Leaking No More

By Kyle Arsenault CSCS

Over the past few weeks I have presented to you a series of articles that discussed and addressed energy leaks. If you have no clue what I am talking about, and have not yet read Part I, Part II or Part III, I would encourage you to do so before reading the rest of this blog. They cover the most common regions of the body, that when adequately addressed via proper training / exercise, limit faulty movement, making you less susceptible to injury which allows you to achieve maximal results from training (strength and power gain, enhanced speed and agility, fat loss and muscle gain, etc.).

I will let you check those out in depth, but I know many of you do not have the time right now. So for an extremely quick recap…you have to properly train the core / trunk, hips (butt/glutes, lateral rotators, etc.) and thoracoscapulohumeral region (upper back, shoulder blade and shoulder) to ensure proper movement and limit energy lost during training and/or sport (these are the most common regions but not exclusive!).

When you do so through proper training, energy leaks are “plugged” through efficient movement. The timing and strength of the muscles that move the joints are optimized leaving you with efficient movement, enhanced strength and greater power. Not to mention a higher level of coordination, balance, mobility, stability and more. When all of these parameters are improved, you will experience a greater level of injury prevention, enhanced overall athleticism, and when nutrition is taken care of, a physique that the Greek Gods would be jealous of (or Goddesses for the ladies)!

So let’s take a quick look at a before and after example of a Momentum Athlete who fixed his energy leaks and addressed his nutrition with a specialized program that combined principles of both physical therapy, strength and conditioning and performance based nutrition. That’s what I call true performance training!!

Meet Steve, Milford High School quarterback and pitcher.  Steve came to Momentum with a history of shoulder pain; not good when your sports require you to perform repeated high velocity overhead throws (tossing a football and pitching a baseball).

Steve Before: shoulder pain, decreased performance

Steve After 2 Months of Performance Training with Momentum PT: pain free, athletic and 15lbs heavier!

Conventional lifting (at the gym with his buddies) was causing Steve to further exacerbate his issues and the advice he had heard from others about “strengthening his rotator cuff” was flawed.  What Steve needed was to fix his energy leaks, from the core and hips to the thoracoscaupulohumeral junction.

While targeting Steve’s shoulder was definitely a piece to the puzzle, if Steve did not fix his other weaknesses (energy leaks) he would have continued to experience pain, decreased performance and significant injury.  Without addressing the other energy leaks and movement faults, Steve’s shoulder would have continued to fall victim of the demands of his sport and his flawed movement. Eventually Steve would have experienced back pain, knee pain, elbow pain and more… common symptoms that precede injury and limit performance.

Don’t be left banging your head against the wall with poor training

But with the programming, coaching and guidance from Momentum, Steve utilized his outstanding work ethic and dedication and built himself a body that every athlete should strive for. He targeted his energy leaks throughout his entire body, leaving him with a body that is pain free, strong, powerful and one that utilizes efficient movement for optimal performance…not to mention 15lbs heavier due to a little extra lean mass (yep, 15lbs of MUSCLE in 2 months). He improved his movement, is the strongest he has ever been, is pitching at the highest velocity he has ever pitched and continues to feel great.

Athletes must address their weaknesses by” plugging” their energy leaks with an individualized training program. When they do so results are more than favorable and will provide them with the greatest opportunity to succeed in sport and life. That is what true performance training delivers, and is what every athlete (competitive and recreational alike) has the right to experience. So fix those leaks and experience pure performance!

Free Performance Nutrition Handouts and Thank You

The Momentum PT Team would like to again thank everyone who attended the Youth Sports Nutrition Seminar March 21st and last night at Momentum. We shared tons of great information regarding performance based nutrition, and we were excited about all of the questions and input from the participants.

We also wanted to thank you for your donations to the Sharon Timlin Race for ALS research. For more information on how you can support this great cause please go here http://www.sharontimlinrace.org/. It is an amazing event packed with fun events that supports a great cause! Again we thank you.

With your help, between the two seminars we raised $300. And even better, Momentum has decided to match the $300 received from the attendees!! A total donation of $600 will be made to the Sharon Timlin Race for ALS. 

Its Always a Good Time to Give

The Momentum Team also wanted to thank you for your dedication to learning about how nutrition, along with proper performance training, can help keep your youth athlete from free from injury, healthy and performing at an optimal level.

 Winning Nutrition – Fueling Your Body for Performance and Success (Kids)

We know there was a lot of information covered last night! But don’t worry…in order to help you remember it all and quickly apply the information we have provided the handouts presented last night below. Utilize them and if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Never enough information…just need a way to retain it all!! Click the links below.

