Hydrated or Dehydrated?
Print that Urine Color Chart and pin it next to your urinal
Hydrated or Dehydrated?
Print that Urine Color Chart and pin it next to your urinal
By: Baylor Athletic Performance
For high school athletes there are three key aspects you should train and focus on.
Technique – Never ever sacrifice technique for weight, there are so many meathead coaches and strength coaches out there that just keep packing the weight on the bar and don’t even care about what they are doing to the athlete. This is just an injury waiting to happen.
8 out of 10 kids have some sort of imbalance within their body, rather it be poor ankle mobility, weak core strength, or even poor posture. We live in a world today that is powered by video games and Internet. So our athletes are probably sitting in a bad postural position as you read this. Fixing these things in the weight room is way more important than seeing how much a kid can bench and squat.
Tell your kids to put their pride aside and force them to lift a certain weight. Never let them go unsupervised.
Work Capacity – This means the ability to replicate work. Here are some methods you can do with your kids.
Ex. Planks, Bridges, Superman’s, Bird Dogs, Glute Bridges, etc.
Joint Stability= Rotator Cuff / Scapular Work (shoulder pre-hab)
Ex. Scap Retractions, Internal/External rotation
Strength- Ability to exert force with no regard for speed. Here are some methods for increasing strength at the high school setting:
Ex. Bodyweight circuits
Ex. 5 second lowering on exercises such as squat, bench or pull-ups
Ex. Isometric holds lunges/squats/push-ups, planks, push and pulling movements performed with a pause
No need to focus on true power and speed in training at the high school level
Other sports will fill these needs
Encourage your athletes to stay involved in multiple sports
Check out this astonishing image.
Typical quadriceps MRI scan of a 40-year-old triathlete compared with the quadriceps MRI scans of a 70-year-old triathlete and a 74-year-old sedentary man. Note the significant visual difference between the SCAT and IMAT of the sedentary man versus masters athletes.
Recently I have been researching more specific drills and warm-up ideas that would benefit myself along with my athletes. I stumbled upon Mike Boyle’s article on his 8 Essential Mobility drills that he recommends for a warm up. I’m not afraid to admit that about a year ago if I stumbled across this article I would have just ignored it and think it was a waste of time. But the more research I have done and realize how important mobility drills really are, these drills work wonders. Enjoy the read.
Before you read this you should catch up on the Joint on Joint approach to training.
The Essential 8 Mobility Drills
By: Mike Boyle
These are eight simple drills that everyone should do to warm-up. The nice thing about these exercises is that anyone can do them. Everyone may not be able to do them well, but they can at least do them. And the people who can’t do them well are the ones who need them most.
Number 1: Thoracic Spine Mobility
The mobility of the thoracic spine is one of the least understood areas of the body and was previously the realm of physical therapists. Sue Falsone, Director of Performance Therapy at Athletes’ Performance and Core Performance, may be single-handedly responsible for introducing the athletic world to the need for thoracic mobility and more importantly for showing many of us in the world of strength and conditioning a simple way to develop it.
The nice thing about t-spine mobility are that almost no one has enough, and it’s hard to get too much
This drill is done first (usually after we foam roll, but that’s another article) as we are already on the floor. The rest of our mobility work is done standing.
Number 2: Ankle mobility
Just as with thoracic mobility, it’s rare to find a person who doesn’t need to do some ankle mobility work. Whether you’re an athlete who experienced an ankle sprain years ago (and who hasn’t?), or a woman who wears high heels every day, ankle mobility is step two in our warm-up
The first key to ankle mobility work is to understand that it’s a mobility drill, not flexibility or stretching drill. You want to rock the ankle back and forth, not hold the stretch.
The second key is to watch the heel. It’s essential that the heel stay in contact with the floor. Most people who have ankle mobility restrictions will immediately lift the heel. I will often hold the heel down for beginners to get the feel.
The third key is to make it multi-planar. I like 15 reps: five to the outside (small toe), five straight, and five driving the knee in past the big toe.
Number 3: Leg Swings
To perform leg swings stand 2-3 feet from the wall beginning on the right foot. Hands are on the wall at shoulder height. While keeping the right foot pointing straight ahead, swing the left leg in a pendulum motion from side to side.
