Home Posts tagged "The High Performance Handbook" (Page 4)

Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 3/10/14

I hope you all had a great weekend.  Before the Monday Blues can set in, here are some recommended strength and conditioning reads to get the week started off on the right foot.

Is Nutrient Timing Dead? - Not a week goes by the Dr. John Berardi and his team at Precision Nutrition don't kick out some awesome nutrition-related content. Former CP employee and current PN team member Brian St. Pierre (who authored The High Performance Handbook Nutrition Guide) took the lead on this great article.

Reality: You Can't Run a Sub 5.0 Forty - This article is absolutely awesome because it highlights just how inflated most high school 40 times are. 

Elite Training Mentorship - In this month's ETM, I've got two new exercise demonstration videos, an article, and a webinar called "5 Important Upper Body Functional Anatomy Considerations." There's also some great content from Tyler English and Vaughn Bethell this month.

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

Name
Email
Read more

8 Nutritional Strategies For Those Who Can’t Gain Weight

Throughout the off-season, my wife and I have professional baseball players staying with us quite a bit.  It's become very common for athletes to come to town for a few days, do a little "crash course" at Cressey Sports Performance on training and nutrition, and then head back home, where I'll program for them from afar.

In almost all these cases, one of the biggest eye-opening experiences for these athletes is eating with the Cresseys.  They learn new recipes and cooking practices, and many are a bit amazed at how much I eat in spite of the fact that I'm only about 185 pounds.  They come to Boston expecting to learn about arm care, pitching mechanics, and strength and conditioning, but the nutrition add-on is a nice bonus.

As an example, several years ago, one athlete put on over ten pounds in the month of January while staying with us before he headed to Big League Spring Training.  Sure, some of this is old weight that he had to "recoup," and some is likely just water weight.  However, being heavy enough going into spring training is profoundly important, particularly for position players who are out in the field almost every day between February and October.  Below are some nutritional strategies we've employed with not only Anthony, but a lot of our other skinny guys.

1. Get around big eaters, and make eating a social challenge.

With the skinny guys who complain about how they "eat all the time and still can't gain weight," it's not uncommon for them to get a big slice of humble pie when dining around bigger eaters.  In the Cressey household this month, Anthony had to keep up with me at every dinner - so if I got seconds, so did he.

I've also had athletes who always made a point of going out to eat with each other after training sessions.  It's instant accountability with respect to caloric intake.  Sushi is a great option in this regard.

2. Cook with more oil.

When an athlete's day is spent "uncomfortably full," finding convenient ways to add calories is incredibly important - especially if that individual has multiple training sessions per day and can't be worried about getting sick in the gym or on the field. Adding in some healthy oils - olive and coconut are my two "go-to" choices - can make it easier to get an extra 200+ calories at each meal.  The healthy fats the athletes get are nice perks of this approach, too.

3. Eat faster.

We always tell people who want to lose weight to eat slower, but many people fail to appreciate that eating faster is actually a great option for true "hard-gainers." You see, it takes time for the body to perceive fullness, so if you can get your calories in a bit faster, you can essentially trick yourself out of fullness. 

As an interesting aside to this, my business partner, Pete, is one of the slowest eaters on the planet.  No joke: it'll take him four hours to finish a protein bar.  And, not surprisingly, any time that Pete has put weight on in the past, he's had to be "uncomfortable full" for months on end.

Brian St. Pierre discussed this "speed of eating" phenomenon in The High Performance Handbook Nutrition Guide, if you're interested in learning more.

4. Have convenient calories wherever you can’t miss them.

One other strategy Anthony uses are homemade protein bars.  They're made with healthier ingredients, and without preservatives. This means they have to be refrigerated, but it also means that they're going to go bad if he doesn't get in 2-3 per day, so there is incentive to consume them faster.  It's an easy 1,000 calories on top of his normal meals, and also provides some convenience when he's away from the kitchen.  Most importantly, though, he has to see them every time he opens the refrigerator for anything, so they're ultra-convenient.

5. Use liquid nutrition.

With most of our clients, we heavily emphasize eating real food and not getting calories from drinks.  In those who struggle to gain weight, however, big shakes can really help.  Tim Collins was a good example, as he'd have a 1,000+ calorie shake after each training session for his first few years of training until he arrived at a good weight...45 pounds heavier.

