Thursday, February 26, 2009

You think you know big? Lifting Approach

So I've hit on nutrition to a point. Now I'm gonna attempt to get you lifting and working to truelly make some big gains. As we've gone over, if you don't eat you will not get strong, faster, or larger. Same goes for lifting. Don't expect to have soft workouts and get anywhere. You know what lifting hard means? I'd say approximately 80-90% of people lift like complete panzies.

When I say lift I mean get after it in the weight room. You know when you're working and when you are not. Get some guts and GO HARD. You cannot use a few stupid machines, get a slight sweat going and then talk to your friends for 5 or 10 minutes come back and do more. 
  1. Machines are not going to help you in any way: health, performance, strength, growth, etc... 
  2. This type of training requires no work ethic.
  3. Training like this does not create enough stimulus to make any changes. 

When I say lift I am also not even a little bit refering to mirror curls. As if staring at yourself in the mirror is going to help that bicep get larger. Lifting is also not using any machines, especially leg curls and leg extensions. It is definitely not a sweatless, slow paced, no grunt or grit excursion through some iron. Wimps lift like that. 

You don't want to be a wimp. You want and need to be that great big, amazing, dominating athlete, not some punk that's not willing to put in the sweat, blood, and tears that it takes to be great. That's part of the reason you're reading this right now. Right now, you're doing your part to make yourself smarter and that is called putting in the effort, and that will take you places. 

Wanna get big? 
  • You gotta bust your butt 
  • You gotta get off of stupid machines (which means almost all of them)
  • You've gotta live it. Everytime has to be the best you can possibly do, the most that you can put in. (and by no means am I saying you should load the bar as heavy as possible each time, that is a very very different deal. Think 'HOW' not 'WHAT'.)
I actually used to write the word EVERYTIME on paper and pictures that would set me off to remind myself of where I've been and where I want to go. It was very affective. One picture was of me after the first time I had dislocated and tore up my shoulder real bad. It was my freshman year wrestling picture and I was tall and skinny and looked weak and useless, and the worst part was that I obviously had no fire or confidence to me. It was like looking at all the wanna be athletes that disgusted me. This drove me to make huge changes. After my shoulder was healthy, I was cleared to lift in June. I gained 40 lbs by the end of august and kept a consistent body fat percentage. When I came back to school some people were afraid to talk to me cause they didn't know who I was. Plus I looked scary as hell, cause I was on a mission. My freshman year of football I had figured out how to hit. My sophomore year people actually went down. It was a good feeling. 

You want to be a freak? You wanna be the best? You wanna get fast, strong, and huge? These are the money lifts that are going to take you there. 
  1. Squat: It's number one for a reason. Yeah Yeah, everybodies doing them right? WRONG! Start squatting (and do it right: butt back, knees out) and you'll see big changes. Power, Box, single leg, split, cambered bar, whatever your variations are, get them in. 
  2. Deadlift: You want massive weight put on while keeping your body healthy and anhilating your competition then it's time to get in some deads. 
  3. Pullup: Speed, size, strength comes from the upper body as well and this is where you make big gains in each of those categories. Especially when you start adding weight. 
  4. Cleans: For some reason I feel I need to justify doing each of these exercises, but really if you can't figure this one out you need help. the posterior chain is going to take you a long way and this lift is working it in a strong explosive manner. Figure out how to do this correctly and it'll take you far.   
  5. Heavy pushups: I very rarely see a correct pushup but sometime kids are actually strong enough right away for these. Start them and they will soon be your best friend and wreak havoc in competition. 
  6. Horizontal pulls: you want to keep your body healthy and strong then you need to pull like crazy, especially horizontally. Build your back and you'll notice yourself doing every other lift faster and stronger. 

And you gotta take it with a vengeance. There's a reason some guys get big, there's a reason some are good and some are great. Same thing here. If you're not wiling to put in, then you're not going to be the guy you thought you wanted to be. 

No one is gonna give you anything in this life. You want something you gotta take it. The best you have, EVERYTIME. Believe me you'll come out on top if you have the heart to actually do this. 

You think you know big? Amounts

Alright, yesterday I went into an aggressive way to gain muscle for high school age male athletes. Now, the principles still hold true, but I left out some important info. Mostly how much of everything. So here you go.

