Archive for the ‘rotational sports performance’ Category

It seems like there are endless thoughts in this fitness and performance world about just about every subject in strength and conditioning, as well as a myriad of opinions on how to get the job done. Conditioning is no different, many coaches wrongly believe that running their athletes into complete fatigue is the way to go and to give no thought to movement quality and how the brain learns how to apply the work that we are doing to the sport that we want to improve at.

Then there are those that just use circuit training and assume that their approach will yield the results that they crave when it comes to better performance. Finally there is the group that assumes that drawn out duration training like running for miles at a time will enhance performance. The goal of this post is to not only reveal that these ideas will not work but how to better approach getting in shape for their sport.

 

The first thing that we have to understand when it comes to preparing for sports is the role of movement quality in the athlete’s training program. You see if we go to absolute fatigue often not only will our recovery take too long, but the athlete will only learn how to compensate in order to survive their session and as a result could increase their chance of injury. As well as only learning how to cheat to do a movement pattern during performance and working out.

 

 

The answer first and foremost is to view your conditioning as it is, an opportunity to improve your ability to perform a task at full capability over the long haul of play thus truly making a better athlete and conqueror, rather than just a survivor.  So in your preparation make movement quality, force production and consistency your goals in order to create a better athlete and to better prevent injury.

Secondly, Just a generalized program will only get you so far in the sport world. Grant it, that everyone must begin with a general and less specific program, however there are certain components of strength, power, work capacity and goal oriented training that helps the athlete in their sport.

 

So just a general circuit program that is used for everyone will only carry the athlete so far in the realm of performance. In the general phase, athletes need: control or stability, mobility, strength, power and various types of endurance.

Lastly, just low intensity training all of the time for length will not prepare any athlete for the riggers and demands of sport, unless they are long duration sports like: cross country and distance races.In a sports conditioning program, the energy systems of the sport need to be reviewed and then each quality should be trained in a structured way to get the individual ready for play.

Remember, athletes need power, agility, speed, and balance in varying degrees according to their sport’s needs.

Conditioning is not as easy as the old school thoughts that have been addressed in this post, but rather it is a complex task that requires planning and thought, knowing about the sport that you are working with. Finally and most importantly, you must keep power production up or speed, while maintaining movement quality.

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Over the last few weeks our posts have been geared towards why rotation in the athlete and human being is important as well as how to better develop this technique through mobility and stability work. (Click here to get them.)

 

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This week’s post will attempt to wrap up this topic and give you some ideas on how to train this movement and how to better apply it to your chosen sport and or life.

First, it is important to learn how to rotate properly to increase your power and efficiency and to possibly prevent overuse injuries in the movement chain.  The first step is to be aware that this rotation needs to come from your hips by internally rotating through them and by pushing the floor away as you do. This will spare your low back form over rotating which could lead to all kinds of back issues and pain as well it being a weaker way to accomplish this task.

After you worked on and develop that awareness, you will want to develop stability with the hip to shoulder separation. That is where this next movement comes in to both develop core stability and the hip shoulder separation that is needed for power and effective rotation.

 

Then after you learn this month well enough that both sides are even, you can move into developing power in this motion by using the drill below.

 

After you have come to own this drill the next progression is given below it is being demonstrated by one of my athletes Anthony.

 

All of these drills have one thing in common, they require that you learn to separate your hips and shoulders from each other. To do this last one it takes it a step further and requires that you turn your hip first and then your shoulder to do this drill with speed as well. So that is why in this sequence it is last and the most advanced of the three.

These drills are extremely useful to develop and improve rotation with power development at the same time. So give them a shot and contact me for further information and for proven training programs that will make your life and performance better.

After reading our last post on this subject, you have gained some insight into the why of our rotational program.  If you haven’t read it yet, click here to do so now, because I will be referencing some of those points throughout this post. This week’s post will also be the beginning of a programming to train this movement, especially for mobility and stability work to help improve the technique of human rotation.

As you are aware, the body operates in movement systems and have been imformed of the ones involved specificaly in rotation, commonly refered to as  slings. The one thing that we didn’t cover las time, was that these patterns are connected by a substance called fascia.