TimCollins250x_20110610

With that said, stay away from those garbage high-calorie weight gainers.  They're usually loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats - not to mention low-quality protein. I would always much rather have guys make their own shakes with a decent low-carb protein powder, and then add almond or whole milk, coconut oil, fruits, natural nut butters, Greek yogurt, oats, ground flax, and even veggies.  If you're going to take in 1,000 calories in a shake, you might as well get some nutritional value from it.

6. Write it down.

One of the best ways to evaluate how much you're eating - whether you're trying to lose fat or gain muscle - is to simply write it down.  I'd estimate that in 95% of cases, having a "hard-gainer" do thise immediately eliminates the "but I eat all the time" argument.  Sometimes, just knowing that you aren't trying as hard as you think you are is the biggest key to subsequent progress.

7. Review medications.

Many medications can have a profound impact on appetite.  The most prominent effects I've seen are with ADD/ADHD medications, as most reduce appetite.  In one instance, we had an athlete struggle to gain weight for almost two years on Adderall, but then he put on over 40 pounds in a year after switching to Focalin for his ADHD.  It's completely outside of my scope of practice to make recommendations on this front, but if appetite suppression is a concern, it'd be good to talk with your doctor about other options that might be available.

8. Make time instead of finding time.

Having an insanely busy schedule usually leads people to eat unhealthy, convenient foods - and they get fatter.  Many folks who are underweight actually go in the opposite direction; they simply forget to eat when things get busy.  To that end, if you want to gain weight, you need to make eating a priority - and that starts with plugging a specific time you'll eat into your schedule.

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: 1-arm Bottoms-up Kettlebell Waiter’s Walk

In this installment of "Exercise of the Week," I want to introduce you to another great carrying variation you can use to accomplish a number of different objectives.  The 1-arm Bottoms-up Kettlebell Waiter's Walk is one of my personal favorites, and we use it a lot with not only our baseball guys, but also many of our non-baseball clientele.

Those of you who have followed my "Exercise of the Week" series probably notice that this is a progression on a previous drill I introduced, the 1-arm Bottoms-up KB Carry. To bring you up to speed on the "why" behind this kettlebell exercise, here are a few reasons it's a great one:

1. It gets great reflexive rotator cuff activation in light of the bottoms-up position and the subtle perturbations to stability as the individual walks.

2. It teaches an athlete to fully upwardly rotate the scapula (shoulder blade) correctly, which helps us to build stability in an overhead position and solidify the mobility we have.  This is wildly important for overhead throwing athletes, too, as they always lose upward rotation over the course of the competitive season.

3. It creates a challenge to both lateral/rotary and anterior core function.  The individual has to work to prevent excessive lower back arching, as well as side bending.  Being able to get these challenges while still working the shoulder girdle ensures that you get great functional carryover to the real world.

4. Without even knowing it, you're also getting a pretty good grip workout simply from holding the slightly thicker handle of the kettlebell.

In addition to the coaching cues I discuss in the video above, one "outcome" measure for which you'll want to look is the amount of scapular upward rotation present.  You can do that by drawing a line along the medial (inside border) of the scapula, and then checking what angle it creates with a vertical line along the spine.  Your goal is about 55-60 degrees of scapular upward rotation.

KBWW

In a good overhead position, you shouldn't feel it at all in the top or front of your shoulder.  If you do, though, it's a sign that you're probably either lacking scapular upward rotation or don't have sufficient cuff strength to do this correctly.  I always tell athletes that they shouldn't "feel" this in one place; it should feel like the entire shoulder girdle is working synergistically to create good stabilization.

Also, a lot of people will ask if they need to "pack the shoulder down with the lat."  Why you would want to turn your lat on to reach overhead is a puzzle to me, as it limits shoulder flexion and scapular upward rotation, draws the humerus into internal rotation (closes down the subacromial space), and pulls the spine into an extended position (excessive arching).  What folks really should be doing is a subtly posterior tilting the scapula to free up space at the front of the shoulder, and facilitate upward rotation.  It's a flawed movement if you're just cranking the entire shoulder girdle down.  In short, we want lower traps, not lats.

