Here’s a video demonstrating some "self help" strategies for improving upper body posture and mechanics. These tools are acceptable replacements for athletes who don’t have access to a qualified therapist or soft tissue specialist. They are all relatively inexpensive as well (even the Arm Aid, which is worth it’s weight in gold).
The implications of upper body restorative strategies should also be viewed "from… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on July 29, 2010 at 6:43am —
If you’re going to open a sports performance facility in a small space, prepare to answer the question "but how do you train speed and agility"? Understandably, most athletes and parents expect turf, track lanes, and elaborate cone drills from their "speed and agility" resource. As you can see from our videos, we have neither of those luxuries (yet). Ironically, if there was one component of training that we believe sets our model apart from other… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on July 29, 2010 at 6:41am —
First off, I really appreciate that you’re reading this article. "Regressing" is not a sexy way to begin a title. Most trainers want secrets, progressions, and new variations to "mix it up". Deciding to take a look at this entry shows you understand the importance of constructing a complete toolbox to provide appropriate exercise prescription to all of your athletes and clients. Thank you.
A little while ago I demonstrated how to… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on July 29, 2010 at 6:30am —
Looks can be deceiving! With the majority of medicine ball progressions consisting of rotational throws and slams, it can appear that these exercises are custom-made for rotational or throwing athletes. Surely, medicine ball exercises are an easy sell to baseball, tennis, hockey athletes, etc; however, if we change our perspective slightly, it is clear that every athlete can benefit from med ball work.
Medicine balls are just an implement, as universal as a dumbbell or cable… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on April 27, 2010 at 5:39pm —
A few posts back, I explained the theoretical consequences of coaching an athlete to "get on their toes". For this week’s post, I decided to provide some close up, visual evidence of my stance (no pun intended).
Here is a video of an adolescent female tennis player and male baseball/basketball player. Both athletes compete or practice with their team or private instructor six, if not seven days a week (not including a training session at Empower). Both athletes’ tendency is to shift… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on April 22, 2010 at 1:27pm —
To a young or novice athlete, the warm up can be, well, everything. It can take on both corrective, strength, and even conditioning purposes for untrained athletes. However, once an athlete becomes acclimated to their warm-up routine, it is time to move on. A simple way to progress a warm up is to combine exercises. Physiologically, this isn’t rocket science; however, combining exercises will make a warm-up more efficient, saving time for power, strength, and conditioning as the program… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on April 13, 2010 at 6:54pm —
If you played a variety of sports growing up, you undoubtedly can remember being told by a coach to "be ready on your toes". It was the universal stance whether you were a little league shortstop, point guard or aspiring tennis star. Although I believe most coaches have good intentions, getting athletes up on their toes might do more to slow them down than speed them up.
When most young athletes assume an "athletic stance", their first reaction is to shift too… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on April 6, 2010 at 2:44pm —
Having limited space or time can be a training advantage. Fewer resources can direct a coach to dial in on the essential components of preparation, while eliminating the fluff. Unfortunately, the question remains, "How do you train for speed and agility in a small space, without track lanes or turf?"
In a presentation that I contributed to www.SCWebinars.com I covered the topic,… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on April 6, 2010 at 2:30pm —
Think like a Parent.
My mom was always correcting my posture, telling me that balance and moderation was the key to success, and mixing my vegetables with mac and cheese. Moms know best. Train posture, use your “tools” in moderation, and find ways to mix challenging and fun exercises.
Make it Sport-focused
Sport-focused training is a rational middle ground between what we do and what parents want. Youth training shouldn’t be sport-specific insomuch that exercises mimic… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on November 30, 2009 at 3:46pm —
Bring Back the Afterschool Athlete
Joe Bonyai M.Ed., CSCS
Kickballs have gone flat, fence posts are no longer field goals, and mailboxes are home base no more. Instead, kids nowadays are specializing at the expense of free play. As strength and conditioning professionals, we have the opportunity to provide a safe, structured replacement for decreased variety in afterschool physical activity. Here are some of my ideas on training youth athletes.
