Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Athletes' Performance Team is at IHRSA

Special Update: IHRSA WEEK 2009

Athletes' Performance will be at the IHRSA 2009 Trade Show. IHRSA is a great organization that stands for, International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association: Organization that promotes fitness through education and sport club membership (www.ihrsa.org/). This is one of the top trade shows in the world for new equipment, methods, services, and anything cutting edge within the fitness and wellness field. Athletes' Performance will be here with KEISER (http://www.keiser.com/) at booth#728 and want to thank them for their long-term support in all of our verticals. Other partners at IHRSA include: Power Plate International, Perform Better, Woodway and AlterG, TRX Fitness Anywhere, and Octane. We are excited to support each of our partners as their equipment and services are instrumental in the execution of the Athletes' Performance Training Systems.

I will continue to Blog about IHRSA all week and keep everyone updated on the latest and greatest in performance training. For those of you who are going to be at IHRSA, please stop by the Keiser booth to see Athletes' performance and visit all of our world-class partners.

Thank You All

Twitter: http://twitter.com/NickWinkelman for real-time updates.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Movement Prep: Movement Based Warm-Up
Movement Preparation (MP) follows Prehab in the Athletes' Performance training system and is the one component of the system that by itself can increase mobility, stability and the overall efficiency of movement patterns. This 4-step model will systematically prepare the body for any and all training in the gym/field or game of life. During MP our goal is to increase core temperature, address key mobility and stability demands, and activate the nervous system using movements and speeds specific to that day’s training session. This 4-step model will move from an isolation focus to a movement integration focus. Movements will initially be simple and slow moving towards more complex patterns at higher speeds. This allows us to safely and efficiently prepare the client’s “hardware” (i.e. Tissue and Joints) and “software” (i.e. Nervous System) for the training that follows.

Step 1 (Glute Activation): We start by activating the glutes using mini-bands around the knees and/or the ankles. The client will perform one round of movements with the legs completely extended and one round of movements in an athletic base where they are flexed at the hip, knee and ankle. Movements will be linearly and/or laterally focused based on the training session that follows

Step 2 (Dynamic Stretches): Glute activation will be followed by specific dynamic stretches that address key mobility and stability demands for that client in terms of that training day. These stretches can be executed in-place or moving over a distance for a designated series of repetitions.

Step 3 (Integrated Marching and Skipping): From dynamic stretches we move into specific marching and skipping patterns that focus on reactivity and force production through the hip, knee and ankle. These movements will be linearly and/or laterally focused based on the training session that follows.

Step 4 (Neural Activation/Rapid Response): From marching and skipping we move into rapid response. All movements will be done from an athletic base and the client will move through the hip, knee and ankle at high speeds for 3-5 second intervals. For example, 2 Inch Runs involve alternating the legs in place over a small amplitude as many times as can be controlled for a given time interval. Note that agility ladder work can fit into this section of the MP model.

Athletes’ Performance Training System: Movement Prep
Training Focus: 15 Minute Movement Prep with a focus on Multi-Directional Speed
Step 1 (Glute Activation) x10 repetitions per leg for each movement
Linear Base Position Mini-Band Walks
Lateral Straight Leg Mini-Band Walks
Step 2 (Dynamic Stretches) x3-6 repetitions for each movement
Elbow to Instep Stretch (World’s Greatest Stretch)
Backward Lunge
Knee Hug
Leg Cradle
Drop Lunge
Lateral Lunge
Step 3 (Integrated Marching and Skipping) 2x10-15yds for each movement
Lateral Pillar March
Lateral Pillar Skip
Step 4 (Rapid Response) 2x3-5s for each movement
2 Foot Lateral Base
Base Rotations

Check out the podcast (31.5) on this topic at www.strengthcoachpodcast.com

Next topic will cover integrated Plyometrics, "The Bridge Between Strength and Movement"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The AP Prehab System:

Prehab: Sustainable Injury Prevention

At Athletes' Performance our primary goal is to increase the career productivity and longevity of the athletes we work with. To do this we must be certain that their movement patterns are symmetrical and efficient. One of the ways we do this is through a section of our training system that we call Prehab. This is the first thing an athlete will do on the training floor and is meant to prepare the body based on individual needs.

