Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Happiness is...

a legit 100 kg front squat.  Not too shabby for a 17 y.o. 6' 7" high school volleyball player. See the video here.

Flexibility is the key here, particularly at the ankle and t-spine/shoulder. You'll note the proper front squat/clean grip rack of the bar. Torso control during the lift, i.e, core strength, is essential.

This is how we roll at the House of Iron. Gotta earn the right to progress. Gotta have the maturity and the experience to try a 1RM lift.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Collegiate School: Athletic Development Done Right

The video above is by Coach Adam Moss of The Collegiate School in Richmond, VA. Collegiate is one of the few schools I know of to have a dedicated athletic development staff and program. It is so exciting to see these young women getting the instruction and physical opportunities they need to stay healthy and be successful athletes.

You will notice that the facilities at Collegiate are very, very nice. As a fun side note, I am very happy to say Collegiate has 5 Hexlite Training Bars. But that's not what sets this program apart.  It is the people at Collegitate--their vision and dedication to the long-term physical health of the students--that separates Collegiate from many others. These professionals are focused on the process of developing the athlete, not simply on short-term outcomes or performance.

High school coaches of boys and girls, this is the type of comprehensive work that should form the foundation of secondary school physical health and sports performance.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Iron Maven Shoulder Tubing Series

This little tubing series is part of the shoulder infrastructure work my athletes do. I'm not a big fan of the traditional "PT" shoulder band stuff, but Joe Pryztula and his practical seminars at Vern Gambetta's GAIN conferences, has helped me see that I can get creative and do some good things with tubing to connect the hip and the shoulder. Vern has a great Functional Shoulder Exercises DVD that goes into greater depth regarding the concept of "hip to shoulder" and what it means for a shoulder exercise to be "functional."

My high school senior guys really like this sequence, particularly after a hard practice or upper body work day. Some of them need it more for stability; others for more t-spine mobility. They now get what it means to take care of your shoulders on a daily and weekly basis.

More shoulder stuff soon.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Mitch: Indian Club Ninja

I've introduced indian clubs to all of my athletes. The volleyball guys have really embraced them. Personally, I think they are a fantastic modality for developing and maintaining shoulder girdle health for the overhead athlete. Imagine an entire volleyball team on the court, prior to the timed warm up, facing the other team while doing a scripted indian club warm up in concert. Besides giving the athletes a thorough shoulder warm up, I think it would give the other team something interesting to think about.

6' 9" Mitch Penning, USA Volleyball Youth National Team member and Pepperdine recruit, demonstrates his new-found mastery of the clubs. Mitch learned a few of the basics with me, but then taught himself the more advanced movements by taking home the instructional DVD (by Ed Thomas) and practicing on his own for a day or two. The results are impressive.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Non-Verbal Communication and Power

Check out this fascinating talk by Amy Cuddy. Non-verbals are incredibly powerful and affect our perceptions of others and our feelings about ourselves. Posture has even been shown to affect biology, in the form of testosterone and cortisol levels. Please share this talk with any women or girls in your life.