Home Posts tagged "Medicine Ball" (Page 3)

Throwing Programs: The Top 4 Long Toss Mistakes

In part 1, I made the case for long toss as an effective addition to a throwing program.  Today, we answer the question, “Why don’t some pitchers respond well to long toss?”  Let’s look at the top four reasons why someone may not be approaching long toss optimally.

1. They structure it incorrectly.

By far, the biggest mistake I see from pitchers when they’re long tossing is that they don’t utilize compression/pull-down throws at the end of the session.  These throws teach the pitcher to get on top of the ball and bring the release point down to where it should be with pitching – but they do all this with the increased arm speed you get from long tossing.  Effectively, you use compression throws to transition from your longest throwing distance to a flat ground session (this is a practice you’ll see from a LOT of MLB starting pitchers in pre-game warm-ups before they ever step foot on a mound).

Typically, our guys use a compression throw every 45-60 feet on the way back in (it almost amounts to a brisk walk back in).  So, if a pitcher went out to 300 feet with his long toss, he’d take compression throws at about 250, 200, 150, 100, and 60 feet.  I joke with guys that the last throw at 60 feet should pretty much scare the crap out of their throwing partners.  If you've seen Trevor Bauer crow-hopping downthe mound for his last warm-up pitch prior to every inning, you know what I mean.  Not surprisingly, Bauer is an Alan Jaeger/Ron Wolforth long toss disciple.  Here’s what Baseball America had to say about it: “[Bauer] starts behind the rubber, runs over the mound and throws as hard as he can to the plate, from about 54 feet. I've heard reports that those throws have registered 100 mph…”

Some guys – particularly those with a history of control issues and the guys who are trying to tinker with their mechanics – are wise to go into a brief flat-ground (or regular) bullpen right after these compression throws.  It’s a good chance to transfer the arm speed and athleticism of long toss into a little more of a sport-specific action.  I’ve also seen quite a few pitchers who have improved their change-ups considerably by long tossing for part of the session with their change-up grip, and then integrating it into one of these post-long-toss flat ground or bullpen sessions.  It helps with keeping the arm speed up in pitchers who tend to slow down the arm for change-ups.

2. They become good throwers and not good pitchers.

I’ll be straightforward with this one.

If you can long toss 350 feet, but pitch at 80-82mph, you can definitely stand to cut back a bit on your long tossing to spend more time focusing on mound work to sync things up and use that general motor potential to your advantage.

If you can long toss 350 feet, but have a 1:6 strikeout:walk ratio and have pitches hitting the backstop, you can definitely stand to cut back a bit on your long tossing to spend more time focusing on mound work to sync things up and actually throw strikes.

If you can long toss 350 feet, but are getting shelled because you just throw a very straight 93mph and don’t have any secondary pitches, you can definitely stand to cut back a bit on your long tossing to spend more time focusing on mound work to sync things up and learn some other pitches.  The average fastball velocity is higher in low-A than it is in the big leagues, you know…

3. They think long toss covers all their needs.

There are a ton of different factors that contribute to pitching success and longevity.  Once you can throw a ball a long way, there is a tendency to think that you’ve done what you need to be successful, but in reality, there are a lot more things to address to prepare your body and long toss is still pretty specific, in the grand scheme of things.  As is often the case, the greatest benefits are usually derived from doing the things that you don’t do particularly well (yet).  Bartolo Colon, for instance, might be able to long toss 330 feet, but he might have a heart attack on the light jog to the outfield to partake in that long tossing session.

4. They don’t long toss on a straight line.

It seems like a no-brainer, but you should throw on a straight line.  If the guy 250 feet away is 20-feet to the left of “center,” you’re teaching yourself to either stay closed or fly open with your delivery.  Stand on the foul line or line yourself up between foul poles, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to “get aligned.”

As you probably appreciate now, while long toss is usually a tremendously valuable inclusion in most throwing programs, it isn’t a perfect fit for everyone – and that’s why each unique case must be considered individually.

Don't forget that long toss guru Alan Jaeger has put his popular Thrive on Throwing DVD on sale for 25% off for my readers for a limited time only.  Click here to learn more.

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Making the Case for Long Toss in a Throwing Program

Long toss may have been scorned by quite a few baseball traditionalists, but I am a big fan of it – and our guys have responded outstandingly to the way we’ve used it.  Perhaps it’s just my “1+1=2” logic at work, but I just feel like if you can build up the arm speed to throw the ball a loooonngggg way, then you’ll be able to carry that over to the mound as soon as you get your pitching mechanics dialed in.  And, this has certainly been validated with our athletes, as we have loads of professional pitchers who absolutely swear by long toss (both off- and in-season).

