Home Posts tagged "Throw Baseball Faster" (Page 2)

Lose Fat, Gain Muscle, Get Strong: Eric Cressey’s Best Articles of 2010

Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel, and Move Better - This was obviously my biggest project of 2010.  I actually began writing the strength and conditioning programs and filming the exercise demonstration videos in 2009, and put all the "guinea pigs" through the four-month program beginning in February.  When they completed it as the start of the summer rolled around, I made some modifications based on their feedback and then got cracking on writing up all the tag along resources.  Finally, in September, Show and Go was ready to roll.  So, in effect, it took 10-11 months to take this product from start to finish - a lot of hard work, to say the least.  My reward has been well worth it, though, as the feedback has been awesome.  Thanks so much to everyone who has picked up a copy.

Optimal Shoulder Performance - This was a seminar that Mike Reinold and I filmed in November of 2009, and our goal was to create a resource that brought together concepts from both the shoulder rehabilitation and shoulder performance training fields to effectively bridge the gap for those looking to prevent and/or treat shoulder pain.  In the process, I learned a lot from Mike, and I think that together, we brought rehabilitation specialists and fitness professionals closer to being on the same page.

Why President Obama Throws Like a Girl - A lot of people took this as a political commentary, but to be honest, it was really just me talking about the concept of retroversion as it applies to a throwing shoulder - with a little humor thrown in, of course!

Overbearing Dads and Kids Who Throw Cheddar - This one was remarkably easy to write because I've received a lot of emails from overbearing Dads asking about increasing throwing velocity in their kids.

What I Learned in 2009 - I wrote this article for T-Nation back at the beginning of the year, and always enjoy these yearly pieces.  In fact, I'm working on my 2010 one for them now!

What a Stressed Out Bride Can Teach You About Training Success - I wrote this less than a month out from my wedding, so you could say that I had a good frame of reference.

Baseball Showcases: A Great Way to Waste Money and Get Injured - In case the title didn't tip you off, I'm not much of a fan of baseball showcases.

Cueing: Just One Piece of Semi-Private Training Success - Part 1 and Part 2 - These articles were featured at fitbusinessinsider.com.  I enjoy writing about not only the training side of things, but some of the things we've done well to build up our business.

Three Years of Cressey Performance: The Right Reasons and the Right Way - This might have been the top post of the year, in my eyes. My job is very cool.

How to Attack Continuing Education in the Fitness Industry - Here's another fitness business post.

Want to Be a Personal Trainer or Strength Coach?  Start Here. - And another!

The Skinny on Strasburg's Injury - I hate to make blog content out of someone else's misfortune, but it was a good opportunity to make some points that I think are very valid to the discussion of not only Stephen Strasburg's elbow injury, but a lot of the pitching injuries we see in youth baseball.

Surely, there are many more to list, but I don't want this to run too long!  Have a safe and happy new year, and keep an eye out for the first content of 2011, which is coming very soon!

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Weight Training For Baseball: Best Videos of 2010

I made an effort to get more videos up on the site this year, as I know a lot of folks are visual learners and/or just enjoy being able to listen to a blog, as opposed to reading it.  Here are some highlights from the past year: The Absolute Speed to Absolute Strength Continuum - Regardless of your sport, there are valuable take-home messages.  I just used throwing velocity in baseball pitchers as an example, as it's my frame of reference.

Should Pitchers Overhead Press? - This was an excerpt from Mike Reinold and my Optimal Shoulder Performance seminar (which became a popular DVD set for the year).

Shoulder Impingement vs. Rotator Cuff Tears - Speaking of Mike, here's a bit from the man himself from that seminar DVD set.

Thoracic and Glenohumeral Joint Mobility Drills - The folks at Men's Health tracked me down in the lobby at Perform Better in Providence and asked if I could take them through a few shoulder mobility drills we commonly use - and this was the result.

Cressey West - This kicks off the funny videos from the past year. A few pro baseball players that I program for in a distance-based format created this spoof video as a way of saying thank you.

Tank Nap - My puppy taking a nap in a provocative position.  What's more cute?

Matt Blake Draft Tracker - CP's resident court jester and pitching instructor airs his frustrations on draft day.

1RM Cable Horizontal Abduction - More from the man, the myth, the legend.

