Tag Archives: upper-body strength

Complement Your Bench Press with the Inverted Row

6 Aug

Everybody loves the bench press.  It’s a great exercise for building upper-body strength, engages multiple joints and muscles, and can be performed with several different variations.

But many athletes neglect the equally important opposing muscle groups engaged by upper-body pulling exercises, like those that employ the rowing motion.  This “push-pull” strategy — also known as agonist-antagonist paired sets — is beneficial because it improves strength development, joint stability, musculoskeletal balance, and injury prevention.

The inverted row is a multi-joint, upper-body exercise that can improve and increase shoulder and back stability, upper-body muscular pulling strength, and relative upper-body strength.

The inverted row is a versatile exercise that can be modified in intensity to accommodate athletes of varying training experience and proficiency.  It can be performed with a straight bar or with suspension-type exercise equipment (TRX), and can be regressed or progressed by changing feet position, elevating the feet and/or adding weight via weight belts, vests, etc.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

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Youth Pitchers Need Pitch Counts

4 Mar

pitcher in controlWith baseball season upon us, young athletes everywhere are — and have been — preparing for the upcoming season.

Unfortunately, overuse injury in youth baseball players has become a major concern.

According to a Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research study, injuries throughout the baseball season (shoulder and/or elbow pain) are on the rise in young athletes, and surgery rates continue to increase.

“With the increase of injury in youth baseball, there has been more focus on the causes of the overuse injury.  Of the proposed causes of overuse injury, fatigue or lack of adequate rest has been hypothesized as major precursors.” (Oliver, G. et.al.)

Fatigue leads to altered mechanics of the trunk, arm, and knee; and significantly diminishes shoulder flexion and internal rotation strength.

Young arms need limits.  Pitchers (and other players) should not throw to the point of fatigue.  Pitch counts should be implemented and monitored for practices, games (including simulated games), bullpen sessions, and scrimmages.

According to Dr. David Geier, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, youth pitchers should avoid the following risk factors:

  • Pitching for multiple teams with overlapping seasons
  • Pitching on consecutive days
  • Pitching in multiple games in one day
  • Pitching with arm fatigue or arm pain
  • Pitching in showcase events
  • Pitching throughout the year

Dr. Geier also stresses the importance of working with a knowledgeable, experienced trainer to improve core (shoulders through hips), shoulder, and upper-body strength and stability.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Complement Your Bench Press with the Inverted Row

6 Aug

20140805_09281420140805_092855Everybody loves the bench press.  It’s a great exercise for building upper-body strength, engages multiple joints and muscles, and can be performed with several different variations.

But many athletes neglect the equally important opposing muscle groups engaged by upper-body pulling exercises, like those that employ the rowing motion.  This “push-pull” strategy — also known as agonist-antagonist paired sets — is beneficial because it improves strength development, joint stability, musculoskeletal balance, and injury prevention.

The inverted row is a multi-joint, upper-body exercise that can improve and increase shoulder and back stability, upper-body muscular pulling strength, and relative upper-body strength.

The inverted row is a versatile exercise that can be modified in intensity to accommodate athletes of varying training experience and proficiency.  It can be performed with a straight bar or with suspension-type exercise equipment (TRX), and can be regressed or progressed by changing feet position, elevating the feet and/or adding weight via weight belts, vests, etc.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

3 Exercises to Strengthen Your Upper-Body

11 Jan

qa-what-are-the-best-upper-body-exercises[2]The classic barbell flat bench press is a “gold-standard” exercise for building upper-body strength, and should be a component of virtually everyone’s strength and conditioning regimen.  This versatile exercise is a great way to build strength in your chest, arms, and shoulders.  But, as beneficial as this exercise is, it shouldn’t be the only upper-body “push” exercise in your regimen.  Try adding these three exercises to your routine to improve strength, power, and keep your training fresh:

  • Single-Arm Bench Press

Using one dumbbell, assume standard bench press position.  Keep “off” arm suspended, just above your chest.  Start with dumbbell in “up” position.  Lower and raise dumbbell for specified number of repetitions, then switch arms.  This exercise is great for building strength and core stability.

  • Alternating Medicine Ball Pushup (pictured)

Assume standard pushup position with one hand resting on medicine ball.  Perform pushups for specified number of reps, then switch sides (other hand on medicine ball).  This exercise helps build explosive power in your chest and arms.

  • Stability Ball Pushup

Assume pushup position with both hands on stability (Swiss) ball.  Perform pushups for specified number of repetitions.  Keep the eccentric (downward) phase slow.  This exercise is higher-intensity than the classic pushup and requires a lot of core stability.

Depending on how often you train, you could choose one of the above exercises for each workout or do a couple on the same training day. Remember, for every upper-body “push” exercise you do (for example, bench press or pushup), you should also perform an upper-body “pull” exercise, such as a row or pullup, to balance your training.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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