If you're looking to learn more about how I incorporate many different carrying variations in my programming, I'd encourage you to check out my new resource, The High Performance Handbook

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

Hunger and Fullness Cues, and the Story of Hyper-Rewarding and Hyper-Palatable Food

Today's post is an excerpt from The High Performance Handbook Nutrition Guide, written by Precision Nutrition's Brian St. Pierre; this guide is available as part of the "gold package" version of the product. This section has received a lot of positive feedback, so I thought I'd share it as an example of what you can expect. As a reminder, the entire resource is on sale for $50 off through the end of the weekend at www.HighPerformanceHandbook.com. The discount is automatically applied at checkout. -EC

Eating Slowly and Only Until Satisfied
 
Many of us eat far too quickly.  And, at each meal we expect to eat to the point of fullness.  Unfortunately, eating in this manner – quickly and until full – will always present challenges to your performance, health, and body composition goals.  This is true even if you eat the right foods (though eating mostly whole, minimally processed foods makes it much easier to tune into these powerful appetite cues).
 
Learning to tune into and follow your hunger and fullness cues will be paramount to your long-term success.  It will teach you to slow down, to listen to your body and its needs and to stop eating when you are satisfied, not full.  This is actually one of the most important skills you need to build for long-term nutrition success.
 
Why is this so?  It takes about 20 minutes for our satiety mechanisms to work.  What this means is that the signal from our gut takes time to get to our brain.  So, if you eat quickly, it is more than likely that you will eat far more in that 20-minute window than you need, and before your brain can tell you that you have eaten enough.  Regardless of food quality and macronutrient composition, over-eating is over-eating.  Unless you are trying to gain weight, learning this skill is critical (and even then it is still critical, because you won’t be trying to gain weight forever).
 
An excellent goal is to aim for about 15-20 minutes per meal, at a minimum.  If this is too big of a change for you, simply aim to take a little longer for now, slowly stretching out your meals until you are able to reach that 15-20 minute mark.  
 
To do this, simply utilize the following strategies:
 
• take a seat when you eat
• turn off the TV and eliminate distractions (though some light reading can be okay)
• take smaller bites
• chew your food more completely
• put your fork down after every few bites
• drink some water
• share some witty banter with your dining partner(s)
 
Slowing down your eating will help in many capacities.  When you eat slowly, you tend to eat fewer calories with each meal (because your brain has time to tell you enough has been eaten), drink more water (improving hydration status and health), improve digestion (because it starts in the mouth), and tune into your hunger and fullness cues more effectively.
 
Hyper-Rewarding and Hyper-Palatable Food
 
This is also one of the reasons that eating mostly whole, minimally processed foods is so powerful.  When you eat these whole foods, which tend to be fibrous, full of water and tasty (but not overly-so), your brain is also better able to signal to you that you have eaten enough.
 
 
However, when you eat highly processed foods, they tend to be what are called hyper-palatable and hyper-rewarding.  In essence, what happens when you eat these foods, is that your brain becomes over-excited, and it can’t “hear” the signals coming from your GI tract on how much food you have eaten, which delays the signal telling you enough has been consumed.  This leads to over-consumption, addictive-like behaviors, obesity, inflammation and diabetes.
 
While a full discussion on hyper-palatable and hyper-rewarding foods is outside the scope of this resource, just realize that food products have been specifically engineered to get you to eat a lot of them.  Food companies have a limit on how much of their product can be purchased; this limit is called the human stomach.  The only way to increase sales is to get you to eat more.
 
And they do this by systematically testing exactly how their foods affect our hedonic and reward systems in our brains.  Basically, think of it like this: hyper-rewarding foods are foods that you will strongly seek out.  Your brain has associated them with awesomeness (because they over-stimulate and over-excite your reward centers in your brain), so you will go to great lengths to find them and consume them.  Reward is what drives you to find a food (among other elements).
 
On the other hand, hyper-palatable food is food that tastes so good at that moment that you eat more of it than you should, even if you aren’t hungry.  It’s like Thanksgiving.  You have already eaten a ton, and are stuffed – but then the pies come out.  You put some in front of you and you eat a whole big slice, maybe two.  The hyper-palatability of the pie over-excites the hedonic (or pleasure) centers of your brain, so you ignore satiety cues and eat even though you aren’t hungry.  Where reward drives you to seek out food, palatability dictates how much you eat in a sitting (again, among other elements).
 
