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Written on December 29, 2012 at 8:20 pm, by Eric Cressey
In continuing with our “Best of 2012″ theme to wrap up the year, today, I’ve got the top EricCressey.com videos of the year.
1. Four Must-Try Mobility Drills – This video was part of an article I had published at Schwarzenegger.com. You can check it out here.
2. Cleaning Up Your Chin-up Technique – It’s one of the most popular exercises on the planet, but its technique is commonly butchered. Learn how to avoid the most common mistakes.
3. 8 Ways to Screw Up a Row – Rowing exercises are tremendously valuable for correcting bad posture and preventing injury, but only if they’re performed correctly.
4. My Mock/Impromptu Powerlifting Meet – After being away from competitions for a while, I decided to stage my own “mock” powerlifting meet just to see where my progress stood. I wound up totaling elite (1435 at a body weight of 180.6) in about two hours.
5. Cressey Performance Facility Tour – We moved to a new space within our building back in August, and this was the tour I gave just prior to the doors opening.
Those were my top five videos of the year, but there were definitely plenty more you may have missed. Luckily, you can check them out on my YouTube Channel.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another “Best of 2011″ feature.
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Written on December 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm, by Eric Cressey
It’s been a while since I introduced a mobility exercise of the week, so I figured I’d introduce a new one that we use with a lot of our athletes nowadays.
The alternating lateral lunge with overhead reach gives you all the benefits – adductor length, hip hinge “education,” and frontal plane stability – that you get with a regular lateral lunge variation. However, by adding in the overhead reach, you get a greater emphasis on optimal core stabilization and mobility and stability at the shoulder girdle.
In this position, we’ll coach different athletes with different cues.
If it’s an athlete who is stick in an exaggerated lordotic posture, we’ll cue him to engage the anterior core and keep the ribs down as the arms go overhead.
If it’s a “desk” jockey who is very kyphotic, we may have to actually cue him “chest up” because he’s so rounded over; we have to bring him back to neutral before we even worry much about the anterior core involvement.
If it’s a high school athlete who has really depressed shoulder blades, we will actually cue him to shrug as he raises the arms to complete scapular upward rotation in the top position.
Conversely, if it’s a client is already very upper trap dominant, we may have to cue a bit more posterior tilt of the scapula during the overhead reach.
In other words, this is a great example of how you can take a good exercise and make it even more effective, especially if you individualize coaching cues as much as possible. Try it for a set of five reps per side as part of your warm-up and let me know how it goes!
Looking for more mobility drills like this? Be sure to check out Assess and Correct: Breaking Barriers to Unlock Performance.
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Written on December 7, 2010 at 6:03 am, by Eric Cressey
Today, we have a guest blog from Jim Smith, CSCS, the author of Accelerated Muscular Development 2.0.
I wish I knew then what I know now.
This is one of life’s most cruel jokes. With age comes wisdom (hopefully) and reflection. I often think about going back and changing certain things that happened in my past and how the outcome would have been so different.
I never would have stolen that cop car…
I never would have married a stripper…
I never would have pulled out my own tooth with a pair of pliers…
You know, stuff like that.
When you’re drunk and are hopped up on GHB, you do crazy things. Things that you want to take back; if you could just remember them.
You can’t change the past, you can just move forward, continue to educate yourself and not make the same mistakes again.
Training is the same way. I’m sure if you look back at the stuff “you used to do” in the weight room you’d probably laugh. And that is a good thing. You had to start there to get to where you are now. Progression and working to always be better is the key to success.
I’m no different. I’ve made many mistakes in the weight room not only with my training but the programs of my athletes. I’ve done things that worked and some things that didn’t work. But I kept learning. I kept going to seminars. I kept corresponding with other coaches in the industry. And I got better and learned a few things along the way. Here are a few of those innovations that I know will help you reach your goals in the gym.
Flow is the New Warm-up
Gone are the days of just hitting a few arm crosses and jumping jacks before your workout. Other staples like bodyweight squats and lunges, while very effective, aren’t really time efficient. Also, do they hit every articulation of the lower body for a complete prep?
Imagine this flow:
bodyweight squat => lunge forward right leg => fall into glute stretch
push back to lunge on the right leg => back to bodyweight squat
Repeat on left leg
Or how about this:
inchworm => push-up => push-up plus => inchworm back – Repeat
Now you’re getting the idea. Fast, efficient and encompassing as many movements as possible.
Stiffie or Softie?
When I say stiffie or softie, are you thinking about that Jimmy Johnson commercial for ED? I am! Man his hair is so cool.
We both should be thinking about some of the “tools” we use in the gym. Some tools or implements just aren’t the best choices for certain individuals when performing certain exercises.
Let’s talk about broomsticks. How do we use them? Two immediate examples are broomstick dislocates and broomstick wall squats. Both are great movements to open up the shoulders, chest and upper back as well as the wall squats drilling good squat form. But is the broomstick really the best tool for the job?
When we are talking about individual differences, limitations and mobility, no, it is not. I want you to think about replacing the broomstick with an elastic band.
The elastic band is perfect because it adjusts; it stretches and relaxes according to the individuals limitations. It does NOT force the lifter or athlete into a movement pattern. As the lifter hits a limitation the band stretches and allows the movement to continue while dynamically stretching the limitation. Overhead wall squats with elastic bands are great too for all the same reasons. You’ve probably abandoned dislocates because of how bad they feel with a broomstick. Try out these new variations and you’ll feel the difference.
Learn from my mistakes and continue to evolve with your training. This will ensure you continue to progress and bring efficiency into your workouts. No one wants to spend hours and hours in the gym. But when you are in the gym, you need to most bang for your buck and these new variations will help.
Innovations and versatility like this are what make my new product, Accelerated Muscular Development 2.0, a complete training system. Unlike most programs, it doesn’t just provide 12 weeks of workouts and leave it at that. In addition to giving you two 12 week programs, I also show you how to create your own programs moving forward – which puts you in a position to innovate for yourself and build your own programs.
Years and years of trial and error have led to the creation of the AMD 2.0 program template. It breaks the workout down into its essential components (most programs are missing these pieces) so that each section has its own priority and its own focus. From there, it is very simple. In fact, once you see the template and apply it to your first workout, you will never forget it. It is so easy. And like I said, I have been training for many years and have done a lot of things wrong. I really feel like AMD 2.0 is the next step because anyone can apply the template to whatever program they are on. So as you progress and finish the AMD workouts, you can repeat them or use the template with any program you want to try.
The AMD 2.0 template incorporates soft-tissue work, dynamic warm-ups, the primary workouts, core training and finally a rehab component. If you have purchased other programs, you’ll probably have noticed that you received the primary workouts ONLY. Unfortunately, this isn’t the right way to train. You must prepare your body to workout. Coming into the gym from the car after a long day and not warming up will always have a negative impact on your ability to move, train to your potential and remain injury free over the long term. There is a definite flow to a good workout and if you know how to do it, you can actually cut your workout time down significantly. We are going for high impact and short duration workouts. No one wants to spend 4-5 days a week in the gym with 2 hour workouts. With AMD you’ll have 3 training sessions a week lasting 45min to 1hr. Get in the gym, kill it and get out.
For more information – and a big introductory discount (this week only) with lots of bonuses – check out Accelerated Muscular Development 2.0.