

Eric Schoenberg (@PTMomentum) is a physical therapist and strength coach located in Milford, MA where he is co-owner of Momentum Physical Therapy. Eric is addicted to baseball and plays a part in the Elite Baseball Mentorship Seminars at Cressey Sports Performance. He can be reached at eric@momentumpt.com.
 

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CSP Clothing for the Holidays

With the holiday shopping season upon us, I wanted to highlight some goodies we have for sale from the Cressey Sports Performance clothing line. As a little Black Friday/Cyber Monday bonus, we'll do free domestic shipping on all orders over $50 (we'll refund your shipping charge after the order is placed). Just click on the link of whatever you'd like an it'll automatically be added to your cart (and you can keep clicking to add multiple items).

NEW Navy CSP Camo T-Shirts - $24.99: XXL, Extra Large, Large, Medium, Small

NEW Blue CSP Elite Baseball Development T-Shirts - $24.99: XXL, Extra Large, Large, Medium, Small

NEW CSP Tank Top - $24.99: XXL, Extra Large, Large, Medium, Small

CSP Ladies Tank Top - $24.99: - Extra Large, Large, Medium, Small

Note: If you'd like to purchase one, please just add the appropriate color you'd like (teal, black, or pink) in the comments section at checkout. An important note: these tank tops run a bit big, so you'll want to order a size smaller than you'd normally get.

CSP Baseball Hat - $24.99: (One Size Fits All)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 11/13/17

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Here's a little recommended reading and viewing to check out:

Complete Core - This is Mike Boyle's new core training/programming resource. I'm working my way through it, and so far, so good! It's on sale for 50% off this week.

Is there a correlation between coaches' leadership styles and injury rates in elite football teams? - This was a fascinating study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The Dangers of Aligning Yourself with a Specific Team or Program - Cressey Sports Performance - MA co-founder Pete Dupuis authored up this insightful piece on why you shouldn't leap at every offer of "exclusivity."

Top Tweet of the Week

Top Instagram Post of the Week

 

I’m convinced that one of the (many) things that has set Corey apart over the course of his career is that he’s always made the early offseason extremely productive. 👇 While many players take 4-8 weeks of complete rest, he’s usually back in the gym in some capacity within ten days. Train smart, and you can get “easy gains” - improved mobility, rotator cuff strength, scapular control, and body composition - without interfering with the period of restoration. Over the course of a lengthy career, this could add up to more than an extra year of quality training in a sport when there never seems to be enough time to cover everything you want to cover. No matter what time of year it is, there’s always something you can do to get better. #cspfamily #cykluber #indians #mlb #Repost @frankduffyfitness (@get_repost) ・・・ I started @kinstretch work with Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber this off-season to complement his training program. Alongside his daily CARs routine, we've been working consistently on certain Positional Isometrics, Wall Peel Offs, and 90/90 Isometric Movement Paths (IsoMPs - shown in the video above). It doesn't matter if you're a Cy Young award winner or a 9-5 desk worker. The concepts of #functionalrangeconditioning and #kinstretch can be applied to all living individuals. #cspfamily #controlyourself . @drandreospina @deweynielsen @hunterfitness @danajohnflows @drmchivers @rannyron @koncious_k @ianmarkow @joegambinodpt

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