Home Posts tagged "Rotational Power"

Taking Proteus Motion for a Spin

Today’s guest post comes from former Cressey Sports Performance intern and current physical therapist, Tanner Allen. I asked Tanner to take the lead on our work with Proteus this offseason, and he does a great job of summing up our initial experiences below. Enjoy! -EC

In December, we brought in a Proteus Motion unit to Cressey Sports Performance – Florida to try out for the offseason. It goes without saying that we found some excellent benefits, and I thought I’d use today’s blog post to dig in on them. First, however, I think it’s important to appreciate what Proteus is.

Proteus Motion uses electromagnetic brakes to produce resistance that the user must overcome to move the arm or beam. This futuristic cannon packs a heavy punch of technology. Utilizing biofeedback and tracking technology, Proteus enables athletes to optimize their movement patterns and power development. It allows you to train within the freedoms of your own movements while providing resistance continuously in a manner different than you'd experience with cable machines, barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells - because the impact of both gravity and specific planes of motion are reduced and eliminated, respectively.

The only other place on earth an individual can experience this 3D resistance is in water. In fact, the machine was named after Proteus, the son of the sea god Poseidon in Greek mythology. The quality that links water and the Proteus machine is the ability for an individual to move fluidly throughout every movement that they may perform. The main handle attachment of Proteus is unlike traditional grips and enables the user to sync multiple movements together in a natural and organic way. As soon as you step up to the machine for the first time, you can move the arm in any direction to get a feel for the continuous resistance which is unlike any other resistance training you have ever done before.

Currently, we are using Proteus as an adjunct to conventional training involving our Arm Care and Med Ball programming. This gives our clients variable training environments to aid in motor learning, control, and carryover between common exercises and movement patterns. Below, I’ll demonstrate a few examples of exercises that we are performing with our clients:

Arm Care/Scapula Stabilizer strengthening, consisting of: D2 Flexion and Extension, Horizontal Abduction, External Rotation while simultaneously transitioning into Internal Rotation and lead arm stability during swing.

Med balls and Rotational Core Variations: Rotational Chops, Chop and Lift, Rotational Shotput, Split Stance Anti Rotation Chops as well as many others.

One of the foundational principles coached regardless of training method is the appropriate activation of your core during extremity movements for optimal stability and force transfer. Something that we notice with first-time users is the lack of awareness that they have throughout rotational control and power, which typically causes the athlete to lose their balance backwards during their first couple repetitions. Once an athlete’s neuromuscular system kicks in and maximizes full-body engagement, they make the needed adjustments to maintain balance appropriately during exercises. This challenge to the neuromuscular system eventually improves the client’s ability to properly sequence movements and create/transfer force, which subsequently improves the power production numbers Proteus tracks.

The sky is truly the limit with Proteus as the potential for possible exercises and movements is endless, making this exercise machine a potential one-stop-shop for workouts. This machine can be utilized for sports-performance training due to decreased restrictions on natural movement patterns or for an extremely effective total body routine, as you can seamlessly flow from one exercise to the next. This machine also allows easy resistance adjustments during a workout through Bluetooth controls for on-the-fly changes. The weight ranges from 1-35lbs, making it versatile for warm-up routines prior to powerlifts, sport-specific skill drills or training peak power production in multi-planar movements. The Proteus can also be extremely beneficial during rehabilitation due to visual feedback and tracking capabilities.

The Proteus also offers a wide range of metrics that can be tracked for each individual user to assess progress. This is helpful for re-assessments following an individual’s program, tracking improvements throughout the off-season, following an injury during rehabilitation or assessing fatigue during a periodization period. You can track power output (Watts), Acceleration, Deceleration, Endurance, and Consistency looking at the client’s ability to reproduce a specific movement. The pictures below provide you with a visual of what a post-test report might look like.

The report provides you with an in-depth analysis of your performance, comparing movement patterns or exercises bilaterally. It allows you to determine specific trends an athlete might have in fatigue or recovery management, helping the provider make necessary changes to programming. Results can be determined based on a single repetition, or a 3D graph can be created overlaying multiple repetitions. A cool feature included is the visual feedback of an entire motion throughout the length-tension curve, allowing you to assess strengths and weaknesses along the total path of motion pictured above. Moving forward, from a testing standpoint, we see ourselves using it extensively with:

a. objective measurement of shoulder strength tests in a standing (and therefore more functional) position

b. measuring rotational power - but peak and in terms of side-to-side comparisons

On this second point, there's a lot to be said for the ability of Proteus to slide into a relatively untapped portion of the force-velocity curve. Looking at this old video from EC, you can see that it could fit anywhere in the speed-strength to strength-speed aspect of this continuum - almost like a medicine ball that you can load more - but have to apply force over a greater distance. And, because it's concentric dominant action in nature, it could be trained frequently without making athletes really sore.

