Over the last few years I’ve been fortunate to have had opportunities to attend a couple courses from the Prague School of Rehabilitation on “DNS” or Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization. If you’re not familiar, DNS uses developmental kinesiology (how the motor cortex of babies develops and how this is expressed in the development of their movement patterns) as a model for viewing human movement. While much of the application of these principles, in my opinion, is better relegated for rehabilitation purposes (and often with special populations), there are many key concepts that are important in the strength and conditioning/athletic development process.  Charlie Weingroff has done an outstanding job in describing how many DNS concepts apply to the S&C professionals in his DVDs Training = Rehab, Rehab = Training. You can check out a couple previous posts reviewing the DVDs here:

  1. Training = Rehab, Rehab = Training
  2. Training = Rehab, Rehab = Training Grand Finale

Charlie Weingroff: Training=Rehab Rehab=Training

Among the many applicable concepts, DNS breaks down patterns into ipsilateral/turning or contralateral/crawling distinctions, which can essentially be used as buckets to describe every movement, and discusses muscle roles as being “phasic” (think movement) or “tonic” (think support or postural), depending on the task at hand. Utilizing these concepts, I modified a couple common exercises and developed a highly integrated core exercise. As a quick disclaimer, it’s possible (read: likely) that someone else has already done this exercise, so I’m in no way taking credit for its “invention”, but it was a new idea for me!

Eric Tangradi performing the Short Side Plank w/ Kettlebell Screwdriver

There is a lot going on with this exercise, but a few of the highlights:

  1. Utilizes a modified mid-position from the ipsilateral turning position described by DNS (and demonstrated by every healthy baby)
  2. Tonic scap stability work through the bottom shoulder and phasic scap/rotator cuff work through the top shoulder
  3. Lateral hip and core (e.g. lateral subsystem as described by Thomas Myers, among others) work on the bottom side
  4. A component of thoracic rotation, which can often become restricted and performance-limiting in hockey players

Turning Baby

Give that baby a kettlebell

This exercise can also be performed with the top knee off the ground, which would add a greater element of external rotation at that hip, but potentially limit the thoracic rotation component. In Ultimate Hockey Training, I provide exercise progressions and lateral substitutions for a number of different subsections of “core training”, including Lateral Hip, Lateral Core, Scap Musculature, and the Rotator Cuff. I like this exercise because it integrates all of these aspects of core training into one exercise, which can save time, but ultimately is a more functional option.

If you’re ready to progress on from traditional side planks and ready for a challenge, give this one a shot. As always, if you have any questions feel free to post them below!

To your success,

Kevin Neeld
UltimateHockeyTraining.com

P.S. If you like this exercise, I posted two of my other new favorite core exercises over at Hockey Strength and Conditioning to accompany the dozens of innovative exercise videos that have already been posted there! Not to mention all the articles, programs, and hockey-specific forum threads!

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If you’ve been reading my site for the last couple of years, you know that I have a great deal of respect for Charlie Weingroff. He’s incredibly bright, and has a truly unique perspective on the rehabilitation to performance training continuum. He continues to be a go-to resource for me as I dig deeper down the rabbit holes of performance enhancement, manual therapy, etc. Last week Mike Ranfone from Ranfone Training Systems interviewed Charlie. I really enjoyed the article so I asked if I could respost it for you guys, which RTS kindly allowed. Check out the interview below. Also, as a reminder, Charlie is doing a two-day seminar at RTS in Hamden, Connecticut October 27-28. This is a great opportunity for folks on the East Coast to learn from one of the brightest guys out there. I’m hoping to make it up, even though this is my only free weekend for the next two months! Check out this link for more information: Charlie Weingroff at Ranfone Training Systems

One of my favorite resources of all time.

New Interview with Charlie Weingroff

Mike Ranfone of RTS sits down with for a rare and insightful interview with one of the brightest minds in physical therapy and strength and conditioning, Charlie Weingroff.

