Training Articles

Hip Mobility for Throwers and Strikers

Are you an athlete participating in golf, baseball, tennis, softball, volleyball, ice hockey, or even lacrosse? If so, the execution of the athletic actions involved in your sport very much entails the hips. The hips are integral in the ability to generate rotary power, maintain postural positioning, execute overhead throwing motions, swinging of the bat, stick, or raquet, changes of direction, and acceleration. Recognize limitations in the hip complex can adversely affect every aspect of the athletic actions in your...

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Shoulder Health for the Overhead Throwing and Striking Athlete

The glenohumeral joint receives a great deal of attention in professional baseball, and rightfully so. The pitcher and position player repetitively perform an overhead throwing motion during the course of a game. This repetitive movement is a total body action requiring optimal mobility and stability within the structures associated with the glenohumeral joint. Addressing the shoulder goes beyond the baseball athlete and comprises the tennis player, golfer, lacrosse athlete, quarterback in American football, ice hockey player, and basically any throwing or...

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Improve Your Game

I have had  the opportunity during my career to work with top PGA Tour professionals, Major champions, LPGA tour winners, Major League Baseball All Stars, the dedicated amateur athlete, and beginner level golfer who just wants to get better. I recognize the talent levels are vastly different between the professional athlete and every day individual though they do have many similarities in common. These commonalities are both mental and physical. Generally speaking the professional athlete has the basic goals of competing...

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The 80-20 Rule of Strength and Conditioning Programs

The 80-20 Rule is one I learned from Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Boyle. The thought process behind this rule is 80% of the components within a strength and conditioning program are interchangeable between athletes of differing sports. I would agree with this statement 100% as I have work at the top level of two professional sports and coached athletes from a variety of different sports. I can even take this 80-20 rule one step further and project it onto...

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Strength and Conditioning Guidelines for Pitchers

Increasing velocity, the ability to pitch every fifth day, and how to avoid the “DL” are all questions ask by the MLB pitcher. Today’s baseball players in general are stronger, quicker, and more powerful than players even a decade ago. The workloads are high on the pitcher, the number of pitches thrown from the days of little league to the big leagues are greater, and the number of arm injuries appears to have increased dramatically at every level of the...

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Power Training for the Core

The development of speed is an imperative component for most all athletes. Generating Clubhead Speed, Bat Swing, Improving Your Tennis Serve, and Throwing Velocity are all athletic actions with rotary components. These Rotary Athletic Actions involve generating speed in a transverse plane. We recognize improving speed development from a physical perspective is contingent upon improving the power outputs of the neuromuscular system. Increasing the power outputs of the body will invariably provide the athlete(recreational to professional) the opportunity to Generate More Speed...

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Functional Anatomy of the Core

The Core is an anatomical area of the body pertaining to sports performance training, the development of speed, and rotary movement patterns such as hitting, throwing, striking, or swinging. The core is a vital component of the kinetic chain, rotary movement patterns, and the development of the athlete. What is typically not mentioned in reference to the core is a defining the anatomical structures and functional anatomy of these structures. To better understand the involvement of the core in sports performance...

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Plyometric Training for the Sport of Baseball

Plyometrics are a specialized type of training modality developing the power outputs of the kinetic chain. Bat speed, change of direction, and sprinting in the sport of baseball all incorporate a power component. As a result, a strength and conditioning program for the sport of baseball should entail modalities to increase the power outputs of the baseball athlete. Power Power can be defined as the ability of the neuromuscular system to exert the greatest amount of force in a short amount of...

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Mobility Training Programs for Sports Performance

Performance training for the athlete requires a comprehensive approach to mobility training for each joint within the kinetic chain. A review of the Mobility/Stability Pattern of Human Movement indicates the ankle, hip, thoracic spine, gleno-humeral, and wrist joints require large ranges of motion in order for optimal movement during athletic performance. As a result, the strength and conditioning coach should look to develop a mobility program incorporating a multifaceted series of exercises and modalities to develop the range of motion...

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Power Training for the Sport of Baseball

Power in the most basic of formulas is strength plus speed. It is the combination of these two entities cohesively working together that allows a sprinter to sprint fast, a pitcher to throw hard, and a hitter to swing with power. The scientific definition of power states it is the ability to generate the greatest amount of force in a short amount of time. (Vladimir Zatsiorosky, Professor Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Pennsylvania State University) Quite often when the topic...

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Concepts of the Golf Swing for Optimal Performance

It is imperative for the health and fitness professional involved in the sport of golf to have a base understanding of the golf swing. This knowledge base will allow the fitness professional acumen at dissecting physical dysfunctions impeding their golfing client’s success on the course. Not only will it assist in program design and exercise implementation, a sound understanding of golf swing biomechanics will provide the fitness professional a vocabulary by which they can communicate with the golfing client and...

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Core Training for the Rotary Athlete

The development of the core is integral to the rotary athlete. Participants in the sports of golf, tennis, baseball, and softball encompass rotary athletic actions where speed and power are generated in the tranverse plane. In order to generate energy, transfer speed efficiently, and maintain the athletic positions required of these sports, it is necessary to develop a core structure with the capacity to execute the aforementioned athletic requirements. The Core The core in the most simplistic terms is a reference to...

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Strength and Conditioning Programs for the Sport of Golf

Execution of a proficient golf swing requires the development of certain physical parameters within the kinetic chain. This allows the golfer athlete to maintain the required postural positions associated with the golf swing, execute the athletic actions of the swing in the correct order with timing, and generate speed into the impact position. A key component of the development of strength and conditioning programs for the golfer athlete is the principle of cross-specificity. Cross-Specificity Training The concept of cross-specificity training is not...

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Balance Training and Programming for Athletes

Balance is a combination of proprioception and kinesthetic awareness. Balance is predicated on knowing where the “body is in space” and recognition of extremity positions and movements. It is governed by the neural, vestibular, and muscular systems of the body. Balance is a component of all athletic actions regardless of the individual’s chosen sport and improving one’s balance capacities can positively affect performance in daily life and sport. According to Michael Clark, Director of the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Balance...

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Speed, Agility, and Quickness Training for the Sport of Baseball

Every position in the sport of baseball requires athleticism, speed, quickness, and agility. Each position in the field does require varying levels of these aforementioned physical components  but overall improvement in a player's speed, agility, and quickness will pay dividends in the field and on the base paths. SAQ Speed, agility, and quickness commonly phrased as "SAQ" requires specialized training to see improvements in these capacities. SAQ training benefits the athlete in a number ways such as in improving foot speed, change...

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Power and Clubhead Speed Development in the Golf Swing

Power in the most basic of formulas is strength plus speed. It is the combination of these two entities cohesively working together that allows a sprinter to sprint fast, a pitcher to throw hard, and a golfer to swing with power. The scientific definition of power states it is the ability to generate the greatest amount of force in a short amount of time. (Vladimir Zatsiorosky, Professor Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Pennsylvania State University) Power in the golf swing...

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The Rotator Cuff and Pitching

The rotator cuff is referred to frequently at all levels of baseball from the professional ranks down to little league. This anatomical area of the kinetic chain is integral in the throwing motion and the high rate of shoulder injuries in pitchers highlights the importance of injury preventative modalities for the rotator cuff. Introduction The rotator cuff is a unit comprised of four muscles located in the shoulder area of the upper torso. It consists of four separate muscles which are as...

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Performance Absolutes for Arm Health in Pitchers

I was fortunate enough during my tenure as a strength and conditioning coach in professional baseball with the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres to be mentored by pitching guru Dr. Tom House, work under some great coaches such as Bruce Bochy, and train some outstanding pitchers in Trevor Hoffman, Jake Peavy, Barry Zito, and Cole Hammels to name a few. These experiences provided myself a fundamental understanding of the stresses placed upon a pitcher during a MLB season and the...

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Mobility and Flexibility Programming for Athletes

Performance and corrective exercise for sport is predicated upon a systematic approach where the strength and conditioning coach first identifies the kinetic chain dysfunction, next creates a plan to address dysfunction/performance, and finally implements the corrective and performance training program. The process by which the development of mobility within the kinetic chain occurs is the implementation of joint range of motion and flexibility modalities. The fitness professional must understand it is not one type of training or group of exercises through which mobility...

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Functional Strength Training Program Design for Sports Performance

Performance and corrective exercise for the sports performance is predicated upon a systematic approach where the fitness professional first identifies the kinetic chain dysfunction, next creates a plan to address dysfunction/performance, and finally implements the corrective and performance training program. The process by which stabilization, strength, endurance, and power is developed within the musculature of the kinetic chain is through an integrated series of modalities. The fitness professional must understand it is not one type of training or group of exercises...

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