You can find a lot more videos on my YouTube page HERE and the Cressey Performance YouTube page HERE.

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Weight Training for Baseball: Featured Articles

I really enjoy writing multi-part features here at EricCressey.com because it really affords me more time to dig deep into a topic of interest to both my readers and me.  In many ways, it's like writing a book.  Here were three noteworthy features I published in 2010: Understanding Elbow Pain - Whether you were a baseball pitcher trying to prevent a Tommy John surgery or recreational weightlifter with "tennis elbow," this series had something for you. Part 1: Functional Anatomy Part 2: Pathology Part 3: Throwing Injuries Part 4: Protecting Pitchers Part 5: The Truth About Tennis Elbow Part 6: Elbow Pain in Lifters

Strategies for Correcting Bad Posture - This series was published more recently, and was extremely well received.  It's a combination of both quick programming tips and long-term modifications you can use to eliminate poor posture. Strategies for Correcting Bad Posture: Part 1 Strategies for Correcting Bad Posture: Part 2 Strategies for Correcting Bad Posture: Part 3 Strategies for Correcting Bad Posture: Part 4

A New Paradigm for Performance Testing - This two-part feature was actually an interview with Bioletic founder, Dr. Rick Cohen.  In it, we discuss the importance of testing athletes for deficiencies and strategically correcting them.  We've begun to use Bioletics more and more with our athletes, and I highly recommend their thorough and forward thinking services. A New Paradigm for Performance Testing: Part 1 A New Paradigm for Performance Testing: Part 2 I already have a few series planned for 2011, so keep an eye out for them!  In the meantime, we have two more "Best of 2010" features in store before Friday at midnight. Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter:
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Saving Shoulders, Throwing Gas, Dropping Body Fat, and Crushing Chin-ups

This weekend is going to be one of very mixed emotions for our entire family, as we'll lay my grandfather to rest Saturday morning; he passed last Thursday morning.  Gramp had been the center of our family for my entire life, and he was a huge part of making me the man that I am.  Were it not for Gramp, I never would have developed the passion for baseball that eventually led to me finding a career that focuses on the game.  On one hand, it's going to be hard to say goodbye to him, but on the other hand, we're happy to celebrate his life and take solace that he's finally at peace after a long illness. That said, in his final weeks, Gramp requested a Saturday funeral because - as a former high school principal - he didn't want any teachers to have to miss school to attend.  To that end, he'd want the show to go on at this blog, too - so that's what we'll do with some random thoughts today. 1. I got a mention in the USA Today on Wednesday in a very interesting article on the biceps tenodesis surgery, as this procedure could become the "next big thing" in SLAP repairs.  I was mentioned alongside the likes of Curt Schilling, James Andrews, Brett Favre, Jake Peavy, and Bud Selig...pretty good company!  Check out the article: For Pitchers, Shoulder Surgery Cuts Both Ways. 2. Speaking of pitchers, here's yet ANOTHER study showing that resistance training (with throwing) improves throwing velocity significantly more than throwing alone.  Meanwhile, we still have some old-school coaches saying that kids shouldn't lift.  Ugh. 3. How's this for some solid feedback on just the first two months of Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel, and Move Better? "Hey Eric, Just wanted to keep you updated with the results I've had from Show and Go, as well as ask a quick question regarding this. I started the program at 10% body fat (measured with AccuMeasure callipers) and am now down to about just over 7% body fat! This is the lowest I've ever gone." For more information, check out www.ShowandGoTraining.com.

4. Here's some interesting research that shows that vitamin D deficiency doubles stroke risk in Caucasians.  Deficiency incidence is lower (6.6%) in whites than African-Americans (32.3%), though.  Beyond just cardiovascular health, though, vitamin D is one of the first things we look at in those with chronic soft tissue problems, especially in Northern climates where folks don't get enough sunshine during the winter months. 5. Today is the last day to get Joel Marion's Cheat Your Way Thin Holiday Edition at the introductory discount; check it out HERE, if you're interested.

6. Here's a great video from Mike Robertson on "Conquering the Chin-up:"

7. And your weekly dose of puppy...

Have a great weekend!