RTS– So you’re a DPT, ATC, and a CSCS. Obviously you have the academic/professional credentials, but how about some insight into your own training and accomplishments?

CW: In terms of my own training, I’m sure just like everybody else, I’ve got some gym lifts that I might think are pretty good. But I don’t have anything that nobody else can’t top pretty readily. I am certainly proud of making Elite @ 220 with an 800 Squat, 510 Bench, 605 Dead. I have no clue what I weighed because for a little while, I never bothered trying to make weight. For that meet, I weighed in in full heavy sweats @ like 213 and sneakers, so I couldn’t have been more than 205 for that meet. I was also wearing Ace Briefs and an IPF Squatter, which is much less gear than most guys wear in Multi-Ply.


Some of the lifts I am most proud of are my first 43” box jump, which took me 6 tries to nail, the Van Dam split, 595 ATG raw squat, and Olympic 400m sprinter Tyrone Ross eyeballing a 40 @ around 5 flat….and yes, I was actually the one running.
And of course I dumped 675 to my knees on my final warmup 1 meet when I lost 9 pounds without knowing, I got pinned with 936, gave up a goal from the red line against St. Joe’s-Montvale my sophomore year, finished dead last in the tire toss in a Strongman, and got caught in a run down on a botched Suicide Squeeze. That was embarrassing.

RTS– Knowing what you know and doing what you do, how have you been successful in integrating all of your disciplines and where do you see most people/coaches missing the mark on how to effectively train/rehab?

  1. No one wants to be told what NOT to do.

CW: I get it. I really do. It’s just human nature to not be told what to do, or especially what not to do. People want to be shown all these exercises or techniques that they “can do when they back in the clinic or gym on Monday.” I said on my DVD that everybody just wants the house. Gimme the keys, show me the front door, and let me have it. I’ll do everything you say, just show me.

Well, the fact of the matter is that there is so much good that we can do in terms of exercise or manual therapy selection, program design, coaching cues, that being told what to do nothing more amounts to “Hey, here’s how I do it.” That’s not teaching. That’s showing.

I see folks missing the major messages of general principles and rejecting messages of restriction in favor of off the wall, crazy exercises that defy the logic that got us all to the dance.

2. Training others with personal bias. Ours or Theirs.
When we train ourselves, we can do whatever we want. Like I suggested above, I get human nature. I know my shoulder hurts more when I bench a lot, but guess what? I still bench a lot. And when my shoulder feels better, or one day when I need surgery, I am going to be driven to get back to holding 5 wheels over my face. Coach Boyle would slap me sideways for this approach. But I am honest to myself and my own vices. I get it. I respect my emotional attachments.

But I’ll be damned if I am going to push my own lunacy onto someone that trusts me with their most sacred thing on Earth, their body. If they trust me, if they trust you, they deserve best practice. Best practice means they don’t always get to do what they want. They don’t get to do what we like. They get to do what is absolutely the best. There are few other expert service professions where the customer gets to decide what they get. Look how jacked up the food industry is.

Just because you’ve learned something from someone supposedly credible, or you don’t understand what someone a lot smarter than you is talking about, this just means you need to dig deeper into accepting or rejecting a new message. I don’t find this optional. We must give people what they want, yes………, but in the context of what they need.

    1. Giving up.

Lots of people complain. I complain. In our profession, people complain even more when they are exposed. They rationalize. They try to explain why they are doing what they are doing even though it is painfully clear what they are doing is bullshit.

Well, the last thing I think folks are missing the boat on is simply not trying, and maybe risking, to find a new atmosphere or environment in which to be great. The client or patient population, rules of the facility, business model, etc. are not letting them be who they want to be. Rather than gameplan how to use the current situation as a launching pad to something better, they piss and moan and reject messengers that call them out on the mediocrity of their practice.
Whatever or get off the pot. And guess what? There are people a lot smarter than you. Do what they do, not what you feel like doing.