As with anything else it always depends. But most people should be getting between .08-1.2g of protein per lb of body mass. This is a very general scale and should be taken that way. Most athletes that hit this are going to be getting just enough. If you want to grow hard and fast eat more than 1.2g/lb of body mass. Some people get upwards to 3g/lb of body mass. Divide that up among your meals and you'll be fine.

Example: Lets say you weigh 170lb and you want to eat 240g of protein per day. You're eating 6 meals a day, that means you need 40g of protein/meal. By the way 1lb of chicken has around 18g of protein.

Carbohydrates: For the high school age this is more of a type and timing issue than an amount.
  • Before and after a workout you want quick carbs to use during your workout and to replenish your stores that you just burnt, and also to begin the recovery process. This should be 1-1.5 hours before and up to 2 hours after, and include carb sources like rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, and liquids.
  • The rest of the day your carbs should be coming in the form of low glycemic, highly nutritious foods. These would include most fruits and all vegetables, oats, quinoa, amoran, stuff like that. The rest of the day should not have any breads, pastas, rice, or other sugary type foods.
  • By the way the glycemic index and the glycemic load of whole wheat breads and pastas are almost the same and the same goes for brown rice and white rice, so substituting these doesn't work like you might think it will.
Fruits and Vegetables: How much??
  • Tons!! Load them on. Eat as many of these as you want and for those that choke them down you need to eat as many as you can.
  • Fruit: 7-15 servings is good. Sound like a lot, well it is, and you need a lot cause you want to grow. Especially fleshy fruits like most 'berries'. Dark fruits are great, but you're not going to hurt yourself getting fruit (especially in high school). Avocados are a superfood as well and should be in everyones diet. You need so many of these because this needs to make up a large portion of your carbohydrate intake throughout the day.
  • Vegetables: 5-12 servings is good. Just about all are good, especially green leafy ones. Broccoli is a superfood without doubt so you can't go wrong there, unless you are covering it with crap, like 10 layers of velvetta cheese. Asparagus is also good, and for more than just making you pee smell funny.
Fat: Source is key but you have to have it. Especially if you're trying to gain muscle.

This is a subject that has mislead dieters and many so call 'nutritionists' for a long time for some reason. You have to have fat in your diet (no matter who you are). Fat and Protein are actually the only two essential macronutrients, which means your body could not survive without them (by the way there are three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrate, fat). And yes I just said that your body can survive without carbs, but that is not the topic nor would you want to live that way.

Our bodies use the fat from our diets for tons of stuff other than burning it for energy. It is where we derive our hormones for one. Does that interest you? It should, since that can make the difference in you growing or not. We actually use cholesterol to make testosterone so it is important to get that in the diet as well.

But most importantly is if we are getting enough EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids) these are the good fats, and they cannot be produced by the body so we need to get them from our diets. The problem is hardly anyone gets close to even the minimum amount that we need and their health, goals, and life are suffering from it.

EFA's would be EPA, DHA, CLA, and ALA. EPA and DHA are typically associated with cold water fish and fish oil capsules. CLA is actually associated with beef but is the concentration is much higher in grass fed beef than grain fed beef. ALA is actually a plant based fatty acid, but it has very potent antioxidant power, so much that taking too much can negatively affect your body.

You need these in your body, they will help decrease chronic inflamation, help with recovery, keep your brain and other organs operating great, improve your tissue qualities, and pretty much solve and prevent any disease you hear about regularly. They are quite incredible, but most people are not even close. You should be close to 1:1 on good fat to bad fat in your diet but I've heard reports of diets being 1:12 and other reports at 1:50-70. Now that's bad, really bad, but that's the common numbers in our population. Especially in the midwest where you're just not going to get a good quality, fresh, wild, cold water fish. 

So, how much fat do you need? If you are eating a ton of animal protein you are probably getting enough fat. But loading up on EFA's is going to improve everything you are doing even further. Sorry had to put the answer at the end so you'd dig through all that other crap first. It's good for you.
  • Most people need at least 900mg of some type of DHA/EPA source everyday. This would solve tons of problems, especially in the long term.
  • With athletics and sports we want to be as healthy as possible to live, train, and compete at our top level. This means getting all the nutrients you need during the day, of which FAT is included.
  • Sources: Salmon, Tuna, Mackeral, Sardines, Cod, and also Flax seed
By the way, I eat tons of fat and get still take 1800 mg of DHA/EPA daily, along with some ALA in the form of capsules and flax seed. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

You think you know big?: Highschool

Alright, So I have a couple guys that I really care about but don't get to train or see on a regular basis simply because of distance. Both want and need to gain weight, both are still in high school, so both are still in a very heavy growth phase whether they are lifting hard or not. This changes the game a bit, but it doesn't need a new set of rules. If you know what I mean? Just to let you know, I'm not getting into lifting or supplements today, but I'll hit them soon.

1) Eat as often as possible. At least every 2-3 hours. NO MATTER WHAT. You gotta eat and eat often, and you should be eating about 6-8 meals throughout the day. By doing this correctly based on the other rules below will raise metabolism and the higher it is the more food you can eat, the muscle you can gain, the more fat you can burn. It will also increase endocrine system activity in a safe natural way. So you will see a rise in testosterone, HGH, and IGF-1, and an increase in insulin sensitivity. All these hormones are your anabolic types, the ones that make you grow muscle and lose fat.

2)Develop a drinking problem, Water that is. Drink yourself full all day long. For a high schooler trying to gain lean mass the old 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water per day is not enough. I say get up to 2/3 your bodyweight in ounces of water/day, and that is outside of meals and workouts . You're going to feel like you need to head #1 all the time at first, but after a couple weeks your body will adjust, your blood plasma levels will expand and you'll be able to retain more of that water, which is where you are trying to get. This does a ton of stuff, but you're mind will work more efficiently, your muscles will be much healthier, you will have dramatically decreased your risk of injury, and you'll start seeing muscle build up and fat dissipate.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Most need to get close to 1 gallon/day

3)Don't eat like a horse. Who does that? I'll tell you who, vegans do that. Ever met a muscular vegan? I'm guessing probably not. You wanna get big? Eat like a freakin LION that's how you're gonna get big. MEAT, pile it up. You need that protein, you need it with every one of your meals throughout the day. Especially complete protein, which means it has all 8 essential amino acids. Anything that comes from an animal is going to be a complete protein. And aside from putting on muscle this will also lead to an increased thermic effect. Your bodies temp will rise, which means an increase in metabolism, more fat loss during cuts, and less fat gain with high calorie diets like these two high schoolers need.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Lions are huge and eat alot of food.

4)Stay healthy too. You need vegetables and fruits. They are going to enhance everything: your workouts, competition, and all your other day to day stuff. You need more than 6 servings of each everyday. A serving can be as simple as a cup or what you can fit in the palm of your hand. Now, I may not be going on and on about this one, but it may be one of the most important. You will not grow near as quickly as you could've if you miss this step. Get your vegetables and get your fruits.

This link will send you to a great resource for making this stuff taste better

So you've got all these things down so far. Great, lets move on.

5) EAT, EAT, EAT!!!
I said to eat every 2-3 hours before but I didn't say how much. You gotta eat till you're almost sick. When I was in high school I gain 40lbs in one summer and I went from 145lbs at the beginning and end of my freshman year to weighing well over 215lbs at the end of my senior year, I maintained a low and healthy body fat percentage the whole time and only grew 2 inches taller. How? Well, looking back I could've gained more and done much better had I known then what I know now, but I did pretty well.

Try this out for a week. For 3 of your (at least 6) meals/day weigh in before and after the meal. If the scale does not go up 5lbs by the end of the meal go back and eat more. Sound ridiculous, well that is what it's gonna take. But you're not done yet, once you've downed 5 lbs of food, start drinking milk, put as much as you can down. That oughta do you well.

To some of you 5lbs may seem like alot to others it may not. For me, this is still a typical meal, and people wonder why I can put on 10lbs of muscle in a one or two months when they've been trying for months upon months for minimal gains. It's because I can put down about 12lbs of food at almost any given time, and I can do it multiple times during the day.

It is not going to be easy, but this is what it takes. I hear all the time about how athletes will do anything, well this is one of those things. It takes conditioning, just like training and lifting. When I'm in a growth phase my diet is just as hard as my lifts. Sometimes its a grind. Especially in the morning, which brings my to my next point.

6)The breakfast of champions is not a bowl of wheaties, but yes they are tasty.
This needs to be big, your biggest meal of the day. Breakfast means at least 4-6 eggs, a big bowl of oatmeal, add some healthiness with some ground flax seed and fruit, you can add bell peppers, onions, garlic and stuff like that to your eggs as well, and get at least one glass of milk. You need water in the morning as well, or you could get some decaf tea's if you like something warm but stay away from juices and sugar filled crap like that.

7)Lay off coffee and soft drinks
You are too young to be having coffee. Unless you want to stay the same size you are right now, then go ahead, but that would defeat the purpose of you even reading this. At this stage caffeine is not going to help you one bit, neither will tons of sugar and all the other crap that is in pop. Your body is going to have to work just to get rid of that stuff rather than be working on building your muscle like you told it to do when you were putting in that grueling workout.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

8)Get your pre workout meal in.
The Preworkout meal is 6x more important than your post meal because it has 6x the affect. You cannot grow from a crap workout. Eat to fuel your workouts first and recover from them second. Treat your workouts like competition, which you should already know.

1-1.5 hours pre workout/competition you need:
  • High glycemic foods like: White rice, pasta, bread
  • Lean protein: Turkey, lean hamburger, ostrich, stuff like that
The high glycemic foods spike the sugar in your blood that you are going to need during a strenous workout, and the protein is going to kind of 'grease the load' when it comes to amino acids. You will be delivering many more amino acids to your muscles while you workout not just after, and it will help you perform. Protein during a workout actually improves mental acuity, and endurance (anaerobic endurance obviously), and enhances recovery.

9) Get bedtime and midnight snacks.
Eat before you go to bed every night. Lots of vegetables, lots of protein, and ONLY LOW glycemic carbohydrates (oats, quinoa, most fruits). You want your metabolism rolling all the time, especially when you sleep. Tons of stuff is going on then and you want you body to be using those nutrients to repair itself and let you get stronger and faster, and gain muscle.

Midnight snacks, some can get away with this, but don't be setting an alarm or anything to wake up in the middle of the night. Sleep is way to important for that. But do keep something to eat beside your bed in case you wake up. BCAA's and a protein drink are a frequent favorite of mine. It's quick, it's easy and I like the taste.

You're in high school, you have tons and tons of time. Sleep is anything but overrated. At your age you need 9 hours a night and a nap in the middle of the day. When you sleep you recover. Not enough sleep is going to lead to a decrease in hormone production, especially HGH and Testosterone. It will also lead to increased stress, which means more cortisol and that means your body is going to be storing more fat and gaining less muscle. It will lead to crappy workouts and it'll make your school work harder (snowball affect). This may be the most important tip of all. So if you are reading this at midnight, stop and go to bed, it'll be here later.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sup? Supplements: Do your RESEARCH

I recently stumbled upon an old friends forum. I noticed the ridiculous amounts of poor information and for some reason had to dig through some of it just to realize how confused some people out there really are. The sad thing though, most of these people considered themselves close to experts and to be very knowledgeable and were handing out tons of information in a very confident manner. Sad for too many reasons, but for one they are probably passing this terribly incorrect information on to others, spreading the disease of absolutely idiot training practices. Two they are doing it in a very confident and convincing way that would probably trick the average gym goer (I think a tear is about to fall from my eye). Then the worst one they are actually stuck in this idiotic belief that they are correct, and using these practices themselves (I think that tear just turned into fire cause that stuff just pisses me off). 

The rest of this blog is what resulted from one of the many posts about supplements that I read. I actually had to go through and delete a good portion of it because by the end I started to feel bad for all of them and didn't want them all to start crying half way through. It also sparked me to begin writing more about training as well as supplements to make sure you all know you have at least one resource that will tell you the truth and try to point you in the correct direction of some others that can as well. 

As far as my reaction to all of the dumb training posts that were put up....well I was too angry to comment on any of that.

Beginning rant now:

Does anyone else think it's humorous that experienced lifters are still going places like GNC and vitashop or w/e it is?  I didn't read all of these but some of this is a little off. Biotest seems to do a very good job, but just like everywhere else they are just trying to sell you something.  Like muscle milk trying to say that they can actually make creatine work more efficiently in your body. 
Give me a break! Just to let you know that crap is about the worst supp on the market.  

Also, most vitamins absolutely suck. If it is not a liquid or a capsule it's probably not worth it. Try baking your tablets in the oven you'll see all the nasty stuff come out. 

I have to go over this with my athletes all the time, but the outside of a container is a sales pitch no matter how you look at it. Sometimes a company knows what they are talking about and are truthful, sometimes the company is cluelessly ignorant feeding bits and pieces of 'BS' they coop up in a lab, kitchen, or garage, and sometimes a company is just plain old lying their butts off.  You know how many athletes are being hampered by muscle milk's crap right now. Every one of them that is taking it, and that is alot because of an incredible marketing campaign. 

Not like I wasn't tricked either at one point but do your research. This isn't something to screw around with, this is your body, and it's your life.  Here is one resource for all of you. Probably better though would be this guy http://precisionnutrition.
com/cmd.php?pageid=778229 He'll teach you to eat, which will make your supps have an even better affect.  Good luck.

-Adam Rees

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Indestructible knees

So in the end you want indestructible knees. If you haven't figured how to this yet then here you go.

1)Make your post chain strong like bull
Get your glutes and hamstrings very very strong. Doing this will not only make you perform better in competition but it will also drastically decrease your risk of injury.

Work on changing levels and increasing range of motion in different planes at different velocities (especially in regards to the hip). Many many mobility drills in both the sagital and the frontal plane (transverse is important as well but you'll see that you naturally go through these with many mobility drills).

3)Get the knots out
Myofascial release through ART, foam rollers, tennis balls w/e. These tools are friends and can keep you healthy for a very long time. Working on the glutes (especially glute medius), IT Band, hip flexors, quads, gastrocnemius, soleous, and achilles will help immensely.

4)Work on Dorsiflexion and ankle mobility
It may seem like not a big deal, but it take 1-2 minutes and could make or break your career.

Top 10 Programming pitfalls for ACL's

Recently I've been talking about programming nightmares in regards to the ACL and how common they are. Many athletes reading this will probably be able to empathize with some of these types of training. Programs right now should be better than they were 10-20 years ago and really they should be vastly better than they were 3-5 years ago. Yet I still see coaches and parents and even other athletes trying to implement these same type of programs. It makes sense though, they are just doing what they were taught in the endless circle of training under unqualified instructors. I realize most people mean the best but almost all the time it's better to leave it to a specialist (though some of those 'specialists' are still doing some of this stuff). Each of these could be books just within themselves, which is why I'm going to devote a full article on these later. So for now, I'll save you some reading time, but don't be afraid to ask questions.

1)Plyometric programs without a solid strength base
I probably see this one more than any other, and it amazes me. I still see way to many contacts, coaches having kids with close to zero training age doing Touches and even depth jumps. Over doing plyos is the quickest way to overtraining and injury. Plyometric or reactive type exercises like jumps, hops, box jumps, squat jumps, depth jumps etc. are all very very hard on your body, especially your nervous system. Your nervous system works everything, it is the strongest and most stable system in our bodies, if it is off we are off. But also if the body does not have enough strength and intra + intermuscular coordination your athletes are going to have some big problems.
If an athlete does not have enough strength than doing plyometrics will not lead to any gains, will most likely produce poor movement patterns and can be very harmful to his/her body.

2)Poor warm up, stretching and muscular activation techniques
-You are still the dumbass static stretching before training and competition. Wake up! You are literally weakening your athletes as well as dramatically increasing their risk for injury.

-You're the person that has athletes jog/bike for 10 minutes pre workout. Again, this significantly hampers an athletes ability to perform in training and competition. (I'll explain this further in the article.)

-You're not doing anything to active the muscles your athletes need, lengthen the others that are inhibiting them, or increase their efficiency before hand.

-You haven't figure out that your athletes cannot be leading their own warm-up

-You have no understanding of lung volumes, breathing, heart rates, and/or core temperature. You need a rise in core temp, the lungs need to expand by working, and the body needs to feel like it has already played for at least two minutes.

-And now for the worst one, You DON'T EVEN WARM UP!!
I should not need to say anything here, but coaches STILL DO IT. Ridiculous.

3)Low-No glute/hip dominant exercises
Your glutes have the ability to make you faster, stronger, larger, healthier and decrease your risk of injury. If you haven't figured this out yet it is time to either get out of training or open a book because you are either an idiot or you just have not applied yourself in too long. Either way, not good.

4)Too much static stretching of the hamstring
One of the functions of your hamstring works on the knee in almost the same way as your ACL does. To static stretch the hamstring you are decreasing it's ability to contract, and therefore decreasing its strength. For now, just stop stretching it all the time. Especially with female athletes.

5)Too much hamstring flexibility.
I know this is similar to four but they are different even though they run across each other.Too much length of the hamstring causes a decrease in function and can help your athletes go further into anterior pelvic tilt. Instead of working on flexibility of the hamstring work on it's strength but only in a functional way. ABSOLUTELY NO LEG CURLS.

6)Training in the same way you play. With ankles taped, knee sleeves on, while wearing high tops Bad Bad Bad.
During training is the most controlled environment you are going to experience. Take this time to strengthen the areas that are weak by not using these supportive cruches.

7)Too much attention to the knee itself. Look above and below the joint.

8)The VMO is not everything.
A program full of TKE's are not going to solve a knee problem.

9)Get off the isolated leg exercises
-Leg Curls: the hamstrings never work independently of the glutes in movement, so why would you train them that way. You also do not want to deal with hamstring dominance.
-Leg Ext's: I shouldn't need to explain this. How about, if you want knee and all other kinds of injuries keep doing non functional idiot exercises like these.

10) Not enough work on Dorsiflexion.
If the lower half of the leg cannot dorsiflex enough the rest of the chain will make up for it somehow, and many times it will result in the knee.

These are not all specific to just the ACL. They affect all kinds of things. More important is: Are you still doing stupid stuff? One weak link can damage the entire body through injuries and compensation patterns. Look at your programs, you might find some flaws. Replacing these flaws with good things can make a huge difference in your athletes success.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The ACL injurty epidemic II

I told you I'd tackle the problems with programming, but I think it's possible I left some very important stuff out of the last couple of these. So before we get into the programming mistakes that I see all the time let's try and make up some ground.

The glutes extend as well as abduct and externally rotate the femur and therefore stabilize the knee as well as the hip itself. They are also the strongest most explosive muscle in the body so why wouldn't you train them.

Most ACL injuries occur when the the femur internally rotates and adducts, like when you see an athlete land after a jump and the knees go inward towards eachother (anyone see a correlation here???). This is about what it looks like. I see this happen when athletes jump and land, when they change direction and decelerate and obviously when they post up against another player.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Notice the knee, this is where most ACL injuries happen. Not good. See how the hip could pull the femur into correct position to avoid this. 

Just to complete this moment of randomness lets go over the difference between girls and guys when it come to the knee.

Knee issues are a huge problem for girls. For one, girls are typically more valgus than guys which puts them at an increased risk for knee issues since their knees are already closer to that dreaded internally rotated and adducted position where the injury most often occurs. But girls are also typically more quad dominant and don't have as much hamstring strength as males putting them at an even higher risk. And not to dig on girls, but to make sure you know that girls and guys cannot be trained the same, but girls typically have more flexibility in the hamstring, sometimes too much in fact and that leads to an increase risk of ACL injury as well.  

Hopefully that cleared up some issues. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The ACL injury epidemic, Why???

Alright, What's really going on here? ACL's are popping all across the nation.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The ACL is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament and what it does is keep the femur (thigh bone) from sliding opposite of the tibia (larger lower leg bone). This is the reason you see most injuries to this area during deceleration, like landing after jumping or slowing down when sprinting. These are the most common factors I see leading to this injury epidemic. (for now I'm not going to differentiate between male and females, but there is a definite difference and is obvious in the rate of injuries in each.)