Many may recognize this as a groin/ hip mobility exercise. However if the athlete concentrates on keeping the right foot straight ahead, the swing leg begins to drive a rotary force into the right ankle. It’s the same old exercise we’ve done for years brought back with a different purpose.
Do ten reps and then switch feet.
Numbers 4, 5, and 6: Split Squats, Lateral Squats, and Rotational Squats
This is a precursor to what many would call a lunge matrix. The lunge matrix is another Gary Gray concept, but one that in my mind has a few flaws. Athletes must have proper mobility to perform a lunge matrix, and must gradually familiarize themselves with the movements to avoid often-extreme soreness. To avoid soreness and develop mobility, you should perform an in-place matrix for three weeks prior to moving to a lunge matrix.
Another great thing about an in-place lunge matrix is also a Dan John idea. Dan is fond of saying, “If something is important, do it every day.” This means we can - and should - do single leg work every day: some for strength, and some for mobility development.
Split squats are the in-place precursor to a lunge, and develop sagittal plane mobility.
Lateral squats are in in-place precursor to a lateral lunge and develop frontal plane mobility. This is an area where many are restricted. The key here is to watch the feet. In the lateral squat, the feet must remain straight ahead. External rotation is compensation. Lateral squats are a bit counter-intuitive. A wider stance makes them easier, not harder but most people will try to begin narrower. Try to get the feet 3.5-4 feet apart. I use the lines on roll flooring (usually 4 foot rolls) or the width of the wood on the platform (also usually 4 ft) as a gauge.
Rotational squats are probably misnamed. They are not really rotational, but are the proper precursor to rotational lunges. The key here is again foot position. The feet are at right angles to each other as opposed to being parallel as in the lateral squat. I have often noticed that most people’s lunge matrix is actually a series of forward lunges done in different directions.
The key to a properly performed lunge matrix is in foot position. My standard joke is that many people who think they’re doing multi-planar lunges are actually doing panoramic lunges. They do the same lunge, only facing a different direction.
In any case, the rotational squat prepares the trainee for rotational lunges and continues to open up the frontal/transverse motion of the hips. Many may recognize lateral and rotational squats as “groin stretches.” In fact, they are nothing more than a dynamic version of the popular groin stretches.
The big limiting factor in hip mobility is often flexibility in the muscles versus the motion of the joints. Hip capsular mobility is best left to trained therapists.
Number 7: Wall slides
I must tell you, I love wall slides. Three nice big bangs for a single buck:
• Activate low trap, rhomboid, and external rotators.
• Stretch the pecs and internal rotators.
• Decrease the contributions of the upper traps.
Try them, and you’ll be amazed. The first thing that might amaze you is that you can’t even get into the position. This is not unusual. Another thing that will surprise you is the asymmetry of your shoulders. A third surprise might occur when you try to slide overhead. Many people will immediately shrug. This is the dominance of the upper trap.
The keys to the wall slide:
• Scapulae retracted and depressed.
• Hands and wrists flat against the wall (the back of both hands must touch the wall).
• As you slide up, think about pressing gently into the wall with the forearms.
• Only go to the point of discomfort. You will notice that the anterior shoulder will release and ROM will increase. Don’t force it.
Number 8: Big X-Band
The Big X Band is an improvement on the original idea. The original idea was to add an upper body component to mini-band walks. The only problem was that many people didn’t retract the scapulae; instead they shrugged, and activated the wrong stuff.
Physical therapist Alex McEchnie, who has become the sports hernia rehab expert, uses Theraband to create the fascial slinging effect of the body. I borrowed and simplified this by cutting a 3/4” Superband (you can also use Theratube) and creating a big X. Now I get a great simple total body activation.
The Big X-Band activates the gluteus medius, as well as the entire posterior chain. It does it in an anatomically correct manner by using the diagonal relationship of opposite to shoulder. Once again, it’s a heck of a good bang for your buck.
Well, that wraps up the Essential Eight mobility drills, and answers the question that has been plaguing athletes since the Dawn of Sport, namely “What should I do to warm up?”
Now you know. I hope you’re happy.
Do yourself a favor and give these eight drills a try. It’ll only take 5 to 10 minutes, and you’ll not only look better, you’ll feel better as well.
The Foundation for Power?…STRENGTH!