RTS– I’ve heard you state that increasing muscular contractility is “where the money ‘s at”, or basically learn to contract the muscles harder. Do you mind expanding on that as long as it doesn’t imply squatting on a swiss ball?

CW: There are 2 major ways in which we can stronger. One is through physiological means. This would include all of the local adaptations to muscle tissue that will yield more force production.

But the other major way we can get stronger is by learning how to contract your muscles harder. This can be thought of as neurological strength, and there are many, many ways to access this. This is perhaps the overwhelming principle taught in the RKC School of Strength, how to access the maximum strength that the muscle is capable of. Part of this is ground in neurophysiologically through motor unit recruitment, but it is also taking advantage of joint centration, irradiation, and superstiffness. Contracting muscles harder and using neurological inhibition drives the initial lift and then the training drives the easier approach to physiology.

Examples are keying into certain forms of choice to move the bar, contracting more muscles in a particularly pattern, and gripping harder onto the bar or bell as well as the contacts to the floor.

RTS– And this (previous answer) is important regardless of your chosen endeavor? Bodybuilding, athletics, etc.

CW: I’ve just found that because it is typically undertrained in most training populations and it has a much higher potential for adaptation, training the neuromuscular approaches has an amazing yield.

The bottom line is when you train with the neurological methods, you can lift more weight. And when you lift more weight, you are going to get whatever you are looking for, strength, hypertrophy, metabolic demand, minimal dose for maximal effect, etc. This is more anecdotal, but I think accessing the neurological mechanisms yields a neurological system that is less insulted from training and is likely in a better state of preparedness to come back for another workout. This isn’t quite evidence-based, and everyone will be a little different along with preparedness being linked to training volume and intensity. I do think applying joint centration, irradiation, and PNF may pink line some things to the CNS that are typically red.

RTS– Core pendulum theory and joint by joint approach sounds like pretty advanced theories, are they only applicable to elite athletes or can they be utilized by any coach, athlete, therapist?

CW: I think these messages are applicable to all facets of training or rehab and for all individuals. They are explanations that give us guidance to the What, Why, and How of improving and restoring qualities. I mentioned before that I am dismayed when trainers and clinicians just want the “house.” I think the Joint by Joint and Core Pendulum are the blueprints of the house. Understanding these principles can allow you to make up your own movement screens, tests, and assessments, and choose the most ideal approach to manual therapy and exercise. I think they are for everybody.

RTS– Other than your upcoming seminar @ RTS on Oct. 27-28, do you haven any big projects or plans coming up?

CW: I still have several big talks and seminars throughout the rest of this year, and I’m sure I’ll be adding things as they come up. I am very much committed to a rehab and training mentorship probably in the 4th quarter, and we will probably film the training portion as a follow up to the first DVD. We are closing in on 1000 copies sold, so I tend to think there’s interest there. I am always excited for how Nike Sparq Performance is growing, and how all of our roles may change as we grow.

Don’t miss your chance to see Charlie Weingroff present his ideas in person at Ranfone Training Systems on Oct. 27-28! Click on the link below for more details.

CHARLIE WEINGROFF SEMINAR

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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Following Monday’s post on Training Around Femoroacetabular Impingement, I got this email from a fellow coach:

Dear Kevin,

I really enjoyed your webinar about assessment and totally agree with most of it. Congrats on your great work.

I have few questions:

1) When you mentioned the Tyler et al study you talked about that maybe skating could change the length-tension curve to the right and said that could be good to work the adductors in shorter length. Can you explain better this concept please?

2) If I understand this well, if an athlete has excessive anterversion or retroversion, it is not good to work end range right?

3) I am excited to know how you program a prevention plan for adductor strains as I read that you reduced these injuries in your athletes over the last couple of years: probably a multifactorial approach right?

Thanks!

First off, I appreciate the kind words and the inquiry for more information. Q&A’s make for great articles because usually a lot of readers/listeners will have the same questions and explanations can help clear things up for everyone. With regards to these questions specifically:

1) As a muscle’s length changes, so does its ability to produce force. Every muscle, and every joint due to the collective influence of all the muscles that cross it will have a point in the ROM where it can produce a peak force.