As you can see, Proteus is a versatile machine with broad application in peak performance training as well as rehabilitation and testing. It measures and tracks data on hard-to-measure patterns to assess an athlete’s progress, provide biofeedback, and train rotational sport athletes along the force-velocity curve in a safe way. We look forward to diving into the Proteus system’s capabilities even more in the future. We have only just begun to tap into the potential and vast capabilities of Proteus with testing and programing at our CSP-FL.

If you're interested in learning more, check them out at www.ProteusMotion.com.

About the Author

Tanner Allen received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine in 2019. After graduating, he completed an Internship at CSP-FL in the Fall of 2019. Tanner enjoys working with athletes of all ages and backgrounds on a continuum from rehabilitation following injury through sports performance training. He graduated from Valdosta State University in 2015 with a degree in Exercise Physiology and is a Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP) as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Speed Training with Lee Taft

We’re excited to welcome speed training expert Lee Taft to this week’s podcast for an awesome discussion of baseball movement competencies and how to coach them. Lee is highly qualified to work across all sports, but I've found his work to be particularly impactful in the baseball world. CSP-MA Director of Performance John O'Neil takes the lead as a guest host as well.

This is a timely podcast, as Lee's popular Certified Speed and Agility Specialist course is on sale for $150 off this week. I'm a huge fan of Lee and this resource - so much, in fact, that it was filmed at Cressey Sports Performance - Massachusetts. It's now required viewing for all our staff members. You can check it out and take advantage of the great discount HERE.

Show Outline

  • How Lee developed into the coach he is today
  • How Lee approaches youth athletic development
  • What the 7 movement patterns of speed are and how these principles translate into sport specific results
  • What is a lateral run step is, how Lee teaches it, and how it’s different from a traditional crossover step
  • How can base stealers optimize their setup to maximize acceleration
  • Why an initial step back with the lead leg is not a bad move first move for a base runner and why observing an athlete’s center of mass is more meaningful when addressing acceleration
  • What the upper body’s role is in creating efficient running patterns and how the arms specifically work for baserunners when stealing
  • How can infielders can improve their setup and defensive start position
  • Why the traditional defensive mindset of get your glove on the ground and be as low as you can is the wrong strategy for optimizing a player’s athleticism
  • How initial hand position and the movement of the arms work to propel the body out of the start position to fielding the ball
  • How outfielders can refine their defensive setup
  • How the incorporation of a split step into a defensive player’s approach can create a quicker initial move to the ball and help to expand a fielder’s range
  • What minute but key movement competencies Lee incorporates into athletes’ training, including the dissociation of their upper and lower half and learning to run an opposite direction your eyes are looking
  • How Lee incorporates curvilinear speed work into his athletes’ training
  • How deceleration isn’t emphasized enough when discussing qualities of position players
  • What the common compensations Lee sees in baseball players’ running mechanics are
  • What mistakes coaches are commonly making when teaching and training speed in the game of baseball
  • What principles Lee prioritizes when incorporating conditioning into athletes’ training
  • How Lee would implement conditioning into a baseball program’s training calendar and how he would apply his conditioning principles to specific scenarios like managing a pitchers’ workload between starts
  • What the priority training qualities are when working to train power in hitters
  • What med ball fake throws are and why are these specifically useful when training hitters
  • You can follow Lee on Twitter at @LeeTaft and Instagram at @LeeTaft.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

Exercise of the Week: Bounce Drop Heiden with Medicine Ball

The Bounce Drop Heiden with Medicine Ball combines two of our favorite Heiden (frontal plane plyometric drill) progressions:

1. Dropping from elevation to increase eccentric overload (and increase storage of elastic energy)

2. Holding a med ball as a counterbalance to improve hip loading

Some key coaching points:

1. Don't let the knee slip into valgus (knees collapses in) on landing. A strong sagittal plane landing position should be following by power production laterally. You're loading the glutes in the sagittal plane and then unloading them in all three planes (especially the frontal plane). Don't put the knee in a vulnerable position to get these benefits.

