Three Contralateral Stability Drills

brandon senn Mar 29, 2019

A contralateral pattern involves an action and/or movement of opposite sides of the body working together. That might seem confusing but its simpler than it seems. An easy way to understand contralateral patterns is to standup and walk 5-10 steps (walking is a contralateral pattern). Now walk another 5-10 steps but move your right arm forward as your right leg moves forward (and your left arm forward as your left leg moves forward). Feels weird doesn’t it? When we walk or run the leg that propels us forward is matched by an opposing swing of your arms (or opposite slight rotation of the thoracic spine).

Other common contralateral patterns in sport include throwing and swinging.

Learning and improving trunk stability in contralateral patterns is crucial for maximizing energy transfer and your ability to express force.

Below are three videos in order of difficulty to help you improve your contralateral trunk stability. To do all of these drills properly avoid relying on spinal...

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Stress And Specificity

Uncategorized Mar 20, 2019

By Travis Jewett

Travis Jewett is a strength coach and chiropractor with a clinic in Cherokee, IA. He is a member of the MobilityWOD staff and teaches seminars and workshops around the world in strength training and human performance. He is also a member of the Kabuki Strength Advisory Board. He works with people of all ages to improve their quality of life through strength and movement.

How specific do you need to be when training for a powerlifting meet? I really want you to stop and think about this question. You may have heard a lot of people who are popular in the world of powerlifting describe how important it is to be as specific as possible when training for the sport. You have to use a straight bar all the time to create the specific stress needed to drive adaptation. Many of the people I hear talk in these kinds of absolutes also complain about their elbow or shoulder or adductor or some other body part hurting going into a meet. What is really paramount in training...

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Top 10 Things To Know Before Your First Meet

kyle young Dec 23, 2018

Listen up–if you have never been in a powerlifting meet but want to, or if you are about to compete in your first–if you have competed, give this top 10 a quick read and see if passing it along can help someone you know.

I have competed in a lot of meets over the last 8 years, in a lot of different federations- raw, single ply, and mulit ply. From local to national and, world level meets across the country. Over this time, I have helped, handled, and coached some amazing athletes along with many entry level lifters. Beyond all of this I have dedicated hours upon hours spotting, loading, and running the platform.

Why do I bring all this up? I have had the opportunity over the years to gain 3 unique prospectives to provide the advice below. I wish someone would have bestowed some of this info upon me before any of my first meets.

As a coach, athlete and spotter/ loader I have seen a lot of cool things and many things that could of went better for the lifter. Now remember...

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Setting Up For A Stronger Squat [Tips For A Stronger Unrack]

derrington wright Dec 12, 2018

Staying in the same vein of my last article I’ll be giving you some tips on things you could be doing to make your setup in the squat more efficient.

There is a lack of attention that is paid to how people bring the bar out of the rack. I am no exception to that and I used to be the same way.

My squat form has always been decent, but I’ve never paid a lot of attention to my squat-unrack. Then I came across the quote, “If it starts badly it’s probably going to end worse”. Then it clicked; if my setup is bad my squat is likely going to be bad too (or at least not as strong and efficient as it could be). I knew the importance of breathing, bracing, foot placement etc. during the actual movement, but when it came to unracking the bar, my only thought was to get the bar out of the rack without dying. Hopefully, I can save some of you from making the same mistakes I have.

Below I’m going to note a few things that I don’t think lifters focus enough...

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A Guide To Hook Grip And Dropped Deadlifts

brady cable Nov 19, 2018

Grip in the deadlift is an issue that not everyone has a problem with. Something that those who do struggle with grip loss know it to be all too frustrating. Someone once said to me “if you haven’t had a grip problem, you might just not be strong enough to have a grip problem yet”. People who often use straps for much of their training find their grip might become the limiting factor in their competition deadlift over other parts of their body. One of the most disappointing things in powerlifting is locking out a big PR deadlift, especially on the platform, and then dropping it near or at lockout. Knowing your body had all the strength required to lift the weight, but your hands did not. Between this and a growing fear or possibly awareness of the possibility of bicep tears, using a double overhand hook grip is something that’s becoming increasingly popular within the sport. I don’t think hook grip is the only solution to grip problems, or even a...