While these two elements are intertwined, they aren’t always together.  For example, let’s say you want ice cream.  Your brain knows how delicious it is, and associates it with an awesome time.  So you seek some out (reward).  But, when you start eating it, it is not very good.  You take a handful of licks – because you did pay for it, after all – but you discard half of it.  That element was palatability, or in this case, lack thereof.  If it had tasted like the ice cream your brain was envisioning, you would likely have eaten it all, even past the point of fullness.
 
You might be wondering how exactly these processed foods can be so palatable and rewarding. This is because food companies carefully manage three elements:
 
• fat
• salt
• sugar (or refined carbohydrates)
 
donut800px-Donuts_(Coffee_An),_Westport,_CT_06880_USA_-_Feb_2013
 
These three elements rarely exist in nature together, but when combined with other chemical additives and flavor enhancers, they create foods that our brains never evolved to handle.  They override our satiety mechanisms, screw up our hunger and fullness cues, and generally cause us to make poor food choices and overeat.
 
Conclusion
 
With all of this in mind, this is why I so highly recommend eating mostly real, whole, minimally processed foods.  They tend to provide normal levels of palatability and reward, and because of their high water content and fibrous nature, make it easier to eat them slowly, chew them fully, and stop when you are satisfied, but not full.
 
Looking for more great nutrition lessons, practical recommendations, and sample meal plans?  Check out Brian's Nutrition Guide as part of The High Performance Handbook Gold Package. This popular resource is on sale for $50 off through the end of the weekend.

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

Name
Email
Read more

What Santa Can Teach You About Sports Medicine

Last weekend, I was watching the Patriots game and this commercial came on during a timeout. I have to admit: it almost made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. 

Don't get me wrong; I'm in the holiday spirit just fine. My point of contention with it was that the commercial represented everything that is wrong with our pathology-based approach to getting people out of pain - or avoiding it in the first place.  Rather than cleaning up that terrible hip hinge pattern, building some thoracic mobility, or losing the spare tire that was leading to aberrant core stabilization patterns, Santa opts to pop some Aleve.  In other words, he treated the symptoms rather than addressing the movement fault.

Now, I get it: delivering toys to every kid on the planet in a 24-hour span is tough.  And, crawling down chimneys is no easy task, either. However, I have to think that if you have the magic to make reindeer fly, you can figure out a way to work some hip mobility drills into your schedule - especially when you have 364 days per year off from work altogether.  And, while we're at it, you probably ought to swap the cookies and milk for some vegetables and a nice warm cup of "get off your duff and teach your body to move correctly."

It really is the classic example of what we see all the time in both the sedentary population and folks who get injured in strength and conditioning programs, too.  They move poorly, then they move a lot - whether it's squatting 315 for ten reps or trying to cram 500 new X-Box units into an undersized sleigh.  Eventually, they either develop symptoms or structural changes (or both). As Gray Cook has wisely said, you never want to put fitness on top of dysfunction.

If you bang your head against the wall all day and take NSAIDs to get rid of your headache, are the NSAIDs really the solution? Or, is removing the harmful stimulus (banging the head against the wall = bad movement) the best course of action?  With this analogy in mind, it's easy to see that improving movement quality is the name of the game.

Unfortunately, what you often see in the weight training world is that people throw out their back squatting or deadlifting with terrible technique and a lack of physical preparation, then come back as soon as they're asymptomatic to attempt those same movements again.  Meanwhile, the underlying movement faults still exist.  It's not much different than Santa going ham every December 25th after nothing more than a rigorous training program of sugar cookie curls.

merry-1628845_1280

If you've had injuries in your training, don't just treat them; work backward from them to determine why they occurred.  Then, address the "why."

If you haven't had injuries, be proactive and think about what movement flaws you have that you can address so that they don't reach a symptomatic threshold or lead to chronic wear and tear.  It's not just how you feel now; it's how you feel in 20, 30, or 40 years, too. 

Looking for a versatile strength and conditioning program that takes the guesswork out of programming and allows you to select a course of action that's right for your body? Check out The High Performance Handbook.

HPH-main

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

Name
Email
Read more

How to Set Up the Shoulders for Optimal Back Squat Technique

There are a lot of people out there who struggle to get the upper back, shoulders, and arms in the right position for the back squat - whether it's because their technique actually causes pain, or simply puts them in a bad technical position.  With that in mind, I thought I'd use today's video to touch on why it can be a problem for some folks, and some quick technique modifications you can make to clean things up.

