Oh Dem Hammies! Hamstring Info and Harry Potter Analogies Part 1

Do you have tight hamstrings? Do you stretch them only to find that you’re not any closer to the suppleness that you desire in those posterior hip extenders? Have you tweaked/pulled your hamstring (due to your tightness maybe…)? Do you feel they’re tighter than Gringotts Bank Security?  Today, we’ll go over some of the reasons why the hamstrings might be tight and in part 2 we’ll go over some of the prevention/rehabilitation techniques to deal with hamstring tweaks. You may be surprised to find that your tight hamstrings are not actually tight… That sounds like something Professor Dumbledore might say. Below are some of the potential culprits of “tight” hamstrings. (You’ll see why I put “tight” in quotation marks at the end.) 1. Protective tension. […]

Off-Season Training: Overhead Athletes

Last week, we laid out some general guidelines for athletes heading into their off-seasons. You should read it, if you haven’t already. Today, we’ll delve into some specifics for overhead athletes (i.e. baseball, softball, javelin, shot put, swimmers (though it seems as