Hey Eric, Just wanted to keep you updated with the results I've had from Show and Go, as well as ask a quick question regarding this. I started the programme at 10% body fat (measured with AccuMeasure callipers) and am now down to about just over 7% body fat! This is the lowest I've ever gone.
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Stretches for Pitchers…FREE!

I announced this cool opportunity to my newsletter subscribers yesterday, but thought I'd throw it up on the blog as well.  By entering your name and email address below, you'll get free access to the exact post-throwing stretches we use with a lot of our pitchers.
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This will also subscribe you to my baseball content newsletter - which will be separate from my "normal" newsletter. So, if you're only subscribed to my regular newsletter and would like to have notifications whenever I've got new baseball content, be sure to subscribe. Have a great weekend!
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Looking Back: The Biggest Mistake Pro Baseball Players Make

I know a lot of professional (and college/high school) baseball players read this website on a daily basis, so I figured that with just about one month left in this year's minor league season, I'd report this article from last October.  I think it is a must-read for any professional baseball player, based on my years of experience training guys in this population.  Check it out: The Biggest Mistake Pro Baseball Players Make. "In a day and age when you read, daily, about players taking 'shortcuts' and trying to find the quickest way to 'get good,' if you understand anything about the human body and professional sports you know neither of those applies. Eric Cressey is as cutting edge as anyone out there when it comes to throwing a baseball. His insight into not only the bio-mechanics of the action, but in understanding that the kinetic chain is about engaging the entire body and his position specific workouts are far ahead of their time. He also has great insight into the lives we live as professionals and knows that while nutrition is the foundation of any good athlete, there are ways to be healthy, and stay healthy. No matter if you're traveling from Motel 6 to Motel 6 in the NY Penn League, or on charter flights around the AL East, this guy is as good as they come." "In addition to being one of the smartest minds on the planet he's as good a person as he is a trainer, if not better. I couldn't recommend anyone more highly than Eric if you are truly serious about tapping into potential you never knew you had, or pushing yourself to places you never knew you could go." Curt Schilling Member of the 2001, 2004 and 2007 World Champion Diamondbacks and Red Sox

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Friday the 13th: Muscle Imbalances, Stiffness, & Increasing Throwing Velocity

1.  I just realized that it's Friday the 13th.  Hopefully that epiphany doesn't jinx this blog and make it suck.  Prepare yourself either way.

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2. In case you missed it earlier this week, today is the last day you can save $50 off of Muscle Imbalances Revealed, a discount that is only in place for my readers through THIS LINK. As I noted in my Muscle Imbalances Revealed product review earlier this week, it's an excellent product and worth every penny. The sale lasts through tonight at midnight only.

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3. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that I'm a huge advocate of soft tissue work based on anecdotal evidence.  This week, however, I want to direct you to a great "case study" guest blog by physical therapist Trevor Winnegge over at Mike Reinold's blog.  Trevor writes about the importance of soft tissue release following SLAP 2 repairs.  This is great information for both clinicians and those looking to be advocates for themselves following shoulder injuries, so definitely check it out. 4. Check out this excellent blog post from Bret Contreras on stiffness.  A lot of folks think that being stiff is always a bad thing, but as Bret shows, there is a time and a place for everything - and it's crucial for successful athletic performance. 5. Cressey Performance athlete Andrew Chin had a nice interview published at ESPN Boston the other day, and talks about his training at CP in some detail. Check it out: Player Perspective: Andrew Chin.

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5. Tony's out of town for a lovely romantic weekend with his significant other.  He's planning to serenade her, so we did a little trial run at Cressey Performance the other night.  I think he did pretty well:

Hey, it beats techno, right?

6. One of my goals for the rest of 2010 is to really kick up the video content here at EricCressey.com.  To that end, I am tentatively planning a video series for the blog that is all about exercise technique and how we teach certain lifts.  I'm looking for ideas: what drills/exercises/lifts have been a struggle for you to learn?  Please post some suggestions as comments below and you might see it in this blog in the next few months with a ton of detail.  Thanks in advance for your ideas!