These cues can work hand in hand with a lot of the shoulder mobility drills you've seen here at EricCressey.com and on my YouTube page.

If you're looking for a collection of mobility drills and strength and conditioning progressions - as well as detailed coaching videos like this - be sure to check out The High Performance Handbook, a versatile resource you can tailor to your individual needs and training goals.

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

Name
Email
Read more

Why You Struggle to Train Overhead – and What to Do About It

A while back, I posted the following on my Facebook page:

"Fill in the Blank: ________ is the exercise that gives me the most trouble in the gym."

I've received 132 replies.  Of that 132, 21 were people trying to be funny on the internet, so they're thrown out the window - which leaves us with 111 replies.  Not surprisingly, more respondents highlighted trouble with an overhead movement - snatch, military press, overhead squat, etc. - than any other category of strength exercise.  In fact, it was one-third of people (37/111).  In a distant second place was squat variations, which comprised 19% of responses (21/111).

Digging a bit deeper, the most common "subcategory" of this overhead movements trend was the snatch, with 12 people saying that it was the exercise that gave them the most trouble. It shouldn't come as any surprise that the most high velocity movement in this category would be the most commonly cited, but what should surprise you is the sheer volume of people who are woefully unprepared to train overhead who try to fit a round peg in a square hole in this regard. 

If you can't get your arms overhead correctly at rest, do you really think you'll be able to do it when you're in panic mode just trying to catch a barbell you've launched over your head?  Heck no!  You're going to hyperextend your lower back and slip into forward head posture. And, chances are that you'll have already set up with an ultra wide grip to ensure that you can catch the bar with as little shoulder mobility as possible.

Before we proceed, let's cover this classic presentation in more detail. Here's a video I originally filmed for Wil Fleming.

(Side note: if you're trying to learn to Olympic lift, definitely check out Wil's fantastic DVD on the topic: Complete Olympic Lifting.)

The people who struggle learn the snatch - or really perform any overhead lift - are generally adults.  Why?  Because they've lost a fundamental movement pattern - overhead reaching - that everyone should have!  Barring some developmental disorder, everyone has the ability to get the arms overhead when they are kids, whether it's to reach for the cookie jar or to climb on the jungle gym at the playground.

Think about it: the overwhelming majority of teenagers can learn to Olympic lift in a matter of a few weeks or months.  And, it's been discussed time and time again how Eastern European kids would practice Olympic lifting patterns with broomsticks to maintain these crucial movement patterns to prepare for the day when they'd load them up.  They understood this very important lesson:

[bctt tweet="It's much easier to maintain mobility than it is to lose it and try to get it back."]

This isn't just because tissues can become fundamentally short and degenerative.  And, it's not just because resting posture becomes more aberrant or individuals accumulate more wear and tear.  It has a lot to do with the plasticity of the human brain.  Just like it's a lot easier to train a puppy than it is to teach an old dog new tricks, it's much easier to shape the neuromuscular patterning of a developing child or teenager than it is to change the more concrete patterns of an adult with poor movement quality - especially when that adult insists on trying to learn the pattern with 65 pounds or more on the barbell (rather than just a broomstick) - and after years of sitting at a computer.

Really, we're just reaping what we've sowed over the past 15-20 years.  The new generation of adults spent more time on Instant Messenger than on the basketball court. Fewer kids than ever did manual labor in their teenage years.  It became cooler to get an iPhone than a bike for your birthday. And, society pared back on physical education classes and recess time.  While this was happening, kids got more specialized on the sports front, meaning they were exposed to even less variety in movements when they actually did get exercise. Our health has obviously suffered, but so has our movement quality.

Before I get off on too much of a tangent, though, let's circle back to the back-to-wall shoulder flexion test from the video I posted earlier. If you failed it miserably, don’t worry! The "good" thing about struggling to get overhead correctly is that you know that there are a number of different things that could be limiting your ability to get there:

  • Limited shoulder flexion (short/stiff lats, long head of triceps, teres major, inferior capsule)
  • Limited shoulder external rotation (short/stiff pecs, lats, subscapularis)
  • Lack of scapular upward rotation (weakness of lower traps, upper traps, and/or serratus anterior; and dominance of levator scapula, rhomboids, and pec minor)
  • Poor thoracic spine extension
  • Lack of anterior core stiffness

With all these potential problems, chances are that improving each just a little bit will yield big results, especially since they interact with each other on a number of fronts.  For instance, if you reduce stiffness in your lats, your anterior core won't have to work quite as hard to overpower that stiffness, so its relative stiffness improves.