Length-Tension Curve

As the figure illustrates, during active tension (neurally-driven muscular contraction) the force producing ability of the structure will change in a U-shaped fashion, so that there is an optimal length for maximal force production and a decreased ability to produce force at shorter and longer lengths. This force producing ability coincides with the quantity of overlapping sarcomeres. While this figure, and most of its kind, represent the behavior of an isolated muscle fiber, when tension is represented relative to joint angle, a similar curve presents.

Muscles will adapt to the demands placed on them. Simply, this means that muscles trained in shorter lengths will shift their peak tension toward shorter lengths (to the left on the figure above), whereas muscles trained in longer lengths will shift their peak tension toward longer lengths (to the right). Because the adductors are under maximal tension toward the end of forward skating stride, where they are required to decelerate a high velocity hip extension, abduction, and external rotation at near maximal lengths, I’m suggesting that the high volumes of skating characteristic of most hockey players causes the strength of the adductors to shift to the right, toward longer lengths. As a result, these muscles will test weak if tested in a shortened position.

A great demonstration of a typical forward skating stride position

In the Tyler et al study (The association of hip strength and flexibility with the incidence of adductor muscle strains in professional ice hockey players), they assessed adductor strength in a sidelying position with the hip adducted so that the foot was ~12 inches off the table. They assessed abductor strength with the leg positioned slightly above horizontal. In my opinion, this biases the adductors significantly further to the left on their length-tension curve. This certainly isn’t to discount the results of their study, but I believe their results are more indicative of identifying players who have experienced the shift in peak tension more so than a true strength imbalance. In either case, the training initiative is to restore adductor strength in shortened lengths, a strategy that the same research group demonstrated efficacy with in a follow-up study.

2) Forcefully driving through end range is never good, but that’s not the whole story. When a player hits end range and still needs additional range of motion to complete the movement, they’re going to continue their momentum at another joint, usually an adjacent one. This isn’t a “compensation” per se, it’s just what the body needs to do to achieve the end goal. Knowing whether the athlete has excessive ante- or retroversion will be helpful in ensuring that we avoid forceful end range, but it also gives us a better understanding of what foot positions correspond with a neutral hip position. Typically a slight toe-out position puts the hips in a neutral alignment. If an athlete has severely anteverted hips, a slight toe out could be near end-range hip external rotation for them, which will effect their movement quality, especially in rotation-based movements.

Just as importantly, understanding version angles will provide insight into probable pathological compensations. Continuing with the example of an athlete with severely anteverted hips, pushing backward with their foot at a ~45° angle to skate forward requires a great deal of external rotation of the stride leg, which this athlete will not have. Because external rotation is linked with a tendency for the femoral head to translate anteriorly, it’s reasonable to be suspicious of athletes with excessive anteversion also presenting with anterior hip capsule laxity and/or hip flexor pain/weakness. To use the Postural Restoration Institute’s parlance, we can build in exercises meant to improve the function of “ligamentous muscle”, which simply means using muscles to help reinforce ligamentous integrity/function.

3) The prevention of all injuries requires a multi-factorial approach. Everything we do is leading us closer to or further away from optimal. This is one of the reasons why Charlie Weingroff’s DVD set Training = Rehab, Rehab = Training resonated so much with me. It’s all the same. We’re seeking to improve quality, and then gain capacity by systematically adding quantity. Breakdowns occur with excessive quantity and/or poor quality.

One of the best resources for performance training and rehabilitation professionals ever created

In more specific regards to adductor injuries, we have made a few simple program adaptations for high-risk athletes that has had a profound difference on the incidence and recurrence of these injuries. I don’t think these changes, in isolation, are the solution, but I think they fit into our overall system well to create the response we we’re after. I wrote an article detailing this approach about a year ago for Hockey Strength and Conditioning that you can find here: A New Approach to Handling “Groin” Strains

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. If you missed the webinar that these questions are in reference to, you can check it out at either (or both) of two of my favorite sites:  Strength and Conditioning Webinars, Sports Rehab Expert

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The Endeavor staff just started a new training program last week, and it has been absolutely brutal. David was quoted saying, “this is the last time I let you write our program.”