Strength is very simple: it’s the amount of force that someone can produce. Newton’s second law of motion teaches us that force is created when you accelerate a mass (mass x acceleration = force). When your body creates enough force it allows you to accelerate your body’s mass fast!
Your body cannot produce force if it has no force to produce. Force production is the foundation of all movement. I will use surfing for example because I appreciate the sport and the skill that it takes. To be able to perform a skilled maneuver such as the cutback, or an air maneuver (see videos below) one must generate incredible force and acceleration to perform these with POWER and EXPLOSIVENESS. If we train our muscles to be strong enough to produce a certain maximum force in a given athletic situation, that means we can accelerate our bodies or an external object similar in mass faster and with more power.
(Professional Surfer Kelly Slater- Top, Professional Surfer Gabriel Medina- Bottom)
For those of you who are more experienced with weight training, you’re probably thinking “many of those qualities are affected by different training stimuli,” and you’re definitely right. Explosive Strength (power) and Reactive Strength (plyometrics) are used to fine-tune your neuromuscular abilities by focusing the Maximum Strength that you have just built.
Explosive Strength focuses on increasing the Rate of Force Development (RFD), or how fast your muscles are able to produce force. This type of strength is especially important for power lifting, Olympic lifting, shot put, weight throw, baseball pitchers, javelin, and discus, as these sports are expressions of maximal explosiveness. If you can create the same maximal force that you have developed through your Maximal Strength phase faster, this will translate into performance. This is expressed through high-load speed strength (moving heavier loads, like a snatch) and low-load speed strength (moving your body weight, or lighter loads such as in discus).
Reactive Strength qualities are beneficial to athletes who are dynamic in their sport. This applies to most team sports and individual sports, including hockey, rugby, football, baseball, golf, tennis, squash, etc. Reactive Strength is the muscle’s ability to apply force quickly, after completing a Stretch Shortening Cycle (SSC). The SSC is the transition from, yep… you guessed it: being stretched, to being shortened. If you’re a soccer player running one direction and the ball zips by to your left, you want to get there as quickly as possible. Instead of stopping, turning left, and starting to run, we simply crossover and push off with our right foot, propelling our body to the left. We don’t do a full squat and jump to the left. We plant and push off, wasting no time at all. And if your SSC is faster and produces greater force than the defender, I think we can figure out who gets to the ball first.
References Hales, M (2011) Evaluating Common Weight Training Concepts Associated With Developing Muscular Strength: Truths or Myths? Strength and Conditioning Journal; February; 33 (1); pp. 91- 95.
Hori, N; Newton, R; Nosaka, K; Stone, M (2005). Weightlifting Exercises Enhance Athletic Performance That Requires High-Load Speed Strength. Strength and Conditioning Journal; August; 24 (4); pp. 50 – 55.
Success is defined as “the achievement of something desired, planned or attempted”. The second definition I found for success was, “The attainment of popularity or profit”. Personally I think both of these definitions don’t even come close to what success truly means.
Success is all about your mission in LIFE, and about the peoples lives you affect in a positive way on a daily basis. One person can make such a huge impact on another’s life it can change it forever. But in reality to make a deeper impact on people you must become “well known”, “popular”, or “rich”. It’s sad but oh so true! This takes me into the main purpose of this article so pay attention.
I’ve been climbing my ladder to success since I can remember trying to become that “well known” person. I’ve encountered all sorts of people along the way and still am. I’m sure as a reader of this you can relate to every one of these that I am about to describe.
-Those who try to persuade you off your ladder
These are the people who constantly say you can’t do this, or can’t do that. They try every reason under the sun on why you should accept things just the way you are and be satisfied with where you are. These types of people will praise others not because the others are better, but because they think it’ll get under your skin and make you quit. JUST KEEP CLIMBING!
-Those who want to pull you down to their level
These people are trying to make it to the top just like you are, but they seem to be making very little progress. It kills them to know that someone out there is working harder, learning more, and doing a better job than they are doing. They try to kiss your ass, and be your friend to win you over but when everything fails they become your worst critic. Instead of standing FOR who they are and what they represent, their mission becomes standing AGAINST who you are and what you represent. Always remember you must be doing something right because other people are trying to pull you down. JUST KEEP CLIMBING!
