Home Posts tagged "Workout Program"

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 Programs: Product Reviews

As you probably know, when I come across high-quality products that I really enjoy that I think will be a good fit for my audience, I am thrilled to be able to write up thorough reviews for you.  This way, it not only gives some love to these products’ deserving creators (and learn myself!), but also gives you more background to make sure that it’s a good fit for you if you opt to purchase it. To that end, I wanted to use today's post to highlight the top seven products I reviewed in 2010.  Considering that I receive literally dozens of products in the mail each year to review (I still have a stack left to cover), these represent not just the cream of the crop, but the ones where I actually had the time and inclination to write something up.  Check them out by category: For the Fitness Professionals: Muscle Imbalances Revealed - This set of six webinars can be viewed conveniently from the comforts of your own home.  No travel or shipping charges to ruin your day!  Check out my review Product Review: Muscle Imbalances Revealed.

The Single-Leg Solution - Mike Robertson is a great friend of mine - but that's not the only reason I liked this product.  It was very thorough, well-researched and written, and offered some excellent coaching cues that any fitness professional would be wise to study up on.  My review is The Single-leg Solution: Detailed Product Review.

Rehab=Training, Training=Rehab - This long-awaited debut product from Charlie Weingroff was just released in the last few weeks, and it certainly didn't disappoint.  Even if you don't pick up a copy, you'll learn quite a bit from my two-part review: Rehab=Training, Training=Rehab: Top 10 Takeaways - Part 1 and Rehab=Training, Training=Rehab, Top 10 Takeaways - Part 2.

Movement - I just realized that I never got around to writing up a review of this great book from Gray Cook, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't an excellent read.  I HIGHLY recommend it.

For the Fat Loss Enthusiasts (then again, can you really be enthusiastic about having to lose fat?): Body of Fire - This fat loss resource from Chad Waterbury was great for the masses - especially if you only have minimal equipment at your fingertips.  I loved the focus on movement rather than just crazy high volume training.  Check out my interview with him: Waterbury on Why Most Fat Loss Plans Fail Miserably - and a Better Approach.

Final Phase Fat Loss - John Romaniello's first product is a great fit for those trying to lose those stubborn last few pounds of body fat, especially if they are masochists who enjoy a very challenging program!  For more information, check out Final Phase Fat Loss: An Interview with John Romaniello.

For the Athletes: The Truth About Quickness - I'm a big fan of Kelly Baggett, and he collaborated with Alex Maroko to create an excellent resource for up-and-coming athletes.  I gave Kelly the spotlight with three pieces: How to Get Quick...Quickly: An Interview with Kelly Baggett, and The 5 Most Common Speed, Quickness, and Explosiveness Problems in Athletes Part 1 and Part 2.

That wraps it up for the best of 2010 product reviews; hopefully you can reward yourself with some late holiday shopping by picking up one or more of these items; you won't regret it.  I'll be back tomorrow with the best videos of 2010.

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The Regular Guy Off-Season Strength Program

Pop quiz, hotshot. You need to add some plates to the bar and pack some meat on your bones. You've got precious few weeks to accomplish both, but only have four days per week to train. What do you do? What do you do? I've asked this question to myself countless times and only recently have I come up with what I believe is the most effective method. Forget total-body training. Forget upper and lower splits. The trick is to, well...I'll get to that in a minute. Continue Reading...
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You Ain’t Got No Meat — Build Up Your “Mirror Muscles”

Feel like swallowing some bitter truth today? Okay Spunky, first strip down to your Power Rangers shorts. Now grab a compact from your girlfriend's purse and sashay over to the full-length mirror on the back of her bedroom door. Face away from the full-length mirror and use the smaller mirror on her compact to eyeball your backside — your entire backside from the top of your shoulders to several clicks south of Glutesville. Personally, I'd also use one of those cardboard boxes with a couple of pinholes in it, the kind that kids use during solar eclipses to keep from going blind, because what you see might scar you emotionally and physically. Continue Reading... - Eric Cressey
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Why Curt Schilling Should Go to the Hall of Fame

I got a phone call this morning around 7:30AM.  I knew it was coming, but was just a matter of time.  So, when I saw Curt Schilling's name on the Caller ID, I figured that he was ready to call it a career - and a brilliant career at that.  You can read his official retirement statement on his blog.