We will look at an athlete’s Functional Movement Screen score, and based on the movement demands of that day’s session, we will look to correct 1-2 top priority movement patterns (ex. Correct for the Active Straight Leg Raise and Deep Squat Pattern). Once top priority movements have been established we will correct imbalances using specific Self-Myofascial Release (SMR), Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), and Activation strategies. We will use SMR on specific areas that may be tight, weak, and/or overactive. We will follow SMR with specific AIS for the same affected areas. This will allow us to move the muscle through an active range of motion, increase localized blood flow, and begin grooving isolated movement patterns. AIS will be followed by specific activation or corrective exercises that are meant to innervate weak or under-active muscles/movement patterns. For example, we may perform Side-Lying Hip Abduction with Internal Hip Rotation and Extension to focus on Posterior Glute Medius activation without dominant Tensor Fasciae Latea activation.

This system allows us to handle mobility and/or stability problems all while developing clean movement patterns. It is important to note that this section of the program is focused and we only use the necessary exercises to achieve the desired results. In our training system Prehab is followed by Movement Prep where we go from isolation and innervations to integrated movement.

Athletes’ Performance Training System: 10min Prehab Example
Training Day: Linear Speed Development (Acceleration Focus)

Soft-Tissue (Example Method: Foam Roll)- 30s each
Tennis Ball Foot (Arch) Rolls:
Foam Roll ITB:
Foam Roll Quads:
Foam Roll Deep-6 Hip Rotators:

Active Isolated Stretches (Method: Rope Stretch)- 1x5-10 2s holds ea
Calf Stretch:
Bent Knee Hamstring Stretch:
ITB Stretch:
Adduction Stretch:
Quad/Hip Flexor Stretch:

Activation Methods (Hip and Trunk Focus)- 1x10 ea
Diagonal Arm Lift:
Hip Abduction:
Hip External Rotation:
Hip Adduction:
Glute Bridge-Marching:

Recommended Reading:
Anatomy Trains by: Thomas Myers
Active Isolated Stretching: The Mattes Method by: Aaron Mattes
Athletic Body in Balance by: Gray Cook
Core Performance Essentials by: Mark Verstegen

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Athletes' Performance System

Methodology: A System Based Approach

The Athletes' Performance mission is to provide the finest performance methods, specialists, and facilities Seamlessly Integrated to efficiently and ethically enhance our athletes’ performance. Through this mission our goals are to improve the client’s performance, decrease their potential for injury, provide them with sustainable strategies, and put them in the best position to attain their goals. We found the only way to do this is by applying a systems based approach. Ralph Waldo Emerson has a quote that truly exemplifies this concept:

"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble."

With so many methods out there it can become difficult to see the ‘forest from the trees,’ but with the proper systems in place a coach can have their tools and the toolbox to contain them all. It is the toolbox or system that is sustainable and as better methods are uncovered a trainers tools will change. Additionally, we need to break the stigma that there is only one way to do things and that you can’t have two different tools that do the same job. Whether you ‘draw in’ or ‘brace’ there is a time and place to use both of these methods and in some cases clients will respond to one better than the other. For this reason we are always open to new methods and know our systems are in place to allow for efficient execution of these strategies.

Athletes’ Performance Training System:

  • Evaluation: Athlete’s Abilities + Movement Demands = Proper Movement Based Planning
  • Prehab: Develop corrective strategies that take into account the athlete’s movement priorities in terms of the movement demands of that training session.
  • Movement Prep: Applying this 4-step system will not only physically prepare your athletes, but more importantly will be a sustainable tool for teaching and refining movement patterns.
  • Plyometrics: Using this session as a bridge between strength and movement skills is the key to developing powerful movement patterns. This session involves low quantity, high quality work to teach the athlete how to improve power production and rate of force development.
  • Movement Skills: This critical component of the training system is a blend of technique and power application that allows the athlete to execute in the same way they will on their field of play.
  • Strength and Power Session: Once in the weight room it is important to understand that it is not strength to support strength, but strength to support movement. We need to train at the speeds, loads, and movements pertinent to the athlete’s abilities and sport/position.
  • Energy System Development: This session is built to train the correct energy systems and attack individual deficits with pertinent movements in a fun and challenging environment.
  • Regeneration: It is important to understand that everything in the system will break the athlete down and this is the time when we educate and execute regeneration strategies to ensure optimal performance during future training sessions.

This first blog represents the basis for future posts and discussions. To reach optimal performance we must have a sustainable system in place.

"It is what you learn after you know it all that counts" -John Wooden

Thank You Team