bodyweight exercise

I don’t have a ton of movement area in my weight room so I’m a big fan of in place warm-ups where I can watch everybody doing the same thing all together.  It allows me to hold everybody accountable and make sure we are doing everything right – it’s great for team building as well.

I’m also a huge proponent of mobility especially around the hips.  I think it does wonders for improving mechanics, positioning and establishing proper length-tension relationships which can all help reduce the chance of injury.

Here’s a new Lunge Series that we are currently performing…enjoy

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I just got a copy of Sean Skahan’s new DVD, Slideboard Training for Hockey.  Sean is the strength and conditioning for the Anaheim Ducks and a co-owner of www.hockeystrengthandconditioning.com as well as being one of the best hockey strength and conditioning coaches in the country.

He is starting to put out some products and his Slideboard Training for Hockey is a great pickup.  Now we have our own Slideboard training DVD, but Sean’s is much more specific to Hockey.  Ours is much more general and applicable for all sports and fitness enthusiasts (BTW, we are going to be coming out with a second updated edition this late spring/early summer).

Sean covers a variety of lower body, and core variations as well as how he uses the slideboard to condition hockey athletes.  The slideboard is such a versatile piece of equipment that should be a part of any training facility.  The Ultraslide board is the hands down best board available on the market.  They are built to last, can be customized to fit your business or organization, and the customer service can’t be beat.  If you train hockey players, this DVD and board are a must have.

You can pick up a copy of the DVD right from Sean’s site…he’s a got a very good blog as well so definitely check that out and sign up for the RSS feed.

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My good friend and strength coach at Wisconsin, Ray Eady, sent me this video yesterday and it got me thinking a lot about mobility and how training has changed over the years.  Do yourself a favor and watch the video first before continuing to read on.

That was pretty impressive stuff and goes to show you what the human body is capable of doing in terms of mobility and stability.  If you don’t know, mobility is the quality of moving freely…the key word is MOVING!  It is not static flexibility (length of a muscle), but rather relies on the CNS to control how much movement is available at each joint.  Stability is the ability to control movement…it does not mean, no movement, but rather controlling motion.

Breakdancing was extremely big in the late 70′s and throughout the 80′s and goes to show you what the human body can do….or could do at that time.  You don’t see breakdancing as much as you used to back then and could it be attributed to the sedentary nature of our lives these days???

I’ve been a strength and conditioning coach at the Division I level for about 12 years now and know for a fact that my programming has changed over that time.  Most of it has changed to structure in more mobility work and emphasize corrective exercise – not only because I’ve learned more about it over time, but because simply our athletes these days NEED it to handle the demands that are placed upon them by the requirements of their sport.  They need it to play but also to be healthy even when they’re playing days are done.

What exactly is corrective exercise?  

As some love it, and some frown upon it.  Corrective exercise simply is exercise that is designed to restore and improve in-efficient movement patterns.  It can be drill that you do in your warmup or between sets of your heavier movements.  It can be things you do on a recovery day or things that you prescribe as “extra work”, but the goal is the same; we should be looking to improve movement and the quality of it.

How do we know if a movement pattern is in-efficient?

We assess and watch our athletes and clients move.  We as fitness professionals should have an understanding of what ideal biomechanics are – not everybody is going to be the same, but we should have a fundamental understanding of what’s good vs. bad.  Pain is another sign of somebody possibly having a movement dysfunction.  Assessments such as the FMS, or drills from Assess & Correct, gives us a reference point to where somebody is initially before training them.  If we don’t know where we are, how can we know where we are going or how we are going to get there?  Assessing is part of the testing protocol along with performance based testing such as power, strength, and conditioning.

Mobility and adhering to the Joint By Joint approach has become a bigger part of my programs and every year I see new freshman come into our program, it re-affirms the changes that I have put into my programs.  We emphasize it in our pre-work before our warmups, in our warmups, in between sets of speed and power work and in between sets of our strength work.  There are a number of methods that we will use as well: soft tissue work using lacrosse balls, sticks, cobblestone mats and foam rollers, dynamic flexibility, band work, isolated mobility, integrated mobility, isometrics, PNF techniques, and full range of motion resistance training.

As our society has changed and the athletes we see may have different issues that impair their quality of movement, we as fitness professionals have to address these issues to help prepare them to be successful in sport and life.

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