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We had the radio on today, and the commentators talked quite a bit about his impressive career stats, fantastic post-season record, and three World Series rings.  It's safe to say that all of these factors are going to come up time and time again in discussions over the next few years about whether or not Curt ought to go to Cooperstown.  He's got over 3,000 career strikeouts, and a career ERA of under 3.46.  Throw in six all-star game appearances, three Cy Young runner-up seasons, and a World Series MVP.  He's also got the highest strikeout-to-walk ratio of all time.  Those factors alone - plus the subjective fact that he is probably the single-best post-season pitcher of all time - ought to get him in. To me, though, there are two more factors that make this a sure thing. First, while I'm a huge Red Sox fan and - like millions others - will be eternally grateful for the two championships he helped bring to Boston, I have to say that what he did in Arizona from 2001-2003 was nothing short of incredible.  At a time when the use of performance-enhancing drugs was off the charts - and guys were destroying home run records - Schilling was a dominant pitcher.  It didn't matter how much hitters cheated; they still couldn't put runs on the board against him.  Curt's been extremely outspoken against the use of these performance-enhancing drugs, but to me, his numbers during that time period are proof to kids everywhere that you don't have to cheat to get ahead. Second, Curt's career spanned a time period where it seemed like every day, a new athlete was getting into trouble with the law.  We've heard about athletes making bad decisions and getting busted for drunk driving, bar fights, spousal abuse, drug abuse, gambling, adultery, and even murder.  Meanwhile, Curt was raising millions of dollars for various charities, being a devoted husband and father, contributing as a valuable member of communities in PA, AZ, and MA, and mentoring up-and-coming pitchers. I watched first-hand this winter as he took time out of his busy schedule to talk pitching with my minor leaguers and high school athletes.  You could tell that it was an interesting blast of emotions for them.  On one hand, they were starstruck and amazed that he would actually care enough to share his wisdom with them - and do so with so much passion.  On the other hand, they were all frantically trying to understand and memorize all the great ideas they were hearing from a guy with decades of experience in the big leagues. Say what you want about Curt being outspoken, but make no mistake about it: at a time when baseball needed good citizens off the field as much as it needed stars on the field, Curt filled both those roles.  Unfortunately, none of the folks with whom Curt interacted at Cressey Performance will get a vote in the Hall of Fame balloting in a few years.  However, if we did, I can say without wavering that everyone in this group would vote him as a person - and that's independent of his impressive baseball resumé. Congratulations on a great career, Curt.  I'm damn proud to have been even just a little part of it.

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Know Your Anatomy

I'm in the process of reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.  It's a fantastic book - and one of the foremost messages Gladwell works to convey is that split-second decisions - those made seemingly subconsciously - are in many cases better than those that are thought-out with great time and effort.

blink-by-malcolm-gladwell

As is always the case with a books I read that are seemingly unrelated to strength and conditioning, I got to thinking about how this applies to the industry in which I work - and I started to immediately see applications.  The best coaches are the ones who instinctively know exactly what to say to clean up a movement - and this requires not only quick recognition of what's wrong, but also the ability to know exactly what to say to fix the problem.  For instance, you can't see an athlete squatting who is breaking at the knees instead of the hips, and then go home and think about it for 24 hours before coming back to coach the movement correctly.

In one instance, Gladwell makes his point in the context of basketball:

Basketball is an intricate, high-speed game filled with split-second, spontaneous decisions.  But that spontaneity is possible only when everyone first engages in hours of highly repetitive and structured practice - perfecting their shooting, dribbling, and passing, and running plays over and over again - and agrees to play a carefully defined role on the court.

In other words, if you want to be successful in a challenge that depends on effective split-second decision-making, you need to have prepared yourself in terms of knowledge and practice.  Each week, I get close to a dozen emails from up-and-comers in the industry asking for my advice on how to advance their career, and I give them three pieces of advice that - if carried out - will immediately set them apart from the rest of their peers.

Step 1 is to master anatomy.  You can't be a mechanic if you don't know where the engine is, or what its constituent parts are.  Memorization is boring, but you have to do it; it is the basis for everything that you do.  If you are a fitness professional - or aspiring to be one - and you can't answer the following three questions, then you have room to improve:

a. What are three flexors of the hip? b. What are the points of attachment of the latissimus dorsi? c. What are three muscles that attach to the coracoid process of the scapula?

I am not trying to put myself on a high-horse, as I'm far from knowing every subtle intricacy of the human body.  I do, however, know enough to realize that I am going to keep learning and it's always going to keep benefiting my clients.

While any anatomy book will do, I'm partial to Kinetic Anatomy for those looking to get a good start.  And, if you have the opportunity to take a course in Gross Anatomy, definitely do so - or at the very least, check out the Bodies exhibit when it's at a museum near you.

Step 2 is to take that anatomy foundation and apply it in a function context.  In other words, what happens when one muscle doesn't do its job?  How can poor mobility in one area lead to instability elsewhere?  How can certain muscles be both synergists and antagonists, depending on the plane of motion in question?

Functional anatomy is largely the reason that Mike Robertson and I made the Building the Efficient Athlete DVD set; we felt strongly that there was a need to improve on the rudimentary anatomy teaching that most fitness professionals receive in certification and academic programs.

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Step 3 is to acquire an internship where you can watch others apply their knowledge and get practice applying your own in a controlled environment.  With an internship, you learn about professionalism, coaching cues, and programming - and you learn how working with clients and athletes effectively blends your knowledge with your everyday demeanor.  As an extension of this step, I feel strongly that it's important to get out during your career and interact with as many colleagues as possible to see what bits of wisdom you can clean from their coaching styles.  And, of course, attend seminars, and read everything you can get your hands on.

Once you've gotten through step 3, it is time to get out there and practice in the "real world" by interacting with as many clients as you possibly can.  These individuals will all have something to teach, and it's a chance for you to apply everything you've learned.

One thing you will notice is completely absent from my recommendations is me encouraging people to go out and get more certifications.  Frankly, a certification is simply a foot in the door, and there aren't any out there - even the so-called "gold standards" - that impress me.  If you are going to spend hundreds of dollars with the intention of becoming a better professional, there are much better investments than just paying for a certification that merely amounts to a piece of paper you can frame.  I'd rather spend the money on books, seminars, or travel expenses to see people who actually coach.

Take care of those three steps, and in my eyes, you'll be well on your way to the "subconscious mastery" to which I alluded earlier.

A Quick Note on a Great Sale for a Great Cause

Speaking of Building the Efficient Athlete, as you may recall, I announced a sweet sale last week where a small charitable, tax-free donation can save you 20% on a boatload of our products.  This offer ends on Thursday at midnight, so don't delay.  You can find the details HERE.

New Blog Content

Random Monday Thoughts A Little Different Push-up Flavor Around Cressey Performance Being Up-Front on the Rear Healthy Knees, Steady Progress Random Friday Thoughts

All the Best,

EC

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Random Friday Thoughts: 3/20/09

1. As I mentioned last week, I came down with a nasty bug of some sort - and it felt like I was swallowing thumbtacks for a few days.  Well, long story short, it's a week later - and my throat isn't much better, and I still don't have my voice back (which tends to be pretty important when you spend your days yelling at athletes).  So, I'm finally breaking down and heading to the doctor's this morning.  Normally, I probably would have been stubborn and tried to wait this out even longer, but I'm giving a 8am-5pm seminar on Sunday, and I'll kind of need my voice for that.  It looks like I could be going on antibiotics for the first time since I was 17... 2. Speaking of antibiotics, Brian St. Pierre wrote a great blog recently about important dietary modifications for those who are on antibiotics.  It's definitely worth reading; check it out HERE. 3. Continuing with the immunity stuff, I recently came across an article that noted that a recent study showed that children who slept seven hours or less each night are three times more likely to get a respiratory illness after exposure to a virus than their peers who sleep eight hours or more.   I wonder where strength coaches/writers/consultants/entrepreneurs who sleep less than two hours a night fall on this list... 4. If you're a baseball fan looking for a good read, I'd encourage you to check out License to Deal: A Season on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent.  Jerry Crasnick, a baseball writer for ESPN.com, follows around Matt Sosnick and Paul Cobbe of the Sosnick-Cobbe sports agency to offer a great overview of the baseball representation business and how it's evolved in recent years.

license-to-deal

The book was actually recommended to me by one of our athletes and their clients, Harvard graduate and Oakland A's pitching prospect Shawn Haviland.  It was an interesting read for me, as I'm a strength and conditioning coach in the private sector who deals with active pro baseball players, future pro baseball players with the draft rapidly approaching, agents, and representatives of the MLB organizations.  My business partner is reading right now and really enjoying it, too.  I'd definitely encourage you to check it out HERE.

5. This is the longest exercise name in history, but it's a great one:

6. Last, but certainly not least, the sign-up page for the Maine NSCA event on April 18 is now up.  You can check it out HERE.

Have a great weekend!

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The “Saving the Shuffler” Sale

Earlier this week, I introduced you to the "shuffler," a breed of endurance athlete that seems to be everywhere in Boston this time of year.  And, skilled trapper that I am, I actually managed to catch one last night to: a) rescue her from herself, b) learn more about how we can diagnose and treat this shuffling epidemic in the endurance training community c) even help charity in the process. In fact, promising to help her out with her charitable deeds was the only way I could cajole Steph Holland-Brodney into doing this interview from the cage we keep her in at Cressey Performance. I'm not normally this sarcastic with our clients, but Steph's the most tenured of the bunch, having been with me since I first moved to Boston in the summer of 2006 as she prepared for her first Boston Marathon.  She's put up with my bad jokes and stuck with me through two facility moves.  With two Boston Marathons under her belt - and one more on the horizon - it's been interesting to watch the shift in her mindset over the past few years. Maybe it's been Tony's mind-numbing techno music that's gotten her to come to her senses.  Then again, I can't explain how that would have happened, as that garbage drives me crazy. Or, maybe she got a pack of carb goo that had passed its expiration date.  Nope, that can't be it; simple sugars make people dumber, not smarter. My hunch is that there's a lot more to it - and that's why I think an interview with her will tell an awesome story.  Check it out. EC: Okay, let's get right to the meat and potatoes.  When did you start running, and more importantly, why? SH-B: You eat potatoes?  Sorry, I'm easily distracted. I ran here and there through college and graduate school, but never more than three miles.  After I had my second child, I needed to lose that infamous and annoying "baby weight," so started running again.  I bought this Oldsmobile of a double stroller and it took me longer to get them both in it than my runs took.  I was running on the morning of September 11, 2001 when my mom died as her plane was hijacked.  I wasn't home to see any of the images live.   In many ways I am thankful for that. Over the next few years I became more serious about my running; it was my escape.  After completing some 5k and 10k races, I decided that I wanted to tackle The Biggest Enchilada of them all (you know, to honor my Mexican heritage.)  When I saw that Boston Medical Center was a charity for the Boston Marathon, I applied immediately.  The Good Grief program at BMC helped me so much after my mother passed away.  It was a no-brainer. EC: How has your training program changed in that time period?  What have you added? Subtracted? SH-B:  I used to view lifting as "supplemental" and my "cardio" (yes, I was a Step Aerobics and Spinning instructor) as the core of my training.  That has totally changed.  I used to be a cardio 4x/week and lift 2x/week chick.  Now, I lift 3x a week and do cardio three times. At least one or two of those times is interval work.  I used to whine (well, I still do, but it's definitely a more angry whine) when I had to lift heavy.  Now, I get pissed off if I don't hit a goal.  I mean, what 5-2 marathon midget gets off on trap bar deadlifting 225?

steph

EC: Whine?  You?  Never.  I'll just say that there were a lot of us that were pretty relieved when you uttered these words and they became the photo-worthy quote of the year at CP :

We Saved Her!