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Random Wednesday Thoughts: 8/6/10

1. Mike Reinold polled some of the best in the world of manual therapy, physical therapy, and strength and conditioning (plus a schmuck named "Cressey") to ask for their best career advice for students and young professionals in our fields.  Here is the post that emerged; it came out really well - and actually serves as an awesome adjunct to yesterday's advice on starting out in the fitness industry. 2. I'm pumped to report that my advanced copy of Gray Cook's new book, Movement, arrived yesterday.  I'm digging in to it tonight.  You can pre-order your own HERE.

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Gray's been talking about this book (and working on it) for years now, and there is no doubt in my mind that he won't disappoint. I'm really looking forward to it. 3. Here's a link to an interview with Cressey Performance and Lincoln-Sudbury athlete Adam Ravenelle, who is committed to play baseball at Vanderbilt: Player Perspective: Adam Ravenelle The thing I like the most about this interview is the fact that Adam emphasized the importance of in-season training and how valuable it is to young pitchers.  You'd be amazed at how many guys work their butts off in the off-season and show up to the start of the season strong...only to skip their lifting and flexibility work for the next 6-8 months.  It's one step forward, and one step back - but not for guys like Adam who "get it."  "Rav" has gained over 50 pounds with us since 2007 while going from the high 70s to low 90mph range - and having an open-minded and dedicated attitude toward in-season training has been a big part of it. 3. Speaking of throwing the baseball faster, Haag et al. found that pre-throwing static stretching did not negatively affect baseball pitching velocity.  This is pretty significant, as many modern coaches generally encourage players to universally avoid static stretching right before training and competition for fear of reductions in power output (that research horse has been beaten to death). Personally, though, I've always felt that it was really valuable to stretch the throwing shoulder in the majority of our pitchers before they threw (the exceptions being the ones with crazy laxity).  Typically, we stretch guys (or encourage them to stretch themselves) into shoulder internal rotation and flexion.  It's safe to assume that getting range in their directions is going to not only minimize the effect of the peel-back mechanism for SLAP lesions at lay-back, but also enable them to have a longer, smoother deceleration arc.

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While more research is definitely warranted, my hunch is that static stretching is less "inhibitory" in the upper body than the lower body because the upper body deals with predominantly open-chain motion, and is therefore more heavily reliant on mobility than stability. 5. Last, but certainly not least, here's a quick article about CP athlete Tim Collins, who was traded for the second time in three weeks, this time to the Royals. Related Posts The Importance of Strength and Conditioning for High School Baseball Players The Lucky 13: Cressey's Top Reading Recommendations Enter your email below to subscribe to our FREE newsletter:
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The #1 Cause of Inconsistent Pitching Velocity

As anyone who reads my posts regularly surely knows, I've devoted a significant portion of my life to figuring out how to make guys throw baseballs faster.  Sure, having a great change-up and a filthy curveball is nice, but let's be honest: throwing gas is what gets scouts' attention and earns you fame, fortune, chicks, scholarships, and, of course, intimidation on the mound.

However, my interest in velocity isn't just limited to how to get to "X" miles per hour; it also extends to understanding how to stay (or improve upon) "X" miles per hour over the course of a single appearance, season, or career while staying healthy and developing the rest of one's pitching arsenal.  Erratic radar gun readings are as much a problem as "insufficient" radar gun readings.

My foremost observation on this front has been that velocity is much more erratic in high level teenagers than any other population. At Cressey Sports Performance, we've had loads of high school guys top the 90mph mark over the years, so we've built up a good sample size to consider.  While some of these guys are quite consistent, I find that they tend to have more 4-6mph drop-offs here and there than any other population with which I've worked.  A guy that is 90-94 on one day might come back at 85-87 five days later - seemingly out of the blue.

However, I don't think it's just a random occurrence.  Rather, in my experience, EVERY single time it happens, it's because he has let his body weight drop - usually due to being on the road for games and not packing enough food.  We see it all the time in kids who throw great up in New England, but then head down South for tournaments.  All of a sudden, they are living out of hotels and eating out of restaurants multiple times per day - which certainly isn't going to be as conducive to maintaining body weight as "grazing" around the house and chowing down on Mom's home-cooking multiple times per day.  To make matters worse, a lot of kids lose their appetites when they get out in the heat - and not many people from across the country are prepared for the weather in Georgia or South Carolina in July.  So, insufficient caloric intake becomes completely inadequate caloric intake - and that's not exactly a recipe for throwing the baseball faster.

tiny-breakfast

Beyond just the body weight factor, though, you also have to look at the fact that the advanced teenage pitchers are generally also the best athletes - so their coaches almost always have them out in the outfield or at SS/3B when they aren't pitching.  Playing a position interferes with a solid throwing program and just doesn't give a kid a chance to rest. There are more calories burned, too!