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Intensity And Pre-Workout

ben pollack Oct 31, 2018

Ben Pollack is one of this generation’s greatest lifters and geniuses, a physical culture expert, world record holder and US Open powerlifting champion. Know as “PhDeadlift” on social media, Ben is currently wrapping up his PhD and is one of the most educated and insightful competitors to grace the platform. Check out his site at phdeadlift.com.

Confession time: I’m a preworkout junkie.  The adrenaline rush from lifting alone is great, but combine that with a boatload of caffeine and every other stimulant under the sun, and even light training days can feel more exciting.  Plus, all that extra energy obviously has a performance-enhancing effect, as well.

Or does it?

In reality, as fun and useful as stimulants can be for lifting, they can be really detrimental, too — especially if you tend to rely on them too much, or find that you can’t lift well without them.  The problem is compounded by most of the preworkout...

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The Self-Unrack: Setup Tips For A Stronger Bench

derrington wright Oct 09, 2018

A lot of people tend to give me a funky look when they see me doing self unracks, especially, with max weights. Let me start off by saying, if you have a great spotter to lift off for you, then totally do that. But bad handoffs happen fairly often and if you’ve gotten a bad hand off, then you know how hard it is to recover. After having noticed this problem, I had the best experience at 2016 USAPL nationals. I had a spotter named Eric Curry, and his lift off technique was literally the best I had ever seen or experienced.  It was so remarkable that I jokingly told myself that I’d never let anyone lift off for me unless it was him. Soon after, I started practicing self-handoffs out of pure curiosity. In addition, I usually lift alone so I thought it would be beneficial to learn. With all that said, here are a few reasons why I think everyone, especially competitive powerlifters, should learn how to effectively and efficiently unrack the bar on their own...

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The Ultimate Warm-Up Guide 1.0

kyle young Oct 03, 2018

There is a reason why the most skilled lifters are also generally stronger and in better shape. If you want to learn their secrets keep reading…

One of the biggest mistakes I see in the gym for beginner and intermediate athletes is their lack of intent and planning on their warm ups or the weights they load. It’s very important to plan the first weights you choose to put on the bar and make smart jumps on the way up to your working load, starting at 50% may not be the best idea. At the same time working up to a heavy single, and starting the first 3 sets of your workout with the following reps 15, 12, 10 may not be an ideal way to prime your body for the task at hand or wake up your type 2 muscle fibers.

A few key points before we go any further. This general outline is only covering your warm up progressions, not your pre-warm up movements, or mobility issues.

It should be noted that the warm ups and loading schemes outlined here are not the way I would have...

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Understanding Mobility And Stability For Strength Athletes

cassandra strunk Oct 02, 2018

Oftentimes we hear clients and fellow athletes reporting that their warm up routine consists of 30 minutes or more of “stretching” or “rolling” or “smashing” their muscles, only to find themselves back to being “tight” the next training day or feeling little to no benefit in their performance. It’s not uncommon for people to go straight to general mobility drills when the time comes to “warm up” for training. It’s very common for people to give little thought to stability or activation drills prior to their main movement or sport.

Before you continue reading, let me say this early on in this piece: we are not saying to ditch all your mobility drills; some people are “tight” and they need to address it. This article was written to shine a light on the consideration of stabilization exercises in your training, particularly during your warm up. It was written to further expand on the concept...

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Why We Start With Bracing And Spinal Mechanics First

brady cable Sep 28, 2018

Whether you’ve been following our content for years or you’re just starting to dive in, you’ve likely noticed we start many of our corrective strategies with bracing and spinal mechanics. We don’t do this to over simplify the process but, because so often the dysfunction or issue in question is driven by poor spinal mechanics. Bracing is a logical place to go for people with back pain or other issues directly related to their spine, but it’ll also explain some ways in which spinal mechanics influence the mechanics of distal joints, like hips and shoulders.

It’s worth outlining what we’re even talking about with regards to either bracing or spinal mechanics and put some context to it.  In many cases, this article will be directed towards powerlifters or other sagittal plane athletes but can applied broadly to other types of athletes as well depending on the situation.

Positional Changes

Why we feel bracing is so important begins with a...

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