So, you can understand why I got excited when my good buddy, Alan Jaeger – a man who has devoted a big chunk of his life to getting long toss “accepted” in the baseball community – was featured in this article at MLB.com about what a difference it makes - including for the Texas Rangers on their road to the World Series a few years ago.

I was, however, not a fan of this paragraph in the article:

“Former Red Sox pitcher Dick Mills has a business built around teaching mechanics and maximizing velocity, and he is a staunch opponent of long tossing. He has released countless YouTube videos angrily decrying this practice. In his latest, ‘How Long Toss Can Ruin Your Pitching Mechanics and Your Arm,’ he says, ‘Why would you practice mechanics that are totally different and will not help a pitcher during a game? And why would you practice throwing mechanics that are clearly more stressful where the arm does most of the work?’"

Taking it a step further, here’s a Dick Mills quote I came across a few years ago:

“Training will not teach you how to apply more force…only mechanics can do that. And pitching is not about applying more effort into a pitch but is about producing more skilled movements from better timing of all the parts. That will help produce more force. No matter how hard you try, you will not get that from your strength training program…no matter who designed it, how much they have promised you it would or your hope that it will be the secret for you.”

While I agree (obviously) on the importance of mechanics and timing, effectively, we’re still being told that long toss, strength training, and weighted balls are all ineffective modalities for developing the pitcher – which leaves us with what, bullpens and stretching? It sounds like every youth baseball practice in the country nowadays – and all we’re getting now are injured shoulders and elbows at astronomical rates.  Something isn’t right – and the message is very clear: specificity is a very slippery slope.


On one hand, when it comes to mechanics, you need to throw off the mound to get things fine-tuned to achieve efficiency.

On the other hand, research has shown that arm stress is higher when you’re on the mound (there is less external rotation at stride foot contact with flat ground throwing).  Additionally, every pitch that’s thrown is really a step in the direction of sports specialization for a youth baseball player – and something needs to balance that out.  Why?

Well, specializing at a young age is destroying kids.  As a great study from Olsen et al. showed, young pitchers who require surgery pitched “significantly more months per year, games per year, innings per game, pitches per game, pitches per year, and warm-up pitches before a game. These pitchers were more frequently starting pitchers, pitched in more showcases, pitched with higher velocity, and pitched more often with arm pain and fatigue.”  And people think that kid need more work on the mound?  What they need are more structured throwing sessions (practice, not competition) and a comprehensive throwing and strength and conditioning program to prepare them for the demands they’ll face.

But those aren’t specific enough, are they?!?!?!  Well, let’s talk about specificity a bit more.  Actually, let’s read – from renowned physical therapist Gray Cook, a guy who certainly knows a thing or two about why people get injured:

The physical presentation of differently trained bodies often provides a signature of the type and style of activity that developed it. Those who are exclusive in their activities seem more often be molded to their activities, and sometimes actually over-molded. These individuals can actually lose movements and muscles that would make alternate activities much easier.

Specialization can rob us of our innate ability to express all of our movement potential. This is why I encourage highly specialized athletes to balance their functional movement patterns. They don’t so much need to train all movement patterns, they just need to maintain them. When a functional movement pattern is lost, it forecasts a fundamental crack in a foundation designed to be balanced. The point is not that specialization is bad—it only presents a problem when the singular activity over-molds to the point of losing balance.

While there are probably 15-20 awesome messages we can take home from the previous two paragraphs, here’s the big one I want to highlight: it’s our job as coaches to find the biggest window of adaptation a pitcher has and bring it up to speed – while simultaneously keeping other qualities in mind.

If he’s stiff, we work on mobility.  If he’s weak, we get him strong.  If he’s a mechanical train wreck, we get him more bullpens.  If his arm speed isn’t good, we work more on weighted balls and long toss.  If you just take a 5-10, 120-pound 9th grader and have him throw bullpens exclusively, he’ll get better for a little bit, and then plateau hard unless you get him bigger and stronger.

How does this work?  It’s a little principle called Delayed Transmutation that Vladimir Zatsiorsky highlighted in Science and Practice of Strength Training.  Zatsiorsky defines delayed transmutation as “the time period needed to transform acquired motor potential into athletic performance.”  In other words, expand and improve your “motor pool” in the off-season, and it’ll be transformed into specific athletic performance when the time is right.