This is a web like substance that sits over our muscles and pulls them together throughout the body. So in addition to specific muscles firing to accomplish a task, this fascial pulling also goes on as well. Now this is a great thing and helps our bodies transmit force as well as helping us to stabilize , as we do so and  move in our sports or life.  Yet, it can also limit our performance in the same way that it can help it; in the case of an  individual muscle or muscle in a pattern being underactive.

As a result of the weakness of one muscle, another along the movement chain can become tight and overactive as well as it leading to restrictions in a movement such as rotation in this case.

In light of this fact, it would make sense that individuals with this issue would need to mobilize orrelease their tight muscles in this (or any) pattern and then follow it by strengthening the weak muscles that are causing the problem in the first place.

So the first question that we need to deal with is what needs to be mobilized and what needs to be stabilized and or strengthened?

First of all we cannot say with absolute certainty for every person without anevaluation/assessment like the one that we do here at Escape Medford that could identify the issues that the person may have and then a strategy on how to deal with them.

But this post will endeavor to give you some general ideas to help you improve your rotation and then to pattern it with better technique.

Our first step is to mobilize an area that many people are “locked up” in due to our seated culture. That is our Thoracic spine or mid-back. A lot of the times, we cannot rotate properly and transfer energy the way we should, due to not being able to move through our mid-backs well. As result we usually end up using not so good body parts for this movement pattern. (Elbows as in throwing, lumbar spine, etc.)

Use this drill below to help you begin to utilize your upper back to rotate better and to minimize your low back for this human movement pattern.

Once we have mobilized this area, the next step is to stabilize it; so that the new range of motion is maintained. We like to use the following move to develop this quality, especially for overhead throwers

After developing the mobility and stability needed for the move of rotation, we can begin to pattern it while standing, helping the athlete get better at their sport, whether it be golf, baseball, or any other sport that involves a lot of rotation and or overhead work.

Next week, we will continue this theme and teach you how to begin to use your new found mobility and stability to enhance your performance in your chosen sport and for your health.

Research has exploded in the last few years and with the advent of the World Wide Web access to it has gotten much easier.  Along with this enablement is the why behind what you are doing in addition to the how and when. One of these components to training for sport is the need for rotation to develop better, throwing, running and other needs to improve an athlete’s performance.

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You may be aware of this fact or if you have been training with us you probably have experienced our emphasis and instruction on the need for this quality. Or you may have never even heard of us and have never been into our center. Whether you are familiar with us or not, we want you to know the why behind what we teach. That is the goal of today’s post to help you become aware of the reason behind the method. Just as the book title says we want you to start with why!

 

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First we want to begin with the type of rotation that we are talking about and what it looks like.

The type of rotation that we are talking about is driven from the floor and ends up translated through the arm or the implement that is utilized in an athlete’s chosen sport.   We are however not referring to an isolated move wherein the trunk is the only thing that is moving.  An example of this technique is shown in a proper golf swing, pitching, and a slap shot in hockey and so-on.

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After that last statement, you may be thinking, “so this is an important component to sports” and you would be very right if you are. So it would then in that case make sense to learn how to do it well for increased power and efficiency for sports performance.

 

 

So now that you have the why we should rotate well, how then can one do it? Also is there any risk in rotating? (As you may have heard that there is.)

The next few paragraphs and correspodning posts will give you some answers and a few ways to develop this quality to make you a better athlete.

Before we begin the next part let’s cover how to rotate and how not to accomplish this task.When we look at the body for performance and health, we need to realize that the body operates in movements and these movements are powered by systems or slings of muscles that function together to perform that move. In rotation we have both the anterior and posterior slings as seen below.

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In order to better utilize this sequence to throw, run and other sports activity requires that you utilize a particular technique. Not only will this create better power but will also better help prevent non-contact /overuse injuries as you play.

The next two posts will continue to answer these questions and give you some ways to learn how to use this principle for sports performance and injury prevention. So keep tuned to this blog for that!