Archive for the StrengthCoach.com Updates Category

Poor Shoulder Mobility Leads to Back Pain?

Posted in Core training, Hockey, Injuries, Low Back Pain, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized with tags on April 15, 2015 by mboyle1959

This is a follow up to a post about why we no longer squat.

“I had another epiphany the other day. Another Ah-Ha moment. Sometimes when these ideas occur I can’t decide whether I am smart or dumb. Am I smart because I had this thought or dumb because it took so long? A member of my staff and I were talking about wall slides. If you don’t know, wall slides are a great exercise borrowed from physical therapy to develop the combination of shoulder mobility and scapular stability.”

click to finish on StrengthCoach.com 

Why We Don’t Squat?

Posted in Core training, Hockey, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , , on April 14, 2015 by mboyle1959

I’ve unfortunately become famous ( or infamous) on the internet for my views on lower body training. A friend asked me if I could briefly explain my thoughts so I wrote this up. The question of why we don’t squat has both simple and complex answers. The simple reason is that we found the back squat and front squat to be the primary causes of back pain in our athletic population. At any point, in any season, approximately 20% of our athletes would be dealing some kind of back pain that was either caused by squatting or exacerbated by squatting.

The problem was finding an alternative that would allow similar loads. The answer came in three steps.

Step one was actually a picture of one of Joe DeFrancos athletes doing really heavy rear foot elevated split squats ( I think it was with 120 lb dumbbells). That picture opened up my mind to the idea that we could use really heavy loads in unilateral exercises . My first thought was “wow, that would be 480 for reps with two legs”. As a result, I reevaluated and added heavy rear foot elevated split squats to our programs.

Step two was an article by sprint coach Barry Ross. In the article Ross talked about how deadlifts required the use of more muscle mass than squats and were in truth a better total body exercise. As I sat and pondered, I had to agree. Grip work and back work were certainly a feature of the deadlift absent from the squat? I disliked deadlifts because my memories of the deadlift were the ugly ones I did in 1980’s powerlifting meets. Again as a result we added Trap Bar Deadlifts to our program.

The last step was beginning to look into the concept of bilateral deficit. The bilateral deficit research ( actually not new) supported what we saw. What we saw in the split squat was that our athletes were using proportionally heavier loads than they had used in the squat. In fact after one year we saw that our athletes split squat and front squat were equal.

As we progressed in our always experimental programming we saw the change that we desired. We had more healthy athletes. As I have always said, healthy athletes are goal 1, better athletes come second. What we found is that deadlifting gave us a bilateral, more hip dominant choice that seemed to decrease back pain while rear foot elevated split squats actually gave us both higher loads and unilateral, sport specific loads.The only thing wrong was that we were rejecting the sacred cow of squatting.

My thoughts have always been controversial but, always rooted in what was best for the athlete. Unfortunately the detractors ( haters is the popular term now) don’t want to think. They simply want to do what they have always done.

This brings me to one of my favorite quotes from Lee Cockrell in his book Creating Magic:

“What if the way we had always done it was wrong?”

Food for thought and fodder for debate.

PS- We have added front squats back with our young athletes to teach the clean catch and we do some goblet squats with beginners but, you won’t see any athletes with big loads on their shoulders in our facilities unless they are required to do that for a college test.

Hockey Specific Training

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on April 1, 2015 by mboyle1959

I’ve been saying this for years, going so far as to talk about sports general training vs sports specific training in my first book Functional Training for Sports.

Pretty good take from Andrew Davis

Hockey ( Too) Specific Training?

Be Careful With Advice from Armchair Experts

Posted in MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags on March 21, 2015 by mboyle1959

“He who seeks the counsel of fools is a fool himself”

This is a cautionary tale. Be careful with taking advice from your son or daughters youth sport coach. Although today’s example comes from the hockey world, bad advice in youth sports is probably more common than good advice.

Please note: I have the utmost respect for most youth sport coaches. My kids have been lucky to have some great ones. With that said, I have also heard and continue to hear some real horror stories. Here’s the latest. 

PS- This a direct quote from an email I received from a former BU athlete. I did not edit this. Please also note, the following advice was given to the parents of a 2007 birth year child, yes a seven year old.

“A lot of parents have asked me what their child can do to become a better player. It starts in the spring and the summer. Hockey is a 12 month sport. If you “put the bag away” I can guarantee you to expect being at the bottom level of whatever team your child makes next year. Kids get better by playing more. If anyone tells you otherwise they do not know the game. I am proud to be apart of program that offers as many opportunities as this one does to have your child on the ice as much as possible. ”

 

The advice above is absolute insanity that runs contrary to every piece of research we have seen. This guy is 100% wrong. A seven year old should absolutely “put the bag away” and play soccer, lacrosse or baseball in the spring. Please do your homework. Early specialization is the biggest mistake you can make. There are at least 10 blog posts on this site from great coaches and great athletes espousing the direct opposite advice this “coach” is giving. If your child is seven, I beg you, please “put the bag away”.

 

Defending the Functional Movement Screen

Posted in Injuries, Low Back Pain, Random Thoughts, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females with tags , , on March 20, 2015 by mboyle1959

One thing that is always in fashion is bashing something that you didn’t invent. I think Velcro is stupid. Not really but, I just wanted to show how silly it is to bash a great idea. Velcro is a great idea. Great for shoes for kids and old people and lots of other stuff. Not so great for adult shoes? But does that make Velcro a bad idea?

The Functional Movement Screen is a great idea. It’s such a great idea that most ( not all) smart people I know have embraced it to some degree. A few people have taken to the internet to criticize it. The thing I like most is that the people who criticize it don’t use it. If you don’t use something how can you be so sure it has little value. Recently Vern Gambetta again took the time to criticize the FMS.

Gambetta states “It is a borderline waste of time that generates random numbers without transfer to real life situations.”

I have trouble seeing how the numbers 0-3 can be considered random? In reality, the numbers have a very simple and easy to follow system behind them. 3 is great, 2 is good ( but not great), 1 is a big problem and 0 is “we need help”. Not too random.

Vern goes on to say “If you force the body to conform to unusual, strange, often uncomfortable positions – Is that a valid assessment?”

Ok, if that was the case I might agree. However I’m just not sure if stepping, squatting, kneeling, being on your back or on all fours constitutes a series of uncomfortable positions?

This last one is a tough one?

“I want to see how the athlete can make connections and transitions not get in positions that are mentally convenient and easy to measure.”

A bit contradictory? Are the positions unusual, strange and uncomfortable or, mentally convenient and easy to measure? Two widely divergent criticisms of the same system.

Bottom line, I don’t think Vern has never taken the time to really study or understand the FMS. In some ways I get it. I wrote an article for my StrengthCoach.com site called Will the FMS Cure Most Communicable Diseases that made the point that the FMS is a screen. That’s all it is. A simple starting point to look at movement and injury potential. The FMS is, for better or worse, the best tool we have now. It has conncected the weight room and the training room and given a young personal trainer a place to begin to understand movement from. Gray and Lee have never presented it to be more than that but, others have. Maybe that’s part of the problem. I use this picture to explain the FMS.

Screen It’s a screen for separating rocks from dirt. The dirt falls through, the rocks get stuck. That’s the FMS. The rocks are 1’s and 0’s. Everything else falls through. Tough to criticize?

Become a Better Player by Not Playing!

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, Injuries, MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on February 25, 2015 by mboyle1959

Confusing headline? I hope it makes you read this.

Athletes Are Made In the Off-Season

If your child is a hockey player from 6-15 PLEASE don’t sign them up for spring and summer leagues! The only people who need spring and summer leagues are rink operators and league operators. ALL THE EVIDENCE SAYS NO.

Athletes Are Made In the Off_Season

Certified Functional Strength Coach at Perform Better HQ in Rhode Island

Posted in MBSC News, Seminars, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training with tags , on February 18, 2015 by mboyle1959

Saturday March 28th we will be doing a Certified Functional Strength Coach course in Rhode Island.  The reviews on these courses have been amazing.

For more information, click the link below.

http://cl.publicaster.com/ViewInBrowser.aspx?NWD=1&pubids=0231%7c15379%7c666311%7c45597&digest=h9Xssbft3eYC2tbhYHaqyw&sysid=1

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31,792 other followers