Train the Person… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on November 19, 2009 at 10:41am —
We all love pictures...so here are a few examples of the t-spine in action. Obviously, t-spine mobility is critical for sparing other structures during high velocity rotational movements like throwing and swinging. However, I added the last picture (because it was awesome) as a reminder that dynamic stability of the t-spine is critical for movements such as sprinting and long distance running. There's a fair amount of rotation that occurs during these movements as well and for the core to… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on October 22, 2009 at 9:24pm —
The influence of the thoracic spine is very important in more than just the exercises I mentioned in Part I. As a general rule: if an exercise requires good scapular mechanics, then the t-spine must be in a good position to support the scapulae.
The "cart" and "track" analogy is commonly used to describe the relationship between the femur and patella to patellofemoral pain. As a reminder, how much good is fixing the "cart" when the "track" is broke? How much good are we doing working… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on October 13, 2009 at 9:35pm —
Recently I had a two-part article on swing speed for rotational athletes published on both StrengthCoach.com and SBCoachesCollege.com. In both sections (I think) I talked about the importance for thoracic-spine mobility in reference to throwing and swinging. The "X-factor" (dissociation between the shoulders and LPHC) is a very sticky concept within the golf-community, and with other types of rotational athletes, is doesn't take much to convince them of the importance of a good shoulder turn… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on October 6, 2009 at 9:10pm —
I'm reading Million Dollar Habits by Brian Tracy. If you'd like to roll your eyes, go ahead, but it's a fantastic book. It's not a cheat-the-system, work four hours a week book. It's a set goals, take action, achieve your goals book. I'm probably the least organized, most over-worrying, procrastination prone individual I know, therefore books like this help me to ease my anxiety before I go to bed, and set my mind straight when I wake up.
I bought the book because it was recommended… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on September 24, 2009 at 7:08pm —
As I mentioned in Part I, never tell an endurance athlete that in order to prevent injury and improve performance they should take time away from the road or water and hit the weights (even if it is true). Here are a few ways to redevelop your strategy for getting endurance athletes excited about your training:
1) Check out endurance training magazines and websites. Realize that their is garbage like this… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on September 17, 2009 at 9:13pm —
There may not be a harder sell than to convince an endurance athlete to lift like your other teams/athletes. So close Excel, throw the Bompa-text to the side, and start doing something we (well, at least I) never want to experience - think like an endurance athlete.
The success of your program will be directly related to 1) how well you understand what is going through your athletes' heads 2)how well you can manipulate your current strategy to supplement
Added by Joe Bonyai on September 13, 2009 at 8:59pm —
A new article of mine has been posted on www.sbcoachescollege.com .. and unfortunately the title might be misleading. Even though the article appears to be geared towards rotational-sport athletes, I should admit that the good majority of the exercises I mention in the article, I happen to use with every athlete, in a very similar order. With that said...in the article I outline a "mat series" of prehab work that certainly, if nothing else, flows. It's a routine that's time, space, and… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on September 8, 2009 at 9:48pm —
If you played baseball, softball, basketball, lacrosse...in fact, if you've ever had anything thrown at you (and caught it), you can teach an athlete to decelerate and change direction. Sound weird? I'm right there with you...
The way in which an athlete stops, cuts, and changes direction is very similar to the way they are taught to catch a ball. They must arrange their limbs in a proper position to receive the pass, while keeping or placing their body in the optimal position to… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on August 27, 2009 at 9:26pm —
To me, exercise selection comes down to one thing - does the exercise serve as an evaluation of something I'm looking to improve specific to that athlete? This allows me to evaluate an athlete's progression every week, every workout, every set, every rep. And by evaluation, I don't just mean general strength or agility. Movement quality and integrated functioning of the lower body, torso, and upper body is the key.
In context, I work with mostly high school aged athletes, who have 0… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on August 20, 2009 at 10:22pm —
This short post isn't about nutrition. In a recent interview for TMuscle, Alwyn Cosgrove brought up a great point - stop criticizing other coaches and programs that get results. It's such a simple principle (but those are the ones that we tend to keep coming back to), but I guess it sticks more coming from a giant like Alwyn. Argument and non-constructive criticism are a set back for all parties involved. Time spent arguing is time spent gaining pride and losing interpersonal relationships -… Continue
Added by Joe Bonyai on August 11, 2009 at 10:39pm —