Below, you’ll find six videos of exercises you’ll want to incorporate in your warm-ups daily to gradually build up your range-of-motion and overhead stability. Be sure to perform them in this order:

1. Supine Alternating Shoulder Flexion on Doubled Tennis Ball: 8 reps/side

(Note: perform the rest of your foam rolling series, too - and make sure to spend some extra time on the lats and pecs.)

2. Bench T-Spine Mobilizations: 8 reps

3. Side-Lying Windmills: 8 reps/side

4. Dead Bugs: 8 reps/side

5. Back to Wall Shoulder Flexion (it's a test and a training exercise): 8 reps

6. Wall Slides with Upward Rotation and Lift-off: 8 reps

Do these drills each day during your warm-ups and - if schedule allows - another time during the day.  You'll find that it'll be much easier to get overhead in a matter of days and weeks. In the meantime, gradually build toward your ultimate goal with some regressions in your strength training program.  You can use a landmine press instead of a true overhead press, and cleans or high pulls in place of snatches. Eventually, once your body is ready to tackle these more complex movements, you'll find that learning them will be much easier.

Looking for more great self-assessment and mobility tips like these – as part of a comprehensive strength and conditioning program? Check out my resource, The High Performance Handbook, which features versatile strength and conditioning programs you can modify to suit your needs.

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

Name
Email
Read more

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

First off, a big thank you goes out to all the veterans out there who have served our country.  We appreciate all that you've done to protect our freedom!  With that said, here are this week's recommended strength and conditioning readings:

Lift Big by Bracing, not Arching - Tony Gentilcore covered a lot of ideas and coaching cues that get a lot of attention on a typical day at Cressey Performance.

Suprising Supplements: Five Effective Nutrients You've Never Heard Of - This was an enlightening post at Precision Nutrition from my pal Brian St. Pierre, who co-authored the nutrition guide for The High Performance Handbook.

Freaks of Nature: When Biomechanics Go Out the Window - I always enjoy Dean Somerset's stuff, and this "outside the box" post is no exception.

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

Name
Email
Read more

6 Common Turkish Get-up Technique Mistakes

Today's guest post on the Turkish Get-up comes from Cressey Sports Performance coach, Greg Robins.

The Turkish Get-up has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, and rightfully so, as it's a fantastic exercise.  It is also, however, a complex exercise with many different components that must be "synced up" to get the most benefits of the drill.  With that in mind, I wanted to use today's article to discuss the six most common Turkish Get-up technique mistakes I see, and how I correct them with our clients at Cressey Sports Performance.

Mistake #1: Not actively getting up.

While I didn’t sequence these in any particular order, this mistake is the most common. Too often, people roll into the start of a get-up instead creating tension and actively moving into the first position. This first movement is the definitive step in the get-up, in my opinion. If you cannot reach your forearm actively, you are either using to much load, or approaching the exercise incorrectly. Check out the video below for sign of rolling, or passive movement, and for tips on how to do it correctly.

Mistake #2: Not creating enough “space.”

One cue I use all the time when teaching the get-up is to “not let your masses move into your spaces.” In other words, if the body stays in proper alignment, you will have certain amounts of space present between your torso and your limbs / head. When we lose these spaces, you can be sure that you are beginning to rely on passive stability measures, as opposed to creating tension and actively holding positions.

Mistake #3: Rocking instead of hinging.

The transition from three points of contact to two (or from two to three, on the way back down) is common place for get-up mistakes. Mostly, people tend to rock off, or to the ground. Instead they should utilize a hip hinge pattern to shift the weight completely onto the back knee. This way they can easily lift, or place the hand back onto the ground.

Mistake #4: Keeping the joints too soft.

