Posts Tagged ‘sports training’

If you want a piece of equipment that can provide, strength, power, fitness and fat loss all in one check out the video below and stay tuned for some cool PT/fitness applications!  My patients love it.  Our athletes, pro and amateur, love it!




Yes, I said dormant butt syndrome, DBS for short! I see it all the time in the clinic. In athletes and people of all ages. The cause of DBS is usually tight hip flexors, again, which most people have. This is due to repetitive hip flexion from walking, running, sitting, driving and sleeping in the fetal position.  Other causes include injury and inactivity.   If you remember back to previous posts the gluteus maximus generally attaches proximally to the sacruum, and illiac crest and wraps around the hip to distally attach to the greater trochanter (the big bony bump on side of hip).  Although we think of the gluteus maximus as a powerful hip extender it is actually built for rotation.  Just look at the fiber orientation (yes, you may have to crack open the old anatomy book).  So, functionally its main function is to eccentrically control internal rotation of the femur in the transverse plane during the loading phase of gait or running, eccentrically control hip flexion in the sagittal plane and assist the gluteus medius in stabilizing hip adduction in the frontal plane.  The ability to appropriately load enhances their ability to concentrically contract during the unloadong or propulsive phase.  If the gluteus maximus is inhibited (which V. Yanda taught us) from a tight hip flexor, then the hamstrings and erector spinae group  become overactive to compensate.  This leads to the possibility of hamstring strains, low back pain, knee pain and possibly even plantar fascia.  A simple way to check for DBS is to have patient lie prone and ask them to do a leg lift.  Palpate the gluteus and the hamstring and see which contracts first.  Many times I feel the hamstring contract then the gluteus.  It should be gluteus then hamstring.  Sometimes ive seen people have a 5/5 manual muscle test and not even fire the gluteus.  They used all their hamstring and erectors to lift/hold the leg up.  Some general strategies include a basic muscle re-education of laying prone over table or bed and actively squeezing butt then lifting leg.  Sequence can also be done with bridge exercise.  Stretching the tight hip flexor, of course, and functional hip dominant exercise like single leg balance w/ arm reaches, multi planar lunges, sled walks, various step up and downs.  So now get moving and wake that sleepy butt up!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!


Great Info from the Gray Institute Newsletter

TWEAKOLOGY is the transformation of the notion (what we know about function) into the motion (what function looks like).  Knowing that every “tweak” will create a different reaction, mindfully chosen “tweaks” provide the foundation of the exercise strategies that are specific for each individual.

This month we highlight the BALANCE REACH as our exercise and use SPEED as our “tweak”.  Before we further describe the exercise, let’s discuss balance in general.  Balance is a state of equilibrium, it is dynamic in nature, it requires a combination of stability and mobility or “Mostability”.  Balance does NOT require stillness and is hampered by rigidity.

Back to the task at hand…SINGLE LEG BALANCE REACH.  Two things to look for when observing this exercise are: 1) how far the individual can reach their and 2) the ability to transform the direction of the movement.  Let’s perform three different foot reaches at ground level using the three cardinal planes 1) Sagittal Plane (click HERE to view) 2) Frontal Plane (click HERE to view) 3) Transverse Plane (click HERE to view).  Perform 3-5 repetitions with each foot at a self-selected speed.  Observe not only the reaching foot and leg, but observe the “balance” leg.  Also observe the reaction of the trunk, the shoulders and even the head and hands.  Does each side react the same?  Is there similar control demonstrated?  Similar ranges of motion throughout the body?   Similar quality of movement through the Chain Reaction™?  Now let’s tweak it.  Repeat the balance reaches with decreased speed.  How does decreasing the speed affect control, range of motion, and quality of movement?  If the body senses a loss of stability and control, with the simple tweak of increased or decreased speed it will react with an immediate neurological stiffening to add control back into our system – to prevent one from falling.  Remember, it is always about preserving ourselves within our environment.  As you experience a stiffening effect, do not worry – but note the difference between fluidity in motion versus rigidity.