And, as I wrote in The Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual, “the more experienced you are in a given sport, the less time it will take for you to transform this newfound strength and power [and mobility] into sporting contexts.”  This is why professional pitchers can find their groove each year MUCH easier than high school pitchers in spite of the fact that they probably take more time off each year (2-3 months from throwing) than the typical overused kid who plays on 17 different AAU teams.

That said, there’s a somewhat interesting exception to this rule: really untrained kids.  I’ll give you two examples from the past week alone at Cressey Performance.

We had a high school senior and a high school junior who both just started up their winter throwing programs to prepare for the season.

The first told me that he was sore in his legs after throwing for the first time in his life.  Effectively, without throwing a single pitch or really doing any lesson work (or even throwing off a mound), this kid has managed to change the neuromuscular recruitment patterns he uses to throw the baseball.  Strength, power, and mobility took care of themselves: delayed transmutation.

The second told me that his arm feels electric.  Ask any experienced pitcher, and they’ll tell you that your arm is supposed to feel like absolute crap the first 4-5 days after an extended layoff, but it always gets better.  However, when you’re a kid who has gotten more flexible and packed on a bunch of muscle mass, it’s like all of a sudden driving a Ferrari when you’re used to sharing a minivan with Mom: delayed transmutation.

Specificity is important in any sport, but a it really is just the work as far to the right as you can go on the general to specific continuum.  Elite sprinters do squats, lunges, Olympic lifts, jump squats, and body weight plyos as they work from left to right on the general-to-specific continuum to get faster.  So, why do so many pitching coaches insist that pitchers stay as far to the right as possible?    Symbolically, long toss is to pitchers what plyos are to sprinters: specific, but just general enough to make a profound difference.

In a very roundabout way, I’ve made a case for long toss as something that can be classified as beneficial in much the same way that we recognize (well, most of us, at least) that mobility drills, foam rolling, strength training, movement training, and medicine ball drills to be excellent adjuncts to bullpens. In the process of learning to throw the baseball farther, we:

1. push arm speed up

2. train in a generally-specific fashion

3. improve contribution of the lower half

4. realize another specific, quantifiable marker (distance) of progress

5. keep throwing fun

6. train the arm with just enough LESS specificity to help keep pitchers healthy, as compared with mound work

The question then becomes, “Why don’t some pitchers respond well to long toss?”  In part 2, I’ll outline the most common mistakes I’ve seen:

When I told Alan Jaeger that I was sending this article out, he graciously offered to set up a 25% off discount code on his Thrive on Throwing DVD set for my readers. This outstanding DVD set thoroughly teaches players and coaches how to approach long tossing, and Alan has also applied a discount to his J-Bands and his Getting Focused, Staying Focused book for pitchers. Here's a link to the discount page.

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Throwing Programs: Not One-Size-Fits-All

I received a few separate emails this week from folks wondering how I plan our guys' off-season throwing programs to include everything from long toss, to weighted baseballs, to mound work.

Most people expect to be handed a simple throwing program - as one might receive with an interval throwing program following rehabilitation.  The truth is that there isn't a single throwing program that I give to all our guys; rather, each is designed with the athlete's unique needs and circumstances taken into consideration.

With that in mind, I thought I'd outline some of the factors we consider when creating a throwing program for our professional baseball pitchers (many of these principles can also be applied to younger throwers):

1. Where they struggle on the mound (poor control, poor velocity, lack of athleticism, etc.)

2. Whether I want them using weighted balls in addition to long toss and bullpens or not

3. How many innings they threw the previous year (the more they throw, the later they start)

4. Whether they are going to big league or minor league spring training (we have minor league guys an additional 2-3 weeks)

5. How much "risk" we're willing to take with their throwing program (we'd be more aggressive with a 40th rounder than a big leaguer or first rounder; here is a detailed write-up on that front)

6. Whether they are a starter or reliever (relievers can start earlier because they've had fewer innings in the previous year)

7. What organization they are in (certain teams expect a LOT when guys show up, whereas others assume guys did very little throwing in the off-season and then hold them back when they arrive in spring training)

8. Whether guys play winter ball, Arizona Fall League, Team USA/Pan-American games, or go to instructionals

9. Whether they are big leaguers (season ends the last week in September, at the earliest) or minor leaguers (ends the first week in September)

10. What each guy tells you about his throwing history and how his arm feels.  Any pitcher can always tell you more than you can ever accurately assume - so you just have to be willing to listen to him.

