Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

We moved!

Posted: August 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Find the new site at:

www.body-improvements.com

This blog…

Posted: October 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

We finally got RSS feed links so you can subscribe to the Body-Improvements blog.  We made the links huge so you couldn’t miss them.  What’s that you ask? Why would anyone in their right mind waste space on their RSS feeder with a blog that rarely updates?

Yeah, I know.  This place sucked for a while.  It’s hanging on by a life line.  We still have quite a few people who check it out frequently.  To them, I say thanks.

I’m going to ask a favor of you.  Pass the address of this blog around to your friends and family – anyone you think would be interested in the sort of content we dish.  We’re going to try our best to revive this place.  I’d say we’re going to update weekly.  But that’d be a lie.  Definitely more short and random thoughts though.  No point in waiting for only those times we have articles to share from the main site.

If you’ve topics you’d like us to address or questions you’d like us to answer, please email them to us.

 

A quickie

Posted: July 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

I received this question today, which sums up the problem with how most folks are thinking about things when it comes to weight control…

“Can you advise on some new weight loss methods? I’m summing up all I’ve tried and want to try something new to shed some pounds before my sister’s wedding.”

My response:

There’s nothing new under the sun. All these prepackaged ideas and products are simply worn out reiterations of the same basic principles. This industry is guilty of continually churning the same information over and over again in new and shinier packages in order to make a buck off the unsuspecting masses who are looking for the “cutting edge” stuff.

Stop looking for the secrets and start practicing consistency with the basics that we know work.

 Basic Strength Training Guidelines for Pitchers

By Gordon Kocher MS, ACSM, NASM

 

     When it comes to strength and conditioning for pitchers there are a lot of myths and misconceptions. The first thing that coaches and athletes need to understand that strength training is not body building. I like to call it the grind.  I see too many pitchers grinding through set after set, bicep curl after bicep curl.  There are two goals that come to mind when developing a strength program for pitchers.

-STAY HEALTHY

-INCREASE VELOCITY

We need to think logically and stick with the basic principles. Pitching is a high velocity movement, so are going to be grinding out high slow reps. Remember you have to make one high velocity pitch then you get about a 30 second rest or more before you have to make the next pitch. So think again when you are running those poles.

Progression is something a lot of coaches and athletes forget about. There is nothing worse than seeing a pitcher or any athlete in the gym without a written program.  You should always keep a journal. You can’t just lift weights everyday and expect gains in strength to appear.  You have to have a plan of action. If you’re not making progress you have reevaluate what you’re doing and make appropriate changes.

Loading and deloading is a variable that a lot of coaches’ lack in their programs. An athlete can’t go 100% everyday every week and expect to make gains. With out deloading weeks or recovery weeks an athlete is going to develop over use injuries and over train.

To keep pitchers healthy you want to become more athletic, with that being said the goal is symmetry. Pitcher have a long season, which most of it is unilateral dominance…meaning you only throw with the same side of you body all season. 

Main concepts when building a strength training program.

Scapular stability– focus on low trap and serratus anterior. It’s important to get pec minor, levator scapulae, and rhomboids loosened up to make this happen.

Thoracic extension and rotation range of motion.- Lack in mobility here will cause increase stress on the elbow and humerus when trying to achieve this range of motion. So stop doing all those crunches and focus on core stability and rotational exercises.

Rotator cuff strength/endurance- You need to strengthen the posterior rotator cuff to so it can decelerate the high velocity of internal rotation. You also have to keep internal and external rotation mobility.

Soft tissue work- lats, pec minor, levator scapulae, posterior cuff/capsule, forearms, rhomboids, and subscapularis. Along with other imbalance.

Opposite hip and ankle– Internal rotation of the lead leg is extremely important. Half shoulder injuries are cause by lack in hip mobility.

Core stability/ force transfer- You must be able to transfer force from your legs to your upper body effectively.

Shoulder range of motion- Over time the extreme external rotation during the cocking phase can lead to internal rotation deficit. This is the reason for posterior shoulder soft tissue work, as well as sleeper stretch and cross body mobilization.

Reactive ability-Most pitchers have better reactive strength in there lead leg and not their push off leg due to deceleration and reactive ability. Posterior chain is important here. You should be working on glute activation.

Strength- Do you think that doing a couple band exercises and some body pump bicep curls are going get you throwing 100 mph fastball.  Pitching is a total body effort. You have to strengthen your posterior chain, quads, thoracic erectors, scapular retractors, etc. When starting a strength-training program one of the main aspects that you want to focus on is spine stability and creating hip drive during all lower body exercises. Your spine should be able to transfer force effectively.  All this has to be done along with increasing or maintaining mobility in certain joins.

Things you should stay away from.

  • Overhead lifting (not chin ups, though)
  • Straight bar benching
  • Upright rows
  • Front and side raises
  • Back squats with straight bar. (unnecessary stress on the anterior shoulder)
  • Running ( decrease in elastic strength)

Things you should do

  • Push up variations (bands or chains)
  • Multi-purpose bar benching (neutral grip benching bar).
  • Db bench press variations
  • Every row and chin up you can imagine
  • Loads of think handle and grip training(towel)
  • Med ball throws
  • Shoulder saver squat bar.
  • Front squats
  • Sprinting
  • Single leg
  • Deadlift variations

Performance concepts

Spine stability and super stiffness

 

  • Optimize range of motion at the hips and thoracic spine
  • Avoid lumbar flexion and rotation, especially under load.
  • Do not attempt a lift you can’t lift
  • Increase spine stabilization strength.

Rapid contraction and then relaxation of muscle.

 

Rapid limb motion requires rapid transitioning between complaint muscles for speed but very active and stiff muscles for force and joint torque production.  If your muscles can not relax effectively then that is going to slow the movement down.  On the cocking phase of the pitch you muscles should not be primed or stiff which would slow your motion down on the power phase. This means to train the muscles to pop off and on.  When throwing you must transition to a total body contraction, initiated in the hips and core ensuring super stiffness.  Your technique is enhanced to ensure proper line of drive of force throughout the body linkage. Example of exercises to work on this is the speed squats. You should focus on popping up out of the squat position. Another example would be a medicine ball throw. You should be relaxing on the cocking phase then popping and stiffening on the throwing phase. The wind up should be slow; if muscle contraction is too early it is going to slow the pitch down.

Tuning of the muscles

Consider the abdominal wall which has been shown to act as an elastic spring for throwing.  A shortage of elastic energy in a compliant spring is rapidly dissipated or lost.  If the spring is too stiff, elastic energy storage is hampered because there is minimal elasticity and no movement.  Most of the stiffness is achieved in the first 25% of the maximum contraction level.  Proper muscle contraction has to be in sink with proper movement.  This means you have to have thoracic mobility into extension.  Using the foam roller is a must to maintain this mobility. 

IMG_3938

The Force losses 2 close games

Posted: November 1, 2009 in Uncategorized

The force lost 2 close games.  For the first game Bryan pitched a gem but the defense couldn’t hold the Lancaster Barnstormers from sneaking 3 runs in the top of the 6th.  Bryan had 5 Ks, 1 walk, and allowed only 4 hits in 4 innings.  Christian was a 2 for 4 with double and 2 RBIs.  For game 2 the Everlast Storm came on top 4 to 3.  Christian also pitched an awesome game with 3ks, only 2 BB, and allowing 6 hits in 4 innings.  3 of the runs came in the bottom of the 1st. Christian shut them down for 3 straight innings.  Vinny played a great game defensively as well as going 1 for 2 with a double and  a RBI.IMG_3995

Here’s what the workouts look like so far.  Most of the guys have just started a month or so ago so we are still working on building a base and still mastering the exercises.  My guys are squatting, deadlifting and lunging like crazy.

Once we build solid core strength we start  with the med balls. The guys are going to work their way up to about 180 throws per week.  I also started some of the guys on heavy ball throwing, either from the mound, flat ground and even crow hops. We use the 6 oz ball and I like to finish off the set with the 4 oz ball.

We clock every throw and keep track of their progress. There is nothing like watching the velocity creep up. For upper body I like pressing with the neutral grip swiss bar. The bar helps avoid should impingement.  We do every row imaginable. I throw in a lot of pre-hab shoulder exercises and stretches at the end of each workout.

Mobility is one of the most important aspects of velocity.  There is no point in having new strength if you can properly use it. For increasing mobility we do tons of movement drills and we use myofascial release with the foam roller every day. Here some pics of the guys.

IMG_3845IMG_3887Keith MoyerNick HinksonIMG_3859

Whats new at Body-Improvements

Posted: October 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

Body-Improvements at the Hitter’s Coop is introducing a new program come November.  To make training a little more affordable we’re starting semi-private training.  Semi-private training will have all the perks of one-on-one training.  The difference is you won’t be the only client being supervised during your hour.  Some individuals I’m sure prefer one-on-one training and that’s entirely fine – it’s still a service that we happily offer at BI.

That said, what are the perks of semi-private training?

Some clients prefer the interaction with others while training.  We’ll never have a packed gym as many big box gyms have but with our semi-private platform, you might share the floor with 3-5 others.  Often times families, teammates and friends love this setting as they’re able to receive attention from a trainer while working out alongside one another.

Another perk of semi-private training is the fact that you will have the privilege of working with us 3-4 times week at a very attractive price relative to one-on-one training.  Stop by the facility for pricing information or simply drop us an email.

The hours of the program are going to be Mondays and Wednesday at 6-8 pm, Fridays from 4-6 pm and Saturday mornings from 10-12 am.  Additional times will be decided upon request.

In other important news, Keith Moyer has returned. As I speak Keith is lying on bench paralyzed by exhaustion from tire pulls. There is nothing like tire pulls your first day back. Believe or not Keith wanted to do these. Keith has a fastball in the upper 80s and was elected 1st team last year as a junior. He’s got a lot of work cut out for him this year for Souderton High school being the only returning pitcher. Keith has  been working with me (Gordy) for about 2 years now. His strength and power is that of a guy twice his size.  His arm strength is unbelievable and he still has room for improvement.  Check out the tire pulls!!

Nick

Nick is getting ready for his how showcase at Temple this weekend. Due to the weather it was pushed from last Saturday to this Saturday.  I lowered his volume a little this week so he can be 100 percent for Saturday.  Hss arm feels great and strong and I’m sure he will perform at his best, so wish Nick luck. Here is a video of him working with his pitching coach.