Anyway, though, it's been my observation that roughly 80% of those who follow the cookie-cutter marathon training program they're given develop some sort of an overuse injury prior to the marathon.  I think the hardest part about this is that it's impossible to really "fix" any lower extremity issue when an individual is still running with such high mileage.  You've had your share of aches and pains along the way; what have you're your strategies for dealing with them, and what have they taught you? SH-B: Marchese and Morgan torture, lower mileage, my foam roller, and a proper warm-up.  Soft tissue work is a must.  I see John Marchese and Tim Morgan every other week.  I tell them that giving birth to two kids was less painful then their treatment.  Those 45 minutes of torture though are so important. Like the CP staff, they were adamant about lowering my weekly mileage and replacing some of my runs with interval work and even some bike work.  The foam roller and I have taken our relationship to an entirely new level.  And the terms "ankle mobilization" and "glutes activation" have taken on new meaning in my life. EC: Now, I've come to appreciate that we've turned you into a training snob.  You appreciate a good training environment, and loathe watching people do moronic stuff in the gym.  What are three things you've seen/heard among endurance athletes that made you want to hole them up in the Big Dig? SH-B: So easy.  Do yoga.  Do yoga.  Do yoga.  No, wait: do hot yoga. EC: You're right; that was too easy.  What else you got? SH-B:  Add more mileage, "I don't have time to strength train," and going carb crazy before long runs and forgetting about protein.  Brian St. Pierre has taught me a tremendous amount about carb/protein ratios and the breakdown of fat in your system.  And the importance not only of the pre-long run meal but the post run nutrition also.  If he tells me one more time about quinoa or kiwis.... EC: Speaking of good training environments, at Cressey Performance, there's something known as the "V-Hour" - and those who train during that time period are known as the "V-Club."  While I came up with the name, you're undoubtedly the president and events coordinator for the group.  So, I figured you could best articulate the mission of this esteemed group of ladies.  Oh, and just what exactly does the "V' stand for? SH-B: Oh Eric, you just want to make a mother of two and teacher say VAGINA, don't you?  Clarification, I'm not the president.  I am social director.  Let me just say that last night at CP, the last three clients there were ALL women.  I have trained with you for almost 3 years and that has never happened.  When I started with you I was your only female client for quite some time.  Slowly, more women started to jump in on the madness. Let's face it, V Club Members are versatile; we have to be.  We're married, single, confused, all ages.  Some of us are professional athletes, some of us are endurance athletes and some of us just like to lift heavy stuff.  We must tolerate the same rotation of three CDs all of the time, having Brian yell across the crowded gym for all to hear, "Stick your ass out more," and Tony walking around with his Tupperware full of beef, broccoli and guacamole saying things like, "Atta girl!"  And let's not even get into you. We've got to be witty and be able to dish it out.  Have good taste in music and know how to rock a pair of Seven Jeans.  We are a tiny percentage of the clientele.  We support one another in our quest for CP greatness.  And our favorite activity is of course making fun of the staff. EC: Okay, let's talk fund raising.  For whom are you raising money with this year's marathon efforts?  And, how much have you raised in recent years for that cause? SH-B:  This is my third year with Boston Medical Center.  Their mission is "exceptional care without exception."  That pretty much sums up my mom's mission in life.  Over the past 2 years I have raised $10,000.  This year I need to raise $3,000.  I have about $2,200 left to go. I just have to say this.  When I was first referred to you, I saw my time with you as maybe a six-week stint.  I needed "corrective exercise."  Never did I think that my entire philosophy on training would change - or that I'd make such great friendships.  I look more forward to my CP sessions than I do my runs.  A half hour at the track doing sprint intervals kicks my butt more than a "medium run." You guys really have turned me into a training snob and I am so thankful for it.  Before this ends, I have one request.   Can one of the interns vacuum my cage? EC:  I'll see what I can do.  Thanks for taking the time; now, let's raise some money for a great cause. Boston Medical Center has helped loads of people like Steph, and while I think they deserve the donations regardless, I'm going to sweeten the deal.  Here's the scoop: Make a donation of $20 or more to BMC HERE by next Thursday, March 26 at midnight.  Then, forward your receipt to me at ec@ericcressey.com.  In exchange, I'll send you a coupon code for 20% off ANY purchase of: 1. Magnificent Mobility (e-manual and CEU package available) 2. Building the Efficient Athlete DVD Set (CEU package available) 3. Inside-Out (e-manual and CEU package available) 4. The Ultimate Off-Season Manual 5. The Art of the Deload 6. The Truth About Unstable Surface Training 7. The Indianapolis Performance Enhancement DVD Set (CEU package available) 8. Bulletproof Knees (CEU package available) In your email, just let me know which product(s) you'd like to purchase.  As you can tell, if you purchased a bunch of these products at once, a simple $20 donation could save you hundreds of dollars in products.  A huge thanks go out Bill Hartman and Mike Robertson for generously agreeing to help out with this promotion. Here's that donation link again: https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=294905&lis=0&kntae294905=C0E17F6614F64DF5BBC0DB96BF2D3283&supId=246743102 Thanks for your help in supporting this great cause! EC
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Pitchers vs. Quarterbacks vs. Swimmers