2. The arms should not be rigid. In other words, holding the medicine ball shouldn't restrict a fluid arm swing.

3. Don't race through ground contact. The goal is to use the increased eccentric pre-loading to enable you to produce more force. There is a happy medium between spending too little time on the ground and shortchanging yourself vs. spending too long on the ground and wasting elastic energy. This video demonstrates that sweet spot well.

4. This is a late offseason progression for our advanced athletes. Don't give it to an untraind 14-year-old who's never lifted weights. They can start with regular Heidens (no elevation) and other landing and jumping progressions.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Optimizing Rotational Power with Dr. Greg Rose

We're excited to welcome Dr. Greg Rose to this week's podcast to talk about evaluating and training rotational power across multiple sports. A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • How Greg’s professional journey began as a young, aspiring engineer and how becoming involved in the world of golf persuaded him to leave engineering and become a doctor of chiropractic
  • How Greg became involved with Titleist and, in turn, the Titleist Performamce Institute
  • How Greg led the way for the incorporation of motion capture technology with athletes
  • How TPI has evolved to include other sport specific coaching tools like OnBaseU
  • How Greg’s interaction with Tom House evolved into a more comprehensive interaction with a variety of rotational athletes
  • What it really means to move efficiently as a rotational athlete
  • Why individuals need to be careful when analyzing movement from single still shot photo or snapshot of data and how professionals can apply a systematic approach for understanding and improving movement
  • How coaches can utilize all the tools in their toolbox to understand the what, how, and why a person moves a certain way
  • How collecting data should drive intervention rather than just being descriptive
  • How coaches can influence the learning experience for their athletes and how strategies like external vs internal coaching ques and random and blocked practice influence how an individual learns
  • What research says about the impact of external and internal coaching ques on performance and how coaches can better understand when to use each of these strategies with an athlete
  • How does considering a sport’s window to excel allow coaches to better prepare athletes for success
  • How to approach long term athletic development, with particular focus on critical windows for developing certain qualities
  • Why talent identification can’t be truly trusted until after a child’s growth spurt and how being a early or late bloomer influences an athletes athletic development
  • How Greg conceptualizes developing rotational skills with young athletes
  • What books anyone in the rotational sport world should read
  • You can follow Dr. Rose on Twitter at @OnBaseU and on Instagram at @OnBaseU.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

Making Sense of Rotational Medicine Ball Progressions

If you've followed our work at Cressey Sports Performance for any length of time, you know that we're big fans of training rotational power with medicine ball variations. With that in mind, I wanted to use today's blog to outline some of our strategies for introducing and progressing these exercises in our programs.

Step 1: Stationary Anti-Rotation - These exercises teach bracing on the front leg and emphasize thoracic (upper back) rotation. The split-stance anti-rotation medicine ball scoop toss is a good example.

Step 2: Stationary Rotation: These exercises emphasize hip loading, force transfer, and thoracic rotation delivering the arm, but the base of support doesn't change much (if at all). The rotational medicine ball shotput is an example.

Step 3: Momentum Rotation - These exercises teach athletes to create and utilize momentum as they work into the front hip (imagine riding a bike into a curb). The step-behind rotational medicine ball shotput is an example.

Step 4: Eccentric Pre-Loading Rotation: These exercises teach athletes to get in and out of the back hip while better making use of the stretch-shortening-cycle (think of keeping the head behind the belly button as long as possible). The step-back rotational medicine ball scoop toss is an example.

Step 5: Eccentric Pre-Loading with Momentum Rotation: These exercises combine the previous two categories to try to make things as athletic as possible. The 2-hop to rotational medicine ball scoop toss is a good example.

With this progression in mind, it's important to recognize that athletes need to earn the right to move from one step to the next. Steps 3-5 are far to advanced for 13-15-year-old athletes who have very little body awareness or foundational strength. And, aggressive progressions may be potentially harmful in even advanced athletes if they aren't prepared for the extensive hip-shoulder separation that takes place. Even with our professional athletes, I'll start athletes with the earliest stages in the progression during their initial off-season training programs.

Also, whenever I post about medicine balls, I invariably get the question: what brand do you prefer? I'm a fan of the Perform Better Extreme Soft Toss medicine balls, as they provide the right blend of durability and rebound. The overwhelming majority of our rotational medicine ball work is in the 4-8lb range.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

Exercise of the Week: Knee to Knee Rollover Medicine Ball Stomps

If you've followed my writing for any length of time, you'll know that I'm a big fan of using medicine ball training for power development with our athletes. We have both rotational and overhead variations - and sometimes, we have drills that combine the two. Enter the knee-to-knee rollover medicine ball stomp.

Key Coaching Points:

1. Don't rush the back hip rotation; rather, sit into that hip for what seems like an uncomfortable long time. This allows hip-shoulder separation to occur.

2. Minimize lower back arching.

3. Be firm into the ground on the front leg. Some individuals will stiffen up on that front leg with more knee extension, while others will be slightly more flexed.

4. Perform 3-4 reps per side.

5. We utilize this exercise several months into the offseason after we've had a chance to optimize overhead and rotational medicine ball technique with less complex drills. Athletes have to earn this one.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

Stop Thinking About “Normal” Thoracic Spine Mobility

Two years ago, I published a post, Tinkering vs. Overhauling - and the Problems with Average, where I discussed the pitfalls of focusing on population averages, especially in the world of health and human performance. I'd encourage you to give it a read, but the gist is that you have to be careful about overhauling a program because you see someone as being outside a "norm" that might have been established for an entire population when they are unique in so many ways.

Thoracic spine mobility is an excellent example. What would be considered acceptable for an 80-year-old man would be markedly different than what we'd want from a 17-year-old teenage athlete in a rotational sport. This athlete, for instance, had some marked negative postural adaptations that contributed to two shoulder surgeries during his time as a baseball pitcher. If he was far older with different physical demands, though, he might have never run into problems.

Lumbar locked rotation is a great thoracic spine rotation screen I learned from Dr. Greg Rose at the Titleist Performance Institute. Briefly, you put the lumbar spine in flexion (which makes lumbar rotation hard to come by) and the hand behind the back (to minimize scapular movement). This allows you to better evaluate thoracic rotation without compensatory motion elsewhere. Check out the high variability among three athletes who are all roughly the same age:

On the left, we have a professional baseball pitcher. In the middle, we have an aspiring professional golfer. And, on the right, we have a powerlifter who's moved well over 600 pounds on both the squat and deadlift. Adaptation to imposed demand is an incredibly important part of this discussion of "normal." The hypertrophy (muscle bulk) that benefits the powerlifter could possibly make the baseball pitcher and golfer worse, but at the same time, I wouldn't necessarily say that the powerlifter is "lacking" in thoracic rotation because you don't need a whole lot of movement in this area for a successful, sustainable powerlifting career.

I should also note that these are all active measures. If we checked all three of these guys passively, we'd likely see there's even more thoracic rotation present than you can see here. And, that can open up another can of worms, as having a big difference between active and passive range of motion can be problematic, too.

The take-home message is that if you're going to call someone's movement quality "abnormal," you better have a clear designation of what "normal" is for their age and sport, as well as what's required for their athletic demands.

For more information on how we assess and train thoracic mobility, I'd encourage you to check out my popular resource, Sturdy Shoulder Solutions.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

What (Physically) Goes Into a Good Swing

Cressey Sports Performance athlete Chris Taylor had a big go-ahead 2-run HR last night for the Dodgers - and the second I saw this photo of his swing on Instagram, I immediately got to thinking about how great a representation it is of the demands of the swing.

 

CT3 for the lead! #LADetermined

A post shared by Los Angeles Dodgers (@dodgers) on

As a right-handed hitter, the pelvis rotates counterclockwise toward the pitcher during the swing. However, "counterclockwise" doesn't really do justice to the fact that it's actually hip movement in three planes: rotation (transverse), abduction (frontal), and extension (sagittal). Additionally, earlier in the swing, the torso actually rotates clockwise to create the separation that allow for greater storage of elastic energy and sets the stage for the barrel getting to the zone at the right time and angle - and for as long as possible. This reminds us that you can't have good swing mechanics if you don't have mobility in the hips and thoracic spine, and adequate stability in the core to prevent any energy leaks.

More specific to this photo, though, is the fact that all that motion from the trailing leg has taken place, which means all the force has been transferred forward - and something has to "accept it." We often use the analogy of riding a bike into a curb; if the curb isn't hard, the kid doesn't get launched over the handlebars. In this case, the "firm curb" is the front leg creating a blocking effect as the hip extensors and external rotators (glutes!) eccentrically control that aggressive force transfer into the lead leg. As you'll see in this photo, sometimes the tri-planar forces are so significant that guys might even roll to the lateral aspect of their shoes. And, unless they're in a great pair of New Balance cleats, they might even "swing out of their shoes" (yes, you'll sometimes see guys fold over the side of cleats that don't have good lateral stability).