Here are a few general rules of thumb:

1. Most throwing programs from professional organizations don't have their pitchers playing catch until January 1 - and I think this is WAY too late to give pitchers adequate time to develop arm speed and durability in the off-season.

2. Relievers start earlier than starters (we are starting our relief pitchers three weeks ahead of our starters this year, on average).

3. Medicine ball volume comes down and throwing volume goes up.

4. Most of our guys who don't go to instructionals, winter ball, the fall league, or Team USA start in November.  Starters are generally right around Thanksgiving among minor leaguers, with some relievers a bit earlier.  Big league guys don't start throwing until mid- to late-December or even January 1.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but hopefully it gives you some insight into some of what goes through my mind as we work to increase throwing velocity and arm health.

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Nutrition, Medicine Ball Training, and Overhead Pressing for Baseball Players

In honor of the end of the minor league baseball season yesterday, I thought I'd go with a baseball-only theme today for our "Stuff You Should Read." First, though, I thought I'd give you the heads-up that I finally broke down and got a Twitter account, on the recommendation of a few people.  If you're interested in following me, you can do so HERE.

With that out of the way, some baseball articles that may interest you: Athlete Profile: Shawn Haviland - This is a great feature at Precision Nutrition on one of our athletes, Shawn Haviland, who was recently named a California League All-Star after striking out 169 batters in 153.2 innings, with a 3.65 ERA.  Shawn has worked really hard to get where he is, and this article shows just how tough getting in proper nutrition can be during the professional baseball season. Medicine Ball Madness - This piece touches on our unique medicine ball training program.  At some point, I'm going to get around to writing up a detailed resource on this, but for now, this will do.  Suffice it to say that our guys will get a little bit of a break over the next few weeks, and then we'll be destroying a lot of med balls up through the first of the year. Should Pitchers Overhead Press? - The following video is an excerpt from Mike Reinold and my Optimal Shoulder Performance DVD set.  It's a great resource for fitness professionals and rehabilitation specialists alike - especially if you are working with baseball players.

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Strength and Conditioning Programs: Understanding the Absolute Strength to Absolute Speed Continuum

A few questions from one of our pro baseball guys inspired me to create this video "tutorial" on how to develop power.  It starts general, and progresses to specific.  Think about how it applies to YOUR sport and your training history.

For more detail, check out The Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual. Please enter your email below to sign up for our FREE newsletter and receive a FREE deadlift technique tutorial.4
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The New Era of Interval Training

Most of you already know by now that I'm not a fan of "traditional" cardio. Step aerobics classes have ruined enough knees, Achilles tendons, and hips. Ellipticals don't allow you enough hip flexion to avoid developing hips like a crowbar. Most people don't need to sit on their fat a**es on bikes, either because most people, well, they sit on their fat a**es enough as it is. In short, as I've noted in the past in my discussions of The Law of Repetitive Motion Part 1 and Part 2, take a small amplitude of motion and repeat it thousands of times and you're going to wind up with some issues sooner than later.  And, to take it a step further, you're going to get efficient at this motion - and over the course of time, burn fewer calories (especially if you're doing steady-state cardio and not interval work). It's not like I haven't made suggestions on other stuff to do, either.  Try Sprinting for Health, Rethinking Interval Training, or When Things Get Boring, Turn to Cardio Strength Training.  I also recently raved about the emphasis Chad Waterbury placed on movement on his great new fat loss program, Body of Fire. And, if you need one more example, here was a little fun I had with an impromptu conditioning session on Sunday afternoon at Cressey Performance: Alternating Lateral Lunge Walk with Keg paired with Inchworms.

I'd already done some cable woodchops, t-push-ups, face pulls, slideboard, easy sprinting progressions, and medicine ball throws in a circuit format that day (pair up two exercises with low resistance and rotate back and forth without stopping for three minutes).  It's not rocket science because we aren't building rockets; people just need to move more. Please enter your email below to sign up for our FREE newsletter.

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Random Friday Thoughts: Chicago, Cattle, Comcast, and Customer Service

I hope everyone had a good week.  I'm writing this blog in a bit of a hurry, as I need to pack this morning before heading to Cressey Performance and then directly to the airport to fly out to Chicago. 1. Why Chicago?  Well, in case you've been living under a rock and haven't heard, this weekend is the second Perform Better Summit of the year.  I'll be giving two talks on Saturday. If you're up in the air on which one to attend, I'd recommend my second one (lecture, not hands on).  With the room design (no concrete walls), we won't be able to do much true medicine ball training so that the hands-on can parallel my lecture topic.  I'll be talking about shoulder assessment and corrective exercise with a little medicine ball flavor in my hands-on instead. There are a ton of videos in the presentation, though, so you'll be able to get the next best thing.

While I enjoy presenting at seminars, I don't like to travel at all; sitting in airports and on planes is just not my thing.  However, when it's Perform Better, the hassle of traveling just doesn't seem to be present - because I know how awesome the "light at the end of the tunnel" is.   As a presenter, I don't always get to check out as many of the other talks as I'd like because I'm tied up with speaking and answering questions, but I do get to experience a lot of interaction with audience members and other speakers between lectures, at breakfast/lunch/dinner, and on the town.  These, for me, are really as valuable as the presentations themselves.  Audience members ask some excellent questions that can drive blog content, and I've also added some valuable people from around the country to my network this way.  Chatting with presenters is great as well, because they always have some new project or business strategy that they're working on that can get my mind working.  Chicago is also great because I can catch up with my buddy, Josh Bonhotal, who is a strength and conditioning coach for the Chicago Bulls.

chicagobulls

All that said, I have to say that it is kind of nice to see my schedule as empty for the rest of the summer.  With the new house, wedding planning, and our busiest month at Cressey Performance at-hand, it'll be nice to focus my efforts here both personally and professionally.  I try to keep the summers reasonably free so that we can take weekend trips up to Maine to visit my parents a few times a month.  Additionally, with a few of our minor league guys on the cusp of call-ups to the big leagues, I want to make sure that I can hop on a plane at a moment's notice to be there to support them and share in the excitement wherever they wind up making those MLB debuts. Anyway, if you're in attendance in Chicago, please be sure to introduce yourself. 2.Those of you who can't make it would probably like this article as the next best thing: Medicine Ball Madness. 3. Oh, I should say that it looks like my second presentation coincides with the U.S. vs. Ghana World Cup game.  Skip me, if you have to; I'd probably skip me, if I was in your shoes.

donovan

Check out this great article from Ryan Andrews at Precision Nutrition: Cattle Feedlot: Behind the Scenes. 4. Many of you might recall how much I abhor Comcast.  Well, I'm happy to report that we officially kicked them to the curb about two weeks ago by making the switch to Verizon for our internet and cable - and I have to say that it was an awesome decision.  The price, service, speed, and product offering don't just beat Comcast; they beat it like a red-headed rented mule.  If you're thinking about making the switch, I highly recommend it. Incidentally, I had to chuckle when I saw that MSN Money had released its list of the 2010 Customer Service Hall of Shame, and Comcast was in third place.  Meanwhile, Sprint - which I had dropped for my cell phone service after seven years (also to go with Verizon) was listed as #4.  I guess you could say that I was getting rid of the dead wood around here last month! Please enter your email below to sign up for our FREE newsletter.
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Clearing up the Rotator Cuff Controversy

The college coach of one of our current pro baseball players was asking me about the rotator cuff program he's doing with us now, and I figured I'd turn it into today's topic.  We take a bit of a different approach with it than you'll see with a lot of guys in the industry, and it's basically dictated by three assertions/assumptions: 1. The true function of the rotator cuff is to stabilize the humeral head on the glenoid (shoulder socket).  While external rotation is important for deceleration of the crazy internal rotation velocity seen with throwing, it's stabilization that we're really after. As you can see, the humeral head is too large to allow for great surface area contact with the glenoid.

glenoid

My feeling is that the bigger muscles - particularly scapular stabilizers, the core, and the lower half - will decelerate the crazy velocities we see as long as mechanics are effective and the deceleration arc is long enough.

robertson

2. The shoulder internally rotates at over 7,000°/s during acceleration; that's the fastest motion in all of sports.  There's no way that the rotator cuff muscles alone with their small cross-sectional area can decelerate it.  And, to take it a step further, there isn't much that some rubber tubing is going to do to help the cause (aside from just promoting blood flow - although I'd rather get that in a more global sense with full-body flexibility circuits, as I discussed HERE).

