After a little break for the Memorial Day weekend, I’m excited to be back this week with our Movement Monday series. I hope you all have been trying out the workouts and have been enjoying them. This week I’ll be doing something a little different. We had the honor today of training the DC Grays Baseball League. The team consists of D1 baseball players from schools across the nation. The boys came in to see how we like to train our baseball players and why our athletes see such incredible success on the field from our programs.
The great thing about the workout we took them through is that the program was not specific to baseball players. I can’t even really say it’s specific to athletes. These movements are ones that all of you – athlete or not – can perform. We started with a simple warm up and then progressed through the exercises below, explaining to them along the way why we perform each one with our athletes. Below, I will take you through the circuits and explain the importance of each movement.
Circuit #1 – Shoulder and Hip Mobility
Jump Rope x 1 minute
Kettlebell Arm Bar x 30-45 secs/arm
Lateral Lunge w/Dowel Rod x 8 R/L
Farmer’s March x 45 secs/arm
At DSP, we rarely train with shoes – including when we’re jumping rope. Jumping rope without shoes helps to warm up the ankles and feet, both of which are very important to perform a lot of different movements. We walked through the Arm Bar in detail with the athletes. The Arm Bar is probably one of the most important exercises for a baseball athlete. The Arm Bar is strengthens the rotator cuff while also improving thoracic mobility. The exercise forces your shoulder to stabilize as you work near your end range of motion while supporting a weight. When performed correctly, it is one of the most effective drills to develop all the qualities that keep your shoulder injury-free. We use the dowel rod for the lateral lunge to help the athlete learn to sit back in their hips while maintaining three points of contact with the dowel rod – sacrum, upper back, and back of the head. This lunge also teaches the athlete how to push off on their outside foot to change directions during athletic movements. The Farmer’s March….well, I’ll get to that one in a bit when I discuss grip strength and shoulder health.
Circuit #2 – Ankle Mobility and Squat Prep
Ankle Mobilization – Ankle Clocks
KB Loaded Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR)
Prying Goblet Squat x 1 minute
1-Arm Rack March 30-45 secs/arm
As I mentioned above, ankle mobilization is important for many reasons. Directional change in athletes; being able to squat and deadlift correctly are just a few reasons. The loaded active straight leg raise is a great way to teach an athlete how to disassociate the lower extremities while maintaining stability in the pelvis and core. We load this to turn the core on a bit more. The prying goblet squat is used to open up the hips and the one arm rack march is an anti-rotational exercise used to stabilize the shoulder and turn on the core.
Circuit #3 – Shoulder and Core Activation
1/2 Kneeling Halo x 20 each way (change direction after 10 reps)
Supine Pallof Press 5 x 10 sec hold
Suitcase Deadlift x 10
Bottoms Up March x 30-45 seconds
The halo should be performed with the head facing straight ahead. As the bell comes behind the head, the head should remain neutral and not move during the movement. For the supine Pallof press, we go with knees bent and legs out at 90 degrees. Spread the knees out and keep the back flat on the floor while performing the move. We walked through the deadlift set up with the Gray’s players today as well. Deadlifting should be performed with the neck neutral through the entire movement! We cue with “shoulder blades back, chin tucked, hips back, and head neutral). Putting the bell down is just as important as bringing it up – if not more important. This trains the eccentric motion of the exercise, which is arguably one of the most important phases of a lift. So on the way down, we cue a 5 second lowering – reversing the movement back down. Bottoms up marches are probably one of my favorites. It’s probably one of the best movements to train grip strength, and boy is it hard! Increasing “core” strength increases strength everywhere else and this leads to increased athleticism, which is exactly what bottoms up KB work does. Holding the kettlebell in an upside down position forces the athlete to stabilize the core to prevent the kettlebell from flopping or changing position. It also helps to develop and accelerate unbelievable grip strength, keeping your shoulders very happy…and healthy!
Strength Workout – Linear Day – Repeat 3 times
Goblet Hold Split Squat x 3 R/L (5 sec count down)
Single Leg Hurdle Hop
1 Arm KB Dead Clean x 3 R/L
Wall Exchange or Ball Drop Sprints (from the bottom of the push up position)
The strength workout starts with a goblet hold split squat, where the athlete holds the bell in a goblet position during the movement. Make sure the bell does not rest against the chest; turn your hip in; tuck your pelvis and drop the knee straight down. The single leg hurdle hop is a reactive movement so the athlete jumps continuously from one hurdle to another. The dead clean is an explosive movement where the bell starts in a deadlift position and is explosively brought up into a clean. Make sure the elbow does not collapse as the bell comes up.
3 Cleans – 3 Push Press – 3 Overhead Reverse Lunge – 5 Swings – 5 RDL’s
Perform all of the exercises on the right and then transfer to the left. Repeat 2 – 3 times.
Enjoy the workout for this week!
Master the Essentials of Kettlebell Lifting and Boost Your Performance
Alexandria, VA – Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification July 22nd