Meal and Snack Recipes

Protein Shake Construction Guide

Better Options for Common Foods

Glycemic index (Sugars)

If you would like more information and many more easy charts you can apply immediately regarding nutrition, training, daily activities and more check out The Other 23 Hours E-Book. When you take care of your entire day, optimal health and enhanced performance are inevitable. Find out how with The Other 23 Hours E-Book.

Any feedback about the seminar would be great and much appreciated. Please leave a comment on Facebook and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter (to the right of the screen) in order to receive notification about free information that covers performance training, nutrition and much more!

THANK YOU!!!

Are You Leaking Part III

By Kyle Arsenault CSCS

In Part I and Part II of this series I informed you about energy leaks, how they can lead to decreased performance and how, when they are neglected, will often lead to injuries that could have been prevented through proper training. If you haven’t read Part I and Part II, I suggest you do so before continuing with Part III.

 

From Part I to Part II the focus moved up the kinetic chain from the hip to the core, and in this piece I am going to travel a bit further north and discuss the thoracic, scapular and humeral region (upper back, shoulder blade and shoulder, which I will refer to as the thoracoscapulohumeral region).

Like the hip and core, the thoracoscapulohumeral region is a “junction” that requires an adequate amount of stability in order to efficiently transfer energy from one point to another. While many would have you believe that it is the lack of mobility at the shoulder that limits performance and increases your chances for potential shoulder/elbow injuries (sometimes it definitely is), it is more often the lack of stability at the thoracoscapular junction (upper back and shoulder blade)  that causes improper movement and the resulting symptoms at the shoulder and elbow.

The scapula (shoulder blade) is a zone of attachment for nearly 20 muscles, all of which have influence on the movement that takes place within the region.

 

With so many muscles influencing the movement (both stability and mobility), it is no wonder that there is a high instance for improper movement. Commonly, the scapula is not positioned or moving correctly, and therefore the rotator cuff and other muscles that control movement at the shoulder cannot adequately function.

With an unstable and “leaking” thoracoscapula junction, energy is lost and proper position, function and movement of the shoulder is compromised. If repeated with improper training and sport movement, the shoulder and elbow often fall victim of high forces that cause inefficient and painful movement.

You can think of the scapula as being the platform or base for proper movement and energy transfer through the shoulder and elbow. If the platform is not stabilized, the base for proper movement will be inadequate and energy will be lost and placed on the wrong structures leading to poor performance and overuse injuries. A fair depiction that will help you better understand this scenario is to imagine shooting a cannon from a rowboat (think throwing a baseball or football, serving in tennis, swinging a golf club, etc  with an unstable scapula for example)…it works a lot better from a battleship (stable scapula).

 

VS

I’LL TAKE THE BATTLESHIP PLEASE

The energy that is traveling through the scapula and shoulder, and down the arm has to go somewhere (according to the laws of conservation of energy).  If it is not able to travel the path that is most efficient, optimal performance is compromised and injury potential is increased as the energy and movement takes place at the wrong “spot.” The “wrong spot” often occurs at the shoulder (ball and socket) and elbow instead of making it all the way to the end of the chain (hand).

This will cause unwanted stress at the shoulder and/or elbow. When accumulated through repeated movement (improper training and/or sports), the unwanted stress will result in pain and injury…again resulting in decreased performance and a hiatus from sport / exercise / physical activities…pretty much life sucks!

So in order to prevent this from happening, we must first address the stability at the scapula in order to allow proper movement and energy transfer through the thoracoscapulohumeral region. When performed CORRECTLY, the following exercises are a good start to promote stability and proper movement, and help to minimize the unwanted energy leaks.

 

WALL SLIDE: Be sure to keep the core tight as you slide your forearms up the wall and get the shoulder blade as high towards the ears as possible at the top of the movement.

 

STABILITY BALL Y: Keep the core tight and focus on bringing the shoulder blades together to initiate the movement.

 

CABLE / BAND ROW: Like the SB Retraction, focus on initiating the movement with the shoulder blades coming together and focus on finishing with the elbow in line with the body and shoulder back…always keeping the core engaged.

While these exercises are great for promoting stability and proper movement at the thoracoscapulohumeral region for a majority of people, the most optimal training program will be one that is individualized. If you skip these steps and go straight to the “rotator cuff strengthening” as many programs do, you will only be reinforcing poor movement patterns that lead to decreased performance and injury.

When the information from Part I, Part II and Part III of this series is appropriately applied within a training program, significant performance gains (movement efficiency, strength, power, muscle size, etc) will be achieved and injury potential will be reduced.

In the fourth and final installment I will bring all of the information together and share with you the results of a performance program that incorporated these principles and helped an athlete achieve a pain free and high performing body…and 15 extra pounds of lean muscle in two months!…stay tuned.

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