Anyway, let's take this example to an untrained 15-year-old who doesn't have the strength, motor control, and mobility foundation that Chris has here. There's a good chance he's going to go to the wrong places to find a lot of this motion to generate, transfer, or accept force - and the most common spot is the lower back. You'll commonly see stress fractures and annoying tightness in this region in these kids because the lumbar spine isn't conditioned to produce force or go through significant rotational motion. Watch one of these kids go through a simple bowler squat and they usually fold up line a lawn chair.

In my experience (both in pitching and hitting), the kids most at risk are the ones who grow quickly at a young age. They have long levers that help them to generate velocity, but insufficient physical strength and range of motion to dissipate these aggressive patterns as they get to this position and beyond. They're all gas and no brakes.

Chicks can't dig the long ball if you're in a back brace because you ignored your hip and thoracic mobility and core stability. Take as much pride in your physical preparation as you do in your swing. Chris sure does!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

Seminar Announcement: In-Season Training Strategies for Baseball

We're excited to announce that on March 4, 2018, Christian Wonders and John O’Neil will be delivering a one-day seminar, “In-Season Training Strategies for Baseball.” This event, which will take place at our Hudson, MA location, is a great chance for baseball coaches to learn about the training process and how communication between a strength coach and a sport coach can help take performance to the next level. Both Christian and John have experience working as on-field baseball coaches and as strength coaches, and they’ve used their ability to speak a common language with great success. It’s also a valuable event for strength and conditioning professionals to learn more about integrating performance training and skill development.

This one-day seminar combines pitching and training information and how to optimally blend the two during the in-season period. The goal is to preserve – and build upon – the athleticism that was built in the off-season while ensuring that players are fresh for the quality work that must take place in practices and games.

Split into both a lecture and practical format, the event will provide attendees with detailed information on both the pitching and training ends, including multiple practical portions that will cover drill work, a bullpen, and technique demonstrations on valuable exercises geared with the idea of not only healthy but also increasing performance.

Additionally, Christian and John will cover how to structure in-between start routines built around both training and throwing, and how such a routine could be individualized and changed throughout the season. Furthermore, they'll touch upon the pitfalls of many in-season training programs and how to better structure yours.

Agenda:

9:00-10:15am: Training Fundamentals: What The Baseball Coach Needs to Know about Performance Training.  In this presentation, we cover an overview of relevant physiology, stress application, training specificity and why certain age-long practices in the baseball community don’t correlate with an improvement in on-field performance. (John- Lecture)

10:15-10:30am: Break

10:30-11:45am: Overview of Elite Pitching Development Philosophies: this presentation includes a breakdown of how Christian teaches mechanics and how he uses his knowledge learned from the gym to his advantage. (Christian - Lecture)

11:45am-12:30pm: Lunch

12:30-1:15pm: Designing an In-Season Training Routine: learn how to structure everything from pre-game warm-ups to team lifts on a daily, weekly, and season-long basis. This talk will cover specific markers the baseball coach can identify to help modify a team program to fit individual needs. (John - Lecture)

1:15-2:00pm: Designing an In-Season Throwing Routine: we'll break down the components of catch play, long toss, and throwing bullpens - both for starters and relievers. (Christian - Lecture)

2:00-2:15pm: Break

2:15-3:00pm: Training Power and Speed Discussion: this presentation includes a breakout of a sprint mechanics and how to coach them. This practical component will also cover a sample team pre-game warm-up. (John - Practical)

3:00-3:45pm: Live Throwing Demonstrations: this segment includes how to coach specific drill work and optimize your pitchers’ bullpen work. (Christian - Practical)

4:00-5:00pm: Q&A

Date/Location:

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Cressey Sports Performance
577 Main St.
Suite 310
Hudson, MA 01749

Registration Fee:

$99.99

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:

John O'Neil (@ONeilStrength) is a Strength & Conditioning Coach at Cressey Sports Performance. John not only has experience training baseball players, but has also coached high school baseball and interned in player development with the Baltimore Orioles. He graduated from Dickinson College with a B.S. in Mathematics. You can contact him by email at joh.oneil@gmail.com.