Q: I know that you're tops when it comes to keeping baseball guys (especially pitchers) healthy and performing at the top level. How would your approach to training baseball players in general, and pitchers more specifically, differ when working with somewhat similar athletes such as: (a) football quarterbacks (b) swimmers other than backstrokers (c) swimmers specializing in the back stroke I realize there would be obvious differences, especially for C, since that is actually the opposite of pitching, so I'd love to hear some of your general thoughts on this. A: This is actually a great question.  I guess it's one of those things you do subconsciously and then think about after the fact.  I'm assuming you are referring to the shoulder and elbow demands in particular, so I'll start with that. Training football quarterbacks and pitchers would be virtually identical in terms of demands on the hips, ankles, and shoulders.   Anecdotal experience tells me that there would be a higher correlation between hip dysfunction and shoulder/elbow problems in pitchers than in quarterbacks, though. Swimmers would be similar at the shoulder, but I don't see the same kind of correlation b/t hip and shoulder dysfunction.   Obviously, though, issues like scapular stability, thoracic spine range-of-motion, and tissue quality would all be present in all three populations. Backstrokers would have comparable scapular stabilization demands, but different glenohumeral rotation patterns. With them, you assess total shoulder rotation and go from there (this is my strategy with everyone, but it just warrants extra mention in this discussion). Above all, you've got to realize that while you might see trends in different athletic populations, each one is still unique, so assessment tells you what you need to know. For instance, I have a few pro pitchers throwing well over 90mph, and from looking at their shoulders, you'd never know they had ever thrown a baseball in their lives.  At initial testing (i.e., right after the long season ended), the total motion among my eleven pro pitchers from this past off-season ranged from 133 degrees to 186 degrees. The guy with 186 degrees actually had more external rotation (135 degrees) than the least "lax" guy had in total motion!

jasonschmidt

So, a guy with a 3/4 arm slot is going to have different adaptive changes than a guy who is more over-the-top or sidearm - and you can certainly carry those variations across the board to different throwing styles in football, and the wide variety of shoulders you'll see in a swimming population that might be proficient in more than one stroke. Related Posts: Flexibility Deficits in Pitchers The Truth About Impingement: Part 2

shoulder-performance-dvdcover

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Static Posture Assessment Mistakes: Part 2

In a continuation of last Tuesday's post, here's another common mistake you'll see in the static posture of overhead throwing athletes.  Many times, folks will see a low-shoulder like the one below and automatically assume is means "scoliosis."

low-shoulder

In reality, this is a function of both the structural and functional adaptations that take place in a baseball pitcher's shoulder girdle over the course of a throwing career.  I am not of the belief that you can altogether eliminate this, given the structural adaptations that have taken place over the course of years of throwing. However, I firmly believe (and have observed frequently) that as long as one normalized range of motion and strength/stability of the rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers, modest improvements in this posture can come about. Phil Donley goes into great detail on this topic in his presentation in the 2008 Ultimate Pitching Coaches Bootcamp DVD Set.

It is worth mentioning that in some populations, this may be a function of an ankle, hip, lower back, or other issues.

For more assessment information, check out Building the Efficient Athlete.

btea_set

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