Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Let's Run To Get In Shape? Slow Down On That Idea....

Putting the right foot forward

Starting off on the wrong one can make you trip

Ok, Enough with the puns. My favorite spring pastime, besides baseball, is observing the new runners out there. Yes, you have seen them too:

You see, there are four really important parts to running:
  1. Posture - good spine control while running is important
  2. Cadence - how often and at what frequency you strike the ground
  3. Midfoot - too much heel is bad for your back, too much toe is prancing!
  4. Lean - proper placement of center of gravity
Not everyone has the proper form for running, but believes it is an easy and economical way to lose weight. But it's not when done incorrectly. It can become a huge expense and burden on ones time to heal from running injuries.

The number of injuries per 1000 people is pretty low, but the chronic injuries can reoccur  in a half to two thirds of runners reporting injuries. Runners World had a pretty comprehensive article on many of the injuries that can occur while running and how to best avoid them. You can find it at this link.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A New, Five-Minute Workout!

The Best Thing About Five Minute Workouts...

...Is That You Can Do As Many Rounds As You Want!

Exercise #1 Body Saw

You'll need a little bit of equipment for this, like Glidders or any furniture mover, or even just a towel if you are on hardwood.
Start off in a solid plank position (I discussed good form for planks in an earlier post).
Extend your forearms forward to slide backwards and tuck your hips under you so as not to squeeze your low back for balance. You abs and lats should start to become more active and you should bring your shoulder blades to the front of your body as you extend the arms to engage your lats even further.
Pay particular attention to how his shoulder blades come forward to stabilize the body. Proceed through this exercise slowly for :30 seconds

Exercise #2 Opposite Side Toe Touches

From the plank position, raise up into a straight arm plank. Swing your left leg under your body as straight as possible until you can touch your left foot's toes with your right hand. Repeat with right leg to left hand.
You can go as fast or as slow as you like. Always pull the abs up and in to support your back. Repeat this movement for :30 seconds

Exercise #3 Burpees

I think this says it all! The ever popular squat thrust!
Do as many as you can in one minute.

Exercise #4 Alligator Push-Ups

Drop back down to the ground and perform a solid push-up. Then walk one hand forward and perform another push up with your hands staggered. Hop the other hand forward and perform another staggered push up. Scuttle along the floor like an alligator
Keep this up for one minute!

Exercise #5 Roll Up Squat Hop

Starting on your back, roll onto your shoulders (building momentum), then rock back to your feet, and finish with a jump hop. A mat is really helpful for this or some decent carpeting.
Keep rocking and rolling for one minute!

Exercise #6 Quick Switch CrossOver Lunges

A crossover lunge just means to cross the plane of your opposite leg moving laterally. Step forward and across your body, then return to start and switch to step to the other side. Pick up some speed and perform this for :30 seconds

Exercise #7 Crab Crawl Toe Touch

Finish off the workout with a crab crawl position and, with hips off of the floor, alternate touching your toes.
Do these for :30 seconds!

Want a tougher workout? Do another round, or two, or three, or however many!

Here's a couple of my other workouts:

And To Reward Yourself: High Protein Chocolate Mousse!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Opening Day Exercises

This week was the more official opening day of major league baseball, which used to not happen until April 1 for about a century. In honor of the historic opening day, I've put together a workout for those of you who play or would like to play baseball or softball.

Power and Explosion instead of Endurance and Strength

When thinking of baseball, the first thing that should come to mind is that everyone is just standing there and then need to jump into action! Here's a few exercises to put some spring in your step for baseball or softball

Lateral Ladder Drills: 

Working on lateral movements is really important because not everything in this game comes right at you.
For this workout, if you have a ladder, then use it like you see in the video.
If you don't have a ladder, you can still do this.
Take ten lateral steps leading with your left (or until you finish the ladder) and then turn and straight sprint 15 yards. Repeat leading with your right, finishing with the sprint.
Perform this for each side 5 times

Medicine Ball Tosses:

This excellent video from Eric Cressey shows you how to build power through your hips- perfect for either throwing or hitting.
Repeat this drill 20 times for each side.
If you don't have a medicine ball, just throw something else. It's about building speed and power, so the weight isn't as important

(Landmine) Lunge Press:

This is a great exercise for transfer of power from leg to arm. You can do this at the gym with the landmine press, or at home with a small weight.

Reverse lunge and then press overhead with the opposite arm ten times per leg.

Jump Squat (or Box Jump):

This exercise helps build explosive power through the legs. You can do this with or without the box.
Perform 20 box jumps or jump squats, each time dropping the legs to above parallel (no need to deep squat).

Indoor Defensive Drills (for when it rains):

 This video has some great ideas for indoor practices, working on fielding balls, and other drills that don't require a field to perfect.


It goes without saying that better performance goes hand in hand with better nutrition. Make sure you are getting enough protein (I wrote about this), eat good carbohydrates before games (did this too!), and avoid processed and fried foods (empty calories).

See you on the field!