A few weekends ago, I went to a workshop in St. Louis that was put on by Dean Somerset and Tony Gentilcore. Now I don’t expect you to know who they are unless you are in the fitness industry, but they are each kind of a big deal. Tony is cofounder of Cressey Sports Performance in Boston, MA. They are a big deal in the baseball community, training several professionals in the MLB. Who better to learn about the shoulder from than people who train elite pitchers? Dean is based out of Edmonton Canada, and is a great resource for hips and core. We spent a whole day on the shoulders with Tony, then another day on hips with Dean. Here are a few take home points that will change what I am doing with my clients:
- I learned how to better assess someone’s shoulders and hips. These assessments alone can help dictate program design.
- Breathing drills are not hokey. I witnessed with my own eyes how you could get more mobility or range of motion in someone’s shoulders or hips without even stretching. Breathing can help reset your posture and activate your core. I’ve tried this with a few clients that have shoulder pain, and it made it better!
- I got great information on how to program design for the “computer guy” vs. “meathead”. There are variables to consider for exercise selection based on their different postures.
- I learned how to better coach clients through lots of different exercises. I learned that external cues are more effective than internal cues. For example, to get your spine positioned correctly before doing a squat, I used to say tilt your pelvis posteriorly (nobody know what that means unless they have my background). Using a cue like “bring your belt buckle towards your chin” is more effective.
- Not everyone should or could squat “a$$ to grass”. Not everyone has the same hips, structurally speaking, and therefore stretching will not get them deeper into a squat because bone is hitting bone. If it’s not a structure problem why someone can’t squat deep, then it’s a motor control problem, which is probably core related.
I felt like I drank from a fire hydrant all weekend, but it was totally worth it. I took great notes and have been studying them so that I can put all that knowledge into application. I’m looking forward to all the benefits my clients will get from what I learned.