What's interesting, though, is that kids who don't throw as hard - say, 70-82 - never have variability in their velocity readings; they are super consistent.  Why? Well, for one, they usually aren't quite good enough to get on travel teams and in competitive scenarios that would require them to have to consciously consider how to maintain their weight.  Rather, it's Mom's home-cooking all the time - so it's easier to maintain their weight.  And, they may not be talented enough to be able to play other positions when they aren't pitching.

This difference is really interesting because both populations - independent of strength and conditioning - are at ages where their bodies are changing and (presumably) getting heavier naturally as they go through puberty and gain muscle mass.  As this picture shows, however, their strength coaches are apparently getting shorter and balder at the same time!

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This rarely applies to anyone who has pitched in the professional ranks for more than a year or two.  You never see a professional pitcher go out and throw 5-7mph slower than normal unless he is hurt or coming back on very short rest.  These guys have found their "set points," and have learned over the years how to get in enough calories when on the road (out on their own means cooking for themselves, plus eating whatever their clubhouse dues gets them at the park).  Plus, they aren't playing the field.

All that said, regardless of your age, experience level, and current velocity, don't skimp on calories.  If you look at every bit of research on the pitching motion, body weight predicts pitching velocity. If you're on the road, make sure you pack some shakes, trail mix, bars, fruit, nuts, jerky, or whatever other convenience food helps you to get in the calories you need to light up the radar gun.  I love Precision Nutrition as a resource on this front.  It doesn't just help you to eat healthy foods; it helps you with strategies to make getting in enough qualities calories conveniently when you may be pinched for time or kitchen access.

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Scientific Proof: Why So Many People Squat 600lbs on the Internet

I came across the abstract for this interesting Australian study the other day: Actual versus perceived lifting ability in healthy young men (18-25 years). Basically, researchers compared what men under the age of 25 SAID they could lift with what they actually COULD lift when tested.  According to the researchers, "One third of subjects were able to accurately self-report their lifting performance, approximately one-third underestimated, and the remaining third overestimated their lifting ability." So, out of every three people, we have one person who is pretty even-keeled and honest with himself about his physical abilities. And, we have another who is either a) intimidated and doesn't think he can do it or b) lazy and unwilling to "do it." Finally,we have everyone's favorite: the tough guy who talks a big game.  These are the guys who sit behind their keyboards claiming to squat 500 pounds - or bench 400, or throw 95mph fastballs.  However, nobody every witnesses it.  They have big balls on the internet.

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How many times have you walked into a commercial gym and seen a 400-pound bench press?  I think I've seen it once - and the guy weighed about 330 pounds. How about a legitimate 600-pound squat?  I've never seen it in a commercial gym, only a few times without a squat-suit in hardcore powerlifting gyms, and only twice college weight rooms in my life. And, I'm certainly not seeing 95mph fastballs at every high school baseball game.  In fact, as I recall reading last year, there are only about eight pitchers in all of Major League Baseball who have consistent 95+mph fastballs.  Maybe the rest of the pros need to spend more time on the internet to be able to throw baseballs faster? However, go on to any internet forum - whether it's for lifting or pitching - and you'll come across all this hidden talent that is yearning to be discovered.  Sorry, folks, but you're the 1/3 of people I referenced above.  Put up or shut up.  I'd actually say that this 33% figure also applies to baseball fathers; about one in three is CONVINCED that his kid is much better than Junior really is. Finally, as an interesting little aside, ever wonder why nobody ever lies about their deadlift numbers?

I have to assume that it's because the deadlift is a pretty "yes or no" exercise.  You either can or can't pick something heavy up off the floor.  It's not like a squat or bench press, where you can shorten the range of motion and instantly improve your numbers. Related Posts Crazy Dads and Kids Who Throw Cheddar Shoulder Mobility for Squatting Please enter your email below to sign up for our FREE newsletter.

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