1) Weak or inhibited glutes, either way its bad. If the hip flexors are too tight, they will pull the hips into anterior pelvic tilt and inhibit the glutes from firing. The glutes are quite possibly the most important muscle in the whole body, if they are not firing you've got some MAJOR problems.
This is most often the most missed and under appreciated area I've had to deal with coaches on. If this muscle is weak or inhibited you are asking for all kinds of injuries and a huge decrease in potential for performance.
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Following the striations gives you a good clue as to which way the muscle pulls.

2) To go along with #1 is a weak posterior chain. I already briefly hit the glutes, so lets go to the hamstrings. Your hamstrings perform an action on the knee very similar to the ACL. It is also a major stabilizer for the knee.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

3) Bracing. Somethings gotta give and if its not where the brace is it'll happen somewhere else. Ever wonder why all those basketball players where pateller wraps?
How much dorsiflexion do you think this athlete will be able to get with this wrap??

If you are wearing an ankle brace, taping your ankles, or wearing high top shoes you are decreasing the mobility and range of motion of the ankle. Now, like I said before, something has to give. If the ankle is not able to move enough, then the knee or the foot is going to have to make up for that deficiency. So the reason many basketball players need to wear the patellar wraps is because their patella has had to take over for the lack of mobility of the ankle, especially when landing or absorbing force.

4) Footwear. Basketball (in the case of high tops) shoes are heavy, decrease mobility of the ankle joint to extremes and are usually accompanied by athletes that wear nothing but all year long. Same problem as above. Something is going to give and this is why many times you see basketball players with dropped arches or even flat feet and tons of ankle and knee problems.
The feet are not supported in a fashion that promotes health or performance. Most athletes would be better going barefoot everywhere.

5) Quad dominanceI forgot to mention this before. I thought it would be self explanatory but to make sure everyone knows, quad dominance is a huge problem as well. If you move everywhere with your quads you will not perform well and will dramatically increase your risk of injury. Not like the quads are not a great muscle but they can be a problem when the dominate the post chain. So, pretty much I'm saying that do nothing but TKE's to work on the VMO is pretty pointless, actually is pretty dumb, but I'll get more into that next time.

6) Programming. The last, most preventative, and sad to say but quite possibly the most common one I see is absolutely terrible programming. Now this is a whole topic in itself. I'm gonna save it for tomorrow.

Duke vs. NC Basketball, is basketball worth it??

Alright, I apologize for the hiatus from writing. At the moment I've decided to make time instead of taking a some moments to myself in order to watch Dude play North Carolina. I am not really a fan of either and as a wrestler I am not really even a fan of the sport in general. Now before I hear an uproar about this let me explain.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

For one, the game of basketball has more gray area than any other sport there is. It's is a very judgmental game. For instance, a post can push his opponent around, BUT not too much!! and you can set a screen and about knock a guy on his arse but then its a foul to lightly touch his wrist while he's dribbling or shooting. Seems like too much to me. I guess I'm too much of an all or nothing kind of guy.

Then the idea of strategy that actually involves certain players not moving or working for a better position seems wrong to me. Seems like each player should be moving and working a grunting with everything they've got for their position. Football and wrestling there is no stop, it is all go. Yeah Yeah I played baseball and as it seems there is much standing around, if played properly every single player should move a fair amount on every single play. Even outfielders should moving on simple hit ground balls, actually they should be running there butts off. But what do I know I'm just a big dumb jock that used to be some kind of an athlete. (Maybe it is the old wrestler in me calling out all the pumpkin pushing skinny sissies that played where I was from.)

Pumpkin by g.scollay.
See how it fits right in??

Also on a less opinionated note, there are more ACL tears (I'd say almost 100% due to poor training habits, improper footwear, and/or bracing techniques) in basketball than any other sport. Now why is that???? What's the matter with bracing?? And they're all wearing 'basketball' shoes, that's what they're made for how can that be wrong?

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Check out this knee in action

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Note the sleeve/brace on the right knee of arguable the best overall player in the nation this year.

I'm gonna tackle this tomorrow then this weekend I'll get into what we can do to prevent this kind of crap from happening so much. Really its not even that complicated. Talk with you all soon.