Christian Wonders (@CSP_Pitching) is the pitching coordinator as Cressey Sports Performance-MA and the owner of Elite Pitching Development. Christian previously worked as a strength coach at CSP-Florida, where he also coached high school baseball. He graduated from Georgia College and State University with a B.S. in Exercise Science. You can contact him at elitepitchingdevelopment@gmail.com.

Read more

Random Thoughts on Sports Performance Training – Installment 29

I didn't get in a May installment of this series, but the good news is that it gave me two months to gather my thoughts for a big June! Here goes...

1. Athleticism is doesn't have to be max effort if you have a strength and power "reserve."

Cressey Sports Performance athlete Logan Morrison is currently second in Major League Baseball in homeruns. I came across this video of #22 on Twitter and it immediately got me thinking:

Hitting bombs in the big leagues - particularly on 95mph sinkers - is really challenging, but that looked absurdly easy. He put some force into the ground, got himself in a good position to succeed, and athleticism "happened."

The only reason this is possible is that he's developed a strength and power "reserve." LoMo is strong - and more importantly, he's a powerful dude. When he throws a medicine ball, in many cases, the entire gym stops and watches because it sounds like he's going to knock the wall down. When you've got a foundation of strength and know how to use it quickly, this kind of easy athleticism happens. It does not, however, happen if you're a) weak or b) strong and not powerful. I'd call LoMo a nice blend on the absolute strength-to-speed continuum.

2. If you're struggling to feel external rotation exercises in the right place, try this quick and easy fix.

One of the reason some throwers struggle to "keep the biceps" quiet during external rotation drills is that they start too close to the end-range for external rotation. A quick strategy to improve this is to simply build a little success in a more internally rotated position. This video goes into more depth:

3. Be cautiously optimistic with new surgical advances.

On a pretty regular basis, we hear about remarkable sports medicine breakthroughs that will revolutionize the way we prevent and treat both acute and chronic diseases and injuries/conditions. Unfortunately, they usually don't live up to the hype. Most of the time, we're talking about a "miracle" supplement or drug, but sometimes, we have to ponder the benefits of a new surgical procedure.

In the mid 1990s, the thermal capsulorrhaphy procedure was introduced to attempt to treat shoulder instability. It gained some momentum in the few years that followed, but the outcomes didn't match the hype in spite of the fact that the initial theory seemed decent (heat can shorten capsular tissues, which would theoretically increase shoulder stability). Failure rates were just too high.

Conversely, in 1974, Dr. Frank Jobe revolutionized the way elbow pain was treated in baseball pitchers - and saved a lot of careers - when he performed the first successful ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (better known as Tommy John Surgery). More than 1/4 of MLB pitchers have had Tommy John, so you could say that this procedure revolutionized sports medicine even though it's taken decades to fine-tune it.

More recently, a new surgery - the UCL repair with internal brace -  has been gaining some steam as an alternative to Tommy John surgery. The initial results have been very promising, particularly in situations where the patient is a good match (depending on age, activity level, and location and extent of the UCL tear). I've actually seen two of these surgeries in the past week myself. One pitcher (Seth Maness) was able to successfully return to the Major Leagues after having it - but we still have a long way to go to determine if it might someday dramatically reduce the number of Tommy John surgeries that take place. Why? 

Right now, we only have statistics on a limited number of these cases, and they're usually in the high school and college realms. All that is reported on is return to previous level of competition (e.g., varsity baseball). We don't know whether a kid that has it at age 16 is still thriving with a healthy elbow at age 22 during his senior year of college.

Additionally, Seth Maness has really been an 88-90mph pitcher throughout his MLB career. We don't know if this same level of success will be seen with 95-100mph flamethrowers. 

Dr. Jeffrey Dugas has become known as "the guy" when it comes to these procedures, and I loved the fact that he reiterated "cautious optimism" in his webinar at the American Sports Medicine Institute Injuries in Baseball course earlier this year. If this gets rolled out too quickly and in the wrong populations, the failure rate could be significantly higher and give an otherwise effective surgery a bad name.  I think it's important for all of us to stay on top of sports medicine research to make sure we don't miss out on these advancements, but also so that we know to be informed consumers so that we don't jump behind new innovations without having all the information we need.

Speaking of the ASMI Injuries in Baseball Course, it's on sale for $100 off through this Sunday, June 24, at midnight. I've enjoyed going through this collection of webinars, and I'm sure you will, too. You can check it out HERE.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more
Page 1 2 3
LEARN HOW TO DEADLIFT
  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series