Volume. My worst enemy.

I was quoted saying, “uh…ah…oh…I hope I don’t throw up on myself.” In brighter news, I have some great info for you today. Before I get to that, I want to let you know about an upcoming event that I’m really excited to attend.

My friend Joe Dowdell is probably the best strength and conditioning coach you’ve never heard of. Unlike the guys that preach, but don’t practice, Joe has been quietly developing his systems over the last 17 years and has built one of the U.S.’s top training facilities in Peak Performance NYC. In fact, Men’s Health voted Peak the “Hottest Gym in America.” Joe and I spoke for an hour on Monday and, in a nutshell, he’s going to start revealing the secrets to his success, both from a training and a business standpoint. He’s kicking it off with a webinar called: The 5 Key Ingredients to Building a Successful Fitness Business & Career.

This may not appeal to all of you depending on your situation, but I grabbed a spot and am really looking forward to it so I wanted to share it with you. Joe is a great guy and his success speaks for itself, so I’m sure we could all pick up on a thing or two to help us do our jobs a little more effectively.  Go to the link below to read more about:

>> The 5 Key Ingredients to Building a Successful Fitness Business & Career <<

Moving on to today’s content…

A lot of times “new” training information will come out and a group of people will start regurgitating it with a sense of evangelical enthusiasm. Unfortunately, it tends to be the people with the least profound comprehension that have the loudest voices (more on this in last week’s post: Internet Hockey Training Experts). The “experts” that don’t actually train people aside, some people just catch wind of something and don’t understand the context in which it’s meant to be interpreted.

One example of this is when a lot of the strength and conditioning world started getting into Stuart McGill’s lower back research. I think it’s fair to credit Mike Boyle with really bringing McGill’s work to the forefront of the training industry. Although McGill’s work is incredibly extensive (if you actually read his research!), the major interpretations that came out of what people interpreted his work to say were:

  1. We shouldn’t flex at the lumbar spine during exercise
  2. We shouldn’t rotate through the lumbar spine

The implications for these messages will differ depending on your setting, but the most important thing to note is that NOTHING IN HUMAN PERFORMANCE IS BLACK OR WHITE!

McGill’s research demonstrated that a certain number of flexion/extension cycles would lead to a lumbar disc herniation. This research was performed on unsupported pig spines.

How will I maintain my six-pack without crunches!

In other words, in this experimental model, there was essentially no ligamentous or muscular support to attenuate (reduce) the force being transmitted through the spinal column. This is an important limitation to the implications of McGill’s findings. This isn’t to say that they should be completely dismissed. In fact, I think McGill’s findings in this area specifically shed a lot of light on the insanity that is the common practice of sitting for 18 hours/day and then rolling onto the floor to bang out a few hundred crunches. That is stupid, and no one should do it. It also highlights the importance of being able to dissociate hip and lumbar movement so that people don’t unnecessarily flex and load through the lumbar spine, when they should be flexing and loading through the hips.

On the other hand, for people that spend the majority of their day in upright positions, have decent posture and generally don’t subject themselves to significant amounts of prolonged spinal flexed postures and the associated tissue creep, using some spinal flexion exercises intermittently probably isn’t the worst thing in the world. The reason you haven’t heard me mention this stance much (if ever) here is because this applies to a very small percentage of the population and therefore shouldn’t be made as a general recommendation. In other words, I recognize the room for misinterpretation in saying “crunches are good” or “crunches are bad” and would rather err on the side of being safer for a larger audience than the alternative.