In some ways, this mistake could fall into the category of not creating enough space. However, I want to hone in on the importance of extension at a few joints during the movement. Often times I will see people keep these joints in slight flexion, when they should be extended. It is of note that you should also watch for people who tend to hyperextend at the elbows and knees and cue them to stay neutral, so as to promote an active form of stability.  You could also apply this to the grip, which should be firm; you don't want to see the hands open.

Mistake #5: Not engaging the anterior core.

We may have very well beat the “anti-extension” theme to death on this site. That being said, it’s a problem we see time and time again.  It also happens to be very common with most folks' Turkish Get-up technique. Make sure you are keeping the ribs down, and core braced throughout this exercise.

Mistake #6: Starting with an incorrect bottom arm position.

As with any exercise, if you don't set up correctly, your technique will always be suboptimal. With respect to the Turkish Get-up, this is particularly important in the context of where the bottom arm is positioned at the start of the movement.

I hope these suggestions help you to improve your Turkish Get-up technique, as this is one exercise you really want to include in your strength training programs because of the many benefits it delivers. And, optimizing technique will ensure that you receive all of those benefits!

If you're looking for how we might incorporate Turkish Get-up variations in our strength training programs, be sure to check out The High Performance Handbook, the most versatile strength and conditioning resource available today.

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

Name
Email
Read more

Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 10/29/31 (High Performance Handbook Edition)

It's been super busy over the past ten days, so as we come back to Earth from The High Performance Handbook launch, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who purchased the product and helped to spread the word. I really appreciate your support!

I'll be back shortly with some brand new content, but in the meantime, I wanted to highlight some of the articles that were featured during last week's launch. It's a combination of articles I wrote for other sites, as well as ones other individuals authored.

Strength Matters, Ya Big Sissy - This was a guest post I wrote for John Romaniello, along with an awesome detailed introduction from him.

How to Write and Adapt a Program - This was a great post Dean Somerset wrote to kick off the launch week.  His site also featured a guest post from me - Band-Resisted Power Training: A Game Changer - as well as a cool top ten list at the end of the week.

So You Can't Squat? Do This Instead - This was a guest post I wrote for Jason Ferruggia.

Training for Rotational Warriors - This was a guest post I wrote for Martin Rooney.

5 Common Assessment Mistakes - This was a guest post I wrote for Alwyn Cosgrove.

The Most Important Aspect of Any Program - Here's an excellent post from Mike Reinold discussing the HPH program.

Individualization: How Results Go from Good to Outstanding - This was a guest post I wrote for Kevin Neeld.

Earning the Right to Train Overhead - This was a guest post I wrote for Wil Fleming.

Easy Training Modifications for Overhead Athletes - This was a guest post I wrote for the International Youth Conditioning Association.

Why You Must Not Stretch Hypermobile Clients - This was a guest post I wrote for The Personal Trainer Development Center.

Efficiency: Important for the Joes and the Pros - This was a guest post I wrote for Schwarzenegger.com.

Why It's Not Always JUST About Strength - This was a great article from Tony Gentilcore, and it complemented his earlier post, The Single-Biggest Mistake Most People Make With Their Programs, nicely.

7 Tips for Gaining Strength Fast - This was a guest post I did for Sean Hyson.

Front Squat - This didn't really have anything to do with The High Performance Handbook, but it was an absurdly good post from Mike Robertson that deserves some love, especially since he reviewed HPH earlier in the week.

High Performance Training with Eric Cressey - This was a Skype interview I did with Tyler at The Garage Warrior.

Eric Cressey on Shoulder Work, Breathing, Business, and The High Performance Handbook - Anthony Renna interviewed me over the phone for the Strength Coach Podcast.

Episode 275: Strength Adventure with Eric Cressey - Here, Kevin Larrabee interviewed me for The Fitcast.

An Interview with Eric Cressey - As the name imples, Bret Contreras interviewed me, and you can read it here.

How to Customize Your Training - Another interview, this time with Chad Waterbury.

Q&A with Eric Cressey - Jim Kielbaso interviewed me for this post.

Version 2.0 Interview with Eric Cressey - John Izzo interviewed me for a post on his website, too.

Single-leg Success Strategies - This was a guest post I wrote for Fitocracy.

I think this wraps it up. Needless to say, I did a lot of talking and typing last week!  In case you missed it, you can still pick up a copy of The High Performance Handbook.

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 4 5 6
LEARN HOW TO DEADLIFT
  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series