More important than blood flow is getting range of motion (ROM) back (particularly elbow extension and shoulder internal rotation) after a pitching outing.  In my experience, losses in ROM get guys injured faster than weakness, in my experience.  I've seen quite a few people come to me who have healthy shoulders, but test poorly on classic rotator cuff strength measures.  Why?  Perhaps they are very strong in their scapular stabilizers, core, and lower half and have become efficient enough to handle more of the deceleration demands in areas other than the rotator cuff.  Or, they may just be lucky; rotator cuff strength is still important!

3. We've mocked on the conventional bodybuilding community for training muscles and not movements: chest day, quads day - you get the picture.  Meanwhile, the baseball community is devoting five days a week to training muscles with cross-sectional areas smaller than any of these!

I've had multiple discussions with Mike Reinold that reaffirm this indirectly; he emphasizes that one should never train the rotator cuff to failure, as that's not how it works in the real world.  Our job is to enhance not just its strength, but also its proprioception and rate of force development.  If we chronically abuse it with training on top of the crazy demands of throwing, we never really know how strong the rotator cuff actually is. It makes you wonder how many guys in the baseball world actually have exhausted and chronically overtrained rotator cuff muscles as opposed to weak rotator cuff muscles!

With these three assertions in mind, most of our guys in the off-season will have four days of rotator cuff work spread out over two "types" of training.  Days 1 and 3 (say, Monday and Thursday) would be more rhythmic stabilization drills similar to this (although the options are really only limited by your imagination):

The other two days are more classic rotator cuff work that prioritizes external rotation and horizontal abduction (we never do empty cans).  I do a lot of work with cables here, plus a lot in the side-lying position (EMG activity for the cuff is highest here).

We'll also do a lot of manual resistance external rotation stuff, as it kind of "blends" conventional cuff work with rhythmic stabilizations due to the unstable load. Here's one option:

Later in the off-season, we'll throw in some one-arm medicine ball deceleration catches and external rotation tosses to the wall to get the thoracic spine and hips ready for the full-body demands of throwing.

Keep in mind that - as I noted - rotator cuff exercises are just one piece of the puzzle.  These are one component of a larger overall plan that addresses not only scapular stability, but also total body strength and mobility, soft tissue quality, medicine ball work, movement training, and the actual throwing program.

For more information (actually a LOT more information), check out the DVD set, Optimal Shoulder Performance: From Rehabilitation to High Performance from Mike Reinold and I.

shoulder-performance-dvdcover

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The Best of 2009: Articles

In place of "Stuff You Should Read" this week, I thought it might be cool to direct you to our most popular pages and videos for 2009, according to our website statistics.  Presumably, these are the ones that people forwarded to friends the most, and/or the ones that caught the most people's eyes.  This excludes pages like the homepage, baseball content, products, etc.  Here we go: Medicine Ball Madness - This piece outlined some of the medicine ball work I do with both my baseball guys and the rest of our clients.  It was so popular that it actually led to me deciding to cover this topic at my Perform Better talks for 2010. Hip Internal Rotation Deficit: Causes and Fixes - This Q&A on what the lying knee-to-knee stretch does actually led to a discussion of the who, what, when, where, why, and how. Front vs. Back Squats - This is a different kind of discussion on a debate that's been going on for years. Crossfit for Baseball - Controversial?  Yup.  I got a little hate mail for this one, but on the whole, I think I was pretty fair with how I approached it. "Quad Pulls" and Sprinting Warm-ups - This article discusses how the term "quad pull" might not be the most accurate one out there - and, more importantly, how to avoid them. A Common Cause of Hip Pain in Athletes - This piece discusses femoral anterior glide syndrome, a term coined by Shirley Sahrmann. Next, we'll feature the most popular product reviews of 2009.
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Stuff You Should Read: 12/23/09

I'm a bit tied up with holiday preparation stuff on top of the regular CP goings-on, so I thought I'd use today to throw out some recommended reading for the week: Cardio Strength Training - I just got my copy of Robert dos Remedios' new book in the mail.  I was honored to have contributed to it, and it's an awesome resource with a ton of protocols and exercises that you can implement to make conditioning a lot more interesting.  For those of you looking to drop some fat in the new year, this is a must-have.

cardiost

Only One Body - This is an excellent post from Mike Boyle that really helps to put things in perspective.  Quick read; check it out! Medicine Ball Madness - This old newsletter talks a bit about how we attack medicine ball training with our baseball guys.  In 2010, I'll be presenting on this concept in a lot more detail at my Perform Better appearances.
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