Home Posts tagged "Weight Lifting for Baseball" (Page 3)

Speed vs. Reps, Round Pegs in Square Holes, and Ignorant Coaches

Some recommended reading for the day: The Dynamic Method vs. the Repetition Method - A common question among resistance training beginners who've begun to "think outside the box" is whether they should bother using the dynamic method with their strength exercises if they aren't all that strong (yet).  I answer this common inquiry in this blog post. 6 Mistakes: Fitting Round Pegs into Square Holes - This T-Nation article from a while back highlights some situations where it's important to not force something that just isn't there. "My Coach Says I Shouldn't Lift" - This was one of those pieces that was just fun to write because it's such a ridiculous recommendation from a coach - but the sad truth is that it's happening all the time across the country.  So, spread the word and help some kids out! Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter:
Name
Email
Read more

FREE Podcast Interview with EC

Last week, Perry Nickelston interviewed me for his podcast.  We covered everything from the origins of my latest product, Show and Go, to baseball workouts, to running a facility.  You can listen to the interview for free HERE.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter:
Name
Email
Read more

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

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

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

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

For more information, check out the Cressey Performance Elite Baseball Development Program. Please enter your email below to sign up for our FREE newsletter.

Name
Email
Read more

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.

movementlg

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.

57437671

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:
Name
Email
Read more

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!

adecbs1148779_10151511761815388_961839278_n

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.

precision_nutrition

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

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.

squirrel-nuts-1

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.

Name
Email
Read more

Stuff You Should Read: 7/28/10

Here is this week's list of recommended reading: Push-ups for Baseball Pitchers - The why, how, and when. The Truth About Leg Extensions - I just remember this article being really fun to write - mostly because I knew I'd get a lot of hate mail about it.  I was right about that. Simple Asymmetry Fixes - It might be easier than you think! Please enter your email below to sign up for our FREE newsletter.
Name
Email
Read more

Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injuries in Quarterbacks vs. Pitchers

Here's an interesting study on the incidence of ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries in professional football quarterbacks.  With only ten reported cases between 1994 and 2008, it's obviously (and not surprisingly) much lower than the rates we see in professional baseball players.  This is right in line with what I discussed in Weighted Baseballs: Safe and Effective or Stupid and Dangerous?

Bengals Seahawks Football However, what is very interesting to me is that 9/10 cases were treated non-operatively; in other words, Tommy John surgery is much less prescribed in football quarterbacks than baseball pitchers - meaning that the quarterbacks respond better to conservative treatment. What's up with that?  They are the same injuries - and presumably the same rehabilitation programs. In my eyes, it's due to the sheer nature of the stress we see in a baseball pitch in comparison to a football throw.  As a quarterback, you can probably "get by" with a slightly insufficient UCL if you have adequate muscular strength, flexibility, and tissue quality.  While this is still the case in some baseball pitchers, the stresses on the passive structure (UCL) are still markedly higher on each throw, meaning that your chances of getting by conservatively are probably slightly poorer.

elbow

I'm sure that the nature of the sporting year plays into this as well.  Football quarterbacks never attempt to throw year-round, so there isn't a rush to return to throwing.  There are, however, a lot of stupid baseball pitchers who think that they can pitch year-round, so kids often "jump the gun" on their throwing programs and make things worse before they can heal completely. That said, we've still worked with a lot of pitchers who have been able to come back and throw completely pain-free after being diagnosed with a partial UCL tear and undergoing conservative treatment (physical therapy).  It's an individual thing. Related Posts Understanding Elbow Pain - Part 3: Throwing Injuries Understanding Elbow Pain - Part 4: Protecting Pitchers Please enter your email below to sign up for our FREE newsletter.
Name
Email
Read more

Farmer’s Walk Tips

Today's guest blog comes from Jedd Johnson of DieselCrew.com.  Here are seven tips for successful and safe farmer's walk training: Farmers Walk Tips 1.  Equipment Set-up: When you add plates, make sure they are tight.  Loose plates shift around and can throw your technique off.  Tighten them with collars, Pony Clamps, Wrist Wraps, or something else that will keep them tight. 2.  Stance: Make sure you take not of how you set up your feet.  Have the handles right by the legs and place the feet equidistant from the handles.  Stand near the center of the handle, or maybe even slightly forward of center, whichever feels best for you. 3.  Grip Position: Depending on how you pull and how strong your grip is, you will either want to grip the handles right in the center or shifted slightly back.  It is better to have the handles leaning down in front than down in back.  Slightly down in front shifts the emphasis to the first two fingers.  Down in back shifts it to the last two (and weakest two) fingers.

4.  Chalk: Chalk up well.  Chalk the inside of your palm and fingers as well as the thumb and the back of the fingers. 5.  Thumb: Wrap your thumb up over your index finger, middle finger, or both, depending on what is comfortable.  This contact will secure your grip and it is also why you want to chalk on the back of your fingers.  If they are wet, your thumb will slip and that is no good. 6.  Heels and Glutes: Push the heels into the ground when you pull the handles up, just like you would a narrow stance deadlift.   When you near lockout, fire the glutes instead of the lower back.  You'll last longer this way and be able to do more sets. 7.  Short Choppy Steps: Take short, choppy steps when walking, especially the first few.  This allows you to conserve energy and stay balanced during your stride.  Once you pick up momentum, you can take longer strides, but it is almost always easier to maintain control with short choppy steps. Farmer's Walks are great for building Grip Strength, and that is something that is important for all sports, as well as many other lifts in the gym. Interested in learning more about Jedd's unique grip training ideas?  Check out his new e-book, Ultimate Forearm Training for Baseball.

Please enter your email below to sign up for our FREE newsletter.
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