-Those who’ll step on you to get to the top
These are the people who see how good you are at what you do and use it to their own advantage. They will steal your ideas, your work, your vision, and your positive traits and make it their own. They will take all the credit because they are above you at the time and they can do it just because they can. They want to always copy what you do and try to do it better, but the problem is you’re the only one with the vision and they are just “Haters”. Sometimes its fun to watch a watered down version of you JUST KEEP CLIMBING!
-Those who are at the top and will try to push you back down
These are people who have made it, and are a few more steps up the ladder than you, usually your boss or supervisor. They try to keep you from getting up to their level because they are insecure and afraid of competition. They will try to slow down your progress and kill your efforts on trying to get up there. They tend to forget that they were in the same position you are. But they don’t realize true leadership and understand what being a mentor is all about. People that understand the true meaning of success will eventually outnumber fools like this. Remember it can get lonely at the top, so enjoy your money and fame for now. JUST KEEP CLIMBING!
- Those who will guide you up the ladder
You don’t find these people to often because they are special. They’ve made it to the top with or without help and understand the hard work it took to get there. They tend to relate to the same steps you are climbing and want to help you along the way. You may not find this person but if you do they will see your true potential and help you. Remember people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Always help and care for others. JUST KEEP CLIMBING!
-Those who push you…and the push some more
This can be family, friends, or some stranger that just means well and wants to help. You’d be amazed how many people you don’t know can help you along the way. But these are people who would give their hearts and souls to see you reach the top. They constantly are giving you advice or encouraging you to never give up. They understand and can see sometimes when we are down or when we are close to hitting rock bottom. They are the angels who fly beside us when we climb. JUST KEEP CLIMBING
My Message To You
Always remember the higher up you go on the ladder, the more dangerous it gets. The pressure on you to finish and reach your ultimate goal is greater. You have to accept that you will make mistakes, but you can’t dwell on them. You have to understand that people will shit on you and not even care. But remember the more manure they throw on you the stronger you will grow. So with the higher you go up the ladder the oxygen and the conditions can wipe you out. You have to be even more focused as you climb the ladder. If you lose your focus for even a second, it can cost you. Even focusing on dropping back down and not the next step can be devastating. No matter the distractions, and the people who want to try and push you back down you MUST PERSIST no matter how many steps are left to the top-look only at the next step. It’s the ability to focus on the precious present moment that is critical. That’s why you JUST KEEP CLIMBING!
My Father’s Words
“Never be satisfied with success and where you are at, because that is where you will always be. Someone is always waiting to challenge that success and is ready to move right on in. Never let complacency get the best of you. The best leaders are wired to handle change good or bad and still maintain focus on the process”
So remember success is never final and failure is never fatal.
JUST KEEP CLIMBING!
Yoga vs. The Hamstring
More often than not when talking about yoga someone has a weakness. Rather that’s lower back, shoulders, or even the neck. But when we stretch what is the one muscle that always seems tight? The Hamstrings. A lot of athletes and the general public have issues regarding their hamstrings. Either they stay sore, inflexible, or severely overstretched to the point of causing injury. Our hamstrings are very important because it’s made of the three muscles that make up the back of the leg. If we cause injury to one of these muscles it could affect how we walk, sit or even stand.
THINK BEFORE YOUR STRETCH
Most yoga poses work the hamstrings in one way or another. A person with tight or flexible hamstrings has to be cautious when participating in yoga or any sort of vigorous stretching routine. The hamstring can get overstretched and overworked which results in little micro-tears within the muscle. Lets use a rubber band for example, if you place a rubber band in the freezer for about an hour and try to pull it apart it will break easily. Because it is cold and won’t stretch easily, so the same goes for your muscle. If you are cold and start aggressively overstretching your muscle it is bound to cause damage. So make sure you are nice a warm before starting yoga or your stretching routine.
LETS HELP THE HAMS
Practicing regular yoga poses can help you to loosen tight hamstring muscles through regular, steady stretching. As with most stretching routines, it’s important to cease exercising when you experience pain or strain in the muscles. Some other stretching routines that will help tight hamstrings are PNF stretches using a partner, and also using a band. In conclusion yoga is great for the mind, body and soul. It helps relieve stress and anxiety if taken seriously.
Example of some Yoga poses: