Improve Hamstring Strength - GHD Case Study

Improve Hamstring Strength - GHD Case Study

We introduced a banded ‘reach’ instead of the external load to increase the ability to keep the rib cage back and down (retracted) through serratus anterior engagement. This doubles as an easy way to reduce the ability of the lats to extend the spine, as the serratus anterior directly opposes the lats ability to extend the lower back (read a surplus of information on this topic by S+C GOAT - Eric Cressey). We cued an exhale at the top of the movement to draw the ribs down and pelvis up into relative posterior pelvic tilt through oblique recruitment further reinforcing the ability to control the desire to extend the system and take tension off the hamstrings. This culminated in a very tough set of 5 reps with significantly increased hamstring tension.

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Relative Stiffness

Relative Stiffness

When we actively engage serratus anterior in core/ flexion based drills we effectively shut down the involvement of it’s antagonist muscles, of most note in this example the latissimus dorsi. This increased stiffness created by the serratus anterior effectively shuts down the lats ability to extend the lower back and drive the rib cage anteriorly. This is because the serratus anterior’s function is to shift the rib cage BACK and DOWN relative to the scapluae, the direct opposite effect the lat has on the rib cage of FORWARD and UP (extension of the lumbar spine and lower thoracic spine).

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Where You Are Going Wrong with RPE Training

Where You Are Going Wrong with RPE Training

The common misconception when it comes to training solely with RPE is that there is no direction in your training and that RPE allows certain lifters to ‘undershoot’ when they want training to be easy and other lifters to ‘overshoot’ when they want to training to be hard and heavy. This is subjective use of RPE and is the incorrect use of the programming system. Even when programming is fully autoregulated, using RPE in your program still needs to have a specific goal for each and every session. Overarching goals of the program must always be adhered to with the prescription of the variables and the execution by the lifter, regardless if the prescription is RPE based or percentage based.

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Side Lying Archer

Side Lying Archer

When we look upstream on those who present with shoulder impingement presentations we quite often see a reduced function of one, or all, of these proximal joints. This quite often means that taking the arm through full ranges of overhead movements, as required for the Side Lying Windmill, results in pain at the anterior/ superior shoulder so it is not a great tool to use in these situations.

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What Makes a Joint 'Stable'?

What Makes a Joint 'Stable'?

‘Stability’ is a term thrown around by those in the Strength and Conditioning world without much context, particularly for the athlete that doesn’t have much, if any, anatomical foundation. So today’s blog is to provide the foundational knowledge needed to decipher exactly what ‘stability’ means and what influences joint stability.

To understand ‘Stability’ best we must first define 2 key terms:

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Assessing the Squat

Assessing the Squat

Are the forearms and shins parallel? The wider stance should allow for a deeper, more upright squat. If there is little improvement from assessment 1 you will need further assessments to determine the restriction. We would recommend looking at ankle dorsiflexion and thoracic extension. If there are significant improvements it is more than likely representative of improve core/ hip stability in the wider position and less dorsiflexion requirement.

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The Pull:Push Ratio is WRONG | Jamie Smith

The Pull:Push Ratio is WRONG | Jamie Smith

A fundamental principle of most strength and conditioning programs is the “pull to push ratio”. This principle dictates that you must balance out your pressing volumes with pulling volumes as to not create muscular imbalances within the body.

In theory, this understanding makes sense. If all you do is bench, dumbbell press and half range push ups with no direct rowing or pulling you are on the fast track to shoulder pain and injury. However, when you break down the osteokinematics...

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