That said, there is a very fundamental principle that the body abides by-use it or lose it! If you never flex or extend at the lumbar spine, eventually you will lose this range of motion and the neuromuscular control of the ROM, which will have negative implications for your overall health and performance. This isn’t to say that you need to program flexion/extension exercises into your program, only that these movements are available for a reason and that you shouldn’t go out of your way to never move at the lumbar spine. As Charlie Weingroff pointed out in Training = Rehab Rehab = Training, there is a difference between movement and exercise. What is good for a movement isn’t necessarily good to hammer with load or volume in your training programs.

Charlie is a genius.

A similar thing can be said about lumbar rotation. Because of the structure of the lateral processes of the lumbar spine, rotation in this area is EXTREMELY limited (~13 degrees). In contrast, the thoracic spine is more appropriately built for rotary movements (~70 degrees). Again, this information should cause some people to stop doing 300 reps of Russian twists during their “core” work, but it certainly doesn’t mean the lumbar spine shouldn’t rotate at all. Repetitively and forcefully driving loaded lumbar rotation through end range is stupid. Rotating within the lumbar spine’s given rotation range of motion is not.

In fact, telling someone to never rotate through their lumbar spine at all is flat-out dangerous. If you’re rotating through the thoracic spine, you want a clean continuation of the rotation through the spinal column. If you cue someone to consciously stop the rotation at some point along the column (e.g. T12/L1), they’ll lose the rotation ROM below that point. Although the rotation below this point is not very substantial, it’s still quite important. A loss of ROM at any point will cause a compensatory increase in range of motion at some other point in the pathway. In this case, it’s likely to be higher up the spinal column. In other words, the conscious cessation of ANY lumbar rotation ROM will cause a lumbar HYPOmobility (less ROM), which will result in a thoracic HYPERmobility (too much ROM), neither of which are desirable.

WAIT! Do NOT rotate through your lumbar spine! I don’t care how unnatural it feels to stop spinal rotation segmentally.

I can’t emphasize enough that I’m NOT saying to go back to archaic core training methods of doing thousands of crunches, sit-up, leg throwdowns, Russian Twists, etc. We’ve come a long way in our understanding of the true function of the core and going back to these things as a primary training modality would be unacceptably regressive. The point is that every exercise recommendation has a context and you can’t overlook that in making recommendations or judging the recommendations of others. Are lumbar flexion and rotation great exercise choices for the majority of the population? Certainly not. But they are necessary movement capacities that everyone should maintain and learn to control. When people take a completely black or white outlook on movement concepts, people usually end up hurt. It’s important to understand the context in which information is being conveyed before spreading it on a massive scale.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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Happy Valentine’s Day to all the happy couples out there! And for the singles, don’t be so bitter; your day will come.

I love my job. I couldn’t picture myself working anywhere else. People ask me all the time if I have an interest in pursuing collegiate or professional strength and conditioning, and my answer changes frequently. I have a hard time imagining a better situation than the one I’m in now.

With that in mind, here are 5 of my favorite things about Endeavor:

5) Demonstrating Proper Inner Core Function
One of the big take-homes from Charlie Weingroff’s Training = Rehab Rehab = Training DVD set was that we need to pay more attention to inner core function/activation. The two primary means of doing this are through diaphragm activation and packing the neck, which has led our coaches to yelling things like “get fat” and “more chins.”

Most of our clients, like most people in general nowadays, have some degree of a forward head posture, making the “packed neck” posture feel extremely unnatural. Getting everyone to do this, all the time, has been an uphill battle for our coaches. I’ve gone as far as putting a Lynx grip under someones chin and telling them to “crush it back and don’t let it drop” while they were doing push-ups. When one of our athletes get it without my constant reinforcement, it really lights my lamp.

More Chins = More Friends at Endeavor

4) The Staff
I’ve mentioned in the past how lucky I am to have the supporting cast I do. Everyone I work with is equally as passionate, motivated, and driven as I am, which creates an outstanding work environment and fosters continuing education and overall job happiness.