Find the speed of your success.  Also find the speed of success for those that you are assessing, training and rehabilitating.   Depending upon the function that they are looking to improve, condition the movement with slightly decreased speeds and slightly increased speeds, over time without sacrificing fluid efficient movement.

As always, safety is the number one concern.  Any time you believe you are not able to complete the movement without the need for additional stability, make sure that you are performing the balance foot reaches in a doorway, next to a wall, or next to a chair or even having someone else control you through hand stability.  Remember to provide the same safety net and opportunities for your patients and clients.


By Ethan Fox, Community Contributor — Published: June 12, 2009

There seems to be an on-going trend amongst athletes to play their sport year-round. The ever present mantra in the US of “more is better” has not eluded the sports world. In the case of sports, more is leading to injury and burnout. Perhaps it’s the appeal of excelling at the next level that drives some to constantly compete. Maybe it’s pressure from parents, coaches, or other athletes. The sport culture has become such that if you are not currently involved in the sport than you will get left behind.

Sports activity breaks the body down, overworks certain muscles, and it does not illicit the necessary response from others. Without rest, the body cannot repair itself and therefore overuse injuries become prevalent. Athletes are under the impression that the muscles they use most are the ones they need to strengthen often. Many times the opposite is true. The athletes need to train the muscles they don’t use during their sport as well as train the small stabilizers that will improve their ability to perform. What about those muscles used all season? They need to rest! Without lack of activity, the body cannot recuperate. People fail to realize that they need more rest, not more practice, in order to improve their performance. A break from the sport allows the mind to rest which translates into the athlete having a greater desire to participate. This break will give any injuries a chance to heal, and will give the athlete an opportunity to cross train.

The highest levels of competitive athletes (professional, Olympians, etc) take time off their sport, they cross train, and even take time off from all activity. How is it that athletes strive to be their best yet fail to train like those who are the top of their game? Athletes often mimic their heroes’ supplements, foods, shoes, and equipment yet they do not follow similar exercise plans. Elite level athletes have clearly defined seasons including an off-season, a pre-season, in-season, and off season. Their training changes to accommodate varying physiological and psychological changes. No high caliber athlete is playing their sport at 100% for 100% of the time.

In the off season, athletes typically rest. They may do some cross training or participate in activities that do not directly resemble their sport. Pre-season is a time to work on muscle imbalances, begin injury pre-habilitation, and start a conditioning program. It is only at the end of the pre-season that sports skills are implemented. In season is where the main focus is the sport and the goal is to peak at the necessary time. Even during this time, the athletes take breaks (not go to practice or weekend tournaments). Post season can mean championships, or simply the winding down of the season. This is a good time to address and rehabilitate any injuries resulting from the season.

Following the above progression will allow the athlete to perform at their best for many years. They will avoid mental burnout and physical ailments. To become elite or lengthen your career, you must make sure to take breaks from training throughout the year.

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (but train smart already!)


PS– Parents, you must make these choices for your kids!!!  They are not little adults. Re-read the bolded areas.

From Jeff Martones H2H: Kettlebell Drills from

The “Hot Potato” is a fun H2H drill that can be easily combined with other H2H drills for interesting combinations.  Due to the fact when black kettlebells sit in the hot sun – they get HOT – you’ll find it natural to want to toss the bell like a hot potato!

The Hot Potato is a dynamic drill for strengthening the muscles of the core and upper body.  There are many variations to this exercise; some develop more hand/forearm strength than others.  Be sure to start out with a light kettlebell and gradually progress with both number of reps and with increased weight.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4


  • Starting in the “rack” position, hold the ball of the KB in your hand with the handle pointing down. (Figure 1)
  • Contract you lats and keep your triceps touching your ribcage upon impact.
  • Using hip snap alone, quickly and explosively “pop” the KB up and over to the receiving hand – allowing the KB to initially follow a short arch. (Figure 2)
  • Keep your glutes and abs tight throughout; the power behind this exercise is generated with the legs and hips.(Figure 3)
  • Actively exhale with every catch. (Figure 4)




  • Beginners & indoor users may hold on to the handle with the free hand.
  • Be sure to keep your elbows close to your body and let some air out as you catch the KB to absorb some of the impact.
  • Go fast!!  Don’t let the bell “rest” in the palm.


We will feature the many variations in future weeks . . .

Combines well with:

  • Around the Body PassTM
  • Figure 8TM
  • Front Squat


  • Strengthens all the muscles that stabilize your core.
  • Strengthens the muscles in the hand and forearm.
  • Develops oblique strength and lats.
  • Improves eye-hand coordination.

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (and watch your nose!)


When you think of human movement it can be broken down into 4 basic categories.  Locomotion, Level Changes, Push/Pull and Rotation. These represent the 4 pillars of human movement as described by JC Santana in his book Functional Training; Breaking the Bonds of Traditionalism.  When designing rehab or fitness programs that are functionally based it is important to make sure all 4 pillars are incorporated.

LOCOMOTION:  This is the foundation for ground based force production.  It is the linear displacement of our bodies center of mass.  It is a triplane event in which all the muscles and joints are moving simultaneously in all three planes.  While at first glance it appears the body (while walking) is moving primarily in the sagittal plane(SP) (forward) close look would reveal that it is the transverse(TP) and frontal plane(FP) movement that drives us in the sagittal plane.  The TP and FP movement become more apparent when running.  This also requires the ability to efficiently load into the ground (deceleration) followed by the unloading or propulsive phase (acceleration).

LEVEL CHANGES:  This represents non locomotor tasks such as getting up off floor, picking up the baby or taking someone to the ground.

PUSHIN/PULLING: We use various push and pull movements for many everyday activities.  Opening and closing doors, pushing the stroller, taking a hanger off the rack and punching.  Pushing and pulling usually done unilaterally in a reciprocal manner is cross wired neurologically.  As one punch is thrown the opp. arm is retracted to eccentrically load in order to prepare for the next punch.  The same is true for arm swing in walking.

ROTATION:  Responsible for changes in direction and rotational torque production.  Dancing, throwing, and  running are examples of activity with a significant amount of rotation.  The transverse plane is probably the most important and the only plane not loaded by gravity.  The example I like to use to demonstrate the point is that a bicycle only moves forward because the wheels are rotating.  Approx. 90% of all the muscles are oriented in the diagonal to enhance rotational deceleration and acceleration.

Obviuosly many tasks consist of combinations if not all the above categories, but each has a unique and important contribution to human movement.  So, whether you are rehabbing or training it is important to include movements from each of the 4 pillars.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!


Here is a great post from my good friend Adam who trains many high school and professional athletes down in Florida.

As stated in my previous Training to the 5th Power blog, I commented on the importance of multi-joint training. As baseball players we cannot underestimate the importance of stromng forearms. However, in various baseball performance training circles wrist curls, a single joint exercise usually performed sitting dow and having minimal, if any, core involvement seems to be the exercise of choice for creating strong forearms. In my opinion a more advantageous way to train for forearm strength is via grip strength. I know this is going to sound real obvious, but…the grip strength necessary for hitting and throwing works in unison, not isolation, with the rest of the body. Therefore, training forearms with a single joint, isolated exercise ( like wrist curls) just doesnt make sense. Instead perform multi-joint exercies/movements that requires grip strength as a by product. One such exercise that also targets the core, is the recline row. Peforming this exercise greatly challenges grip strength so much that grip strength (or the lack of) becomes the limiting factor, not necessarily the prime movers, when knocking out the reps on this movement. The recline row can be performed by utlizing nautical ropes (from gym class days) or, my favorite, the JC 2.5″ clamp grip with JC 48″ specialty straps, designed by JC Santana. Visit for these and other training tools.

Be sure to maintain alignment from shoulders to ankles. Start at a body angle of approximately 45 degrees progressing to an advanced level or angle almost paralell to the floor. Each level will challenge grip strength thus developing strong forearms.

Go hard in the yard.
Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Ladders arent just for climbing.  Great for fitness, sport, youth training and just plain fun for anyone.  Variety is the spice of everything.  Keep your workouts fresh.  These could be done as workout by itself or maybe do 1 pattern between sets of lower body exercise and do the leg patterns between your upper body exercise.  By filling in the rest time of your workout you can increase caloric expenditure.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!