Our newest addition, Matt Siniscalchi, is a really bright, hungry young coach, and we’ve been lucky to have him as part of our staff. Matt was basically born, raised, and continues to live in the ’80s. He, while current on his athletic development information, seems to be completely oblivious to recent (last 20-30 years) changes in music and fashion, which has earned him the name “Coach Jorts” around Endeavor.


“The more faded the jorts, the better”

Matt was disappointed to learn recently that he was the only remaining owner of jorts in the country. For more information on Matt, check out his site Coach Jorts Training (I’ve learned just enough about websites to buy hilarious URL’s and point them at my co-workers existing sites)

3) The Location
New Jersey houses a special breed of people. While I think all the TV shows in NJ’s honor may over-exaggerate some of the cultural tendencies, there is a certain level of contagiousness present here that can’t be avoided.

For example, when David Lasnier first joined us from Montreal, Quebec, his experience in the U.S. was minimal and in New Jersey non-existent. His first few months here, he was a walking poster child for functional training. He would talk about things like training the rotator cuff for dynamic stabilization using perturbations, the collective importance of acknowledging foot and hip issues when addressing single-leg stability and/or knee pain, and the role of inner core function in inside-out stabilization. The other week, I was sitting in my office when I heard this terrible sound coming from the gym. It…it was Bon Jovi, which is strictly forbidden in my facility. I quietly snuck out, and what I found was shocking.

Observe the new David Lasnier, in his natural habitat…

Arm work? Rolled up sleeves? Grunting? It was inevitable. He assimilated.

2) The Clients
The way we design and run programs at Endeavor is pretty different from the other options out there, especially in our area. As a result, most of the athletes we get aren’t accustomed to our philosophies or systems. We’ve been fortunate to attract a predominantly well-mannered, optimistic, hard working group of athletes over the last couple years. Most of our athletes buy in immediately to our way of doing things and really excel when they do so. While I take pride in all of the successes of our athletes, a few things that really make me proud are:

1. When one of our younger and/or less coordinated athletes demonstrates proficiency in learning new movement patterns (e.g. hip hinge, lumbar stabilization, single-leg stability, shoulder packing, etc.)

2. When female athletes move heavy weights. We’ve had a few middle school and early high school girls do DB Reverse Lunges with between 45-55s for 4-6 reps/side. With all the misinformation about what females should be doing in terms of strength training, I like the “go for it” attitude these young girls demonstrate.

3. When anyone uses chalk. Lifting without chalk is insane. I recognize it’s messy, but it’s worth it. As with the above, when a younger or female athlete goes for the chalk, I think it’s awesome.

Chalking up before a heavy set of lunges!

4. When a parent tells me that their kid leaves our facility looking like a new person. This can be on either an individual session basis or at the conclusion of a few months of training. Sometimes I think the biggest benefit we offer our clients is a huge confidence boost by expanding their conception of their abilities and reinforcing the value of working hard and overcoming adversity.

1) Creativity
When fatigue (read: laziness) reaches a whole new level:

Rambo Rectus Femoris Stretch

No Valentine’s Day post would be complete without a shout-out to Emily. My work at Endeavor frequently requires me to be there early in the morning and/or late at nights. It’s not uncommon for me to be there for 12 hours a day, which means I’m not around at home as much as I should be. She’s been incredibly supportive and understanding throughout my time here.

Nice.

She’s also been an inspiration of sorts, as she was the original founder of the “bird neck syndrome” diagnosis I mentioned here: Shoulder Pain with Pressing Exercises. She’s even been receptive to altering her pre-Kevin workouts to something more in-line with our Endeavor approach, which I know can be a point of contention between people that are passionate about training and significant others that don’t share that passion. Check out her program, recently written by David Lasnier:

I guess it’s necessary to mention that Emily earned the nickname of “Air Balloon Dancer” (ABD) amongst friends….A hint as to why:


Happy Valentine’s Day and check back on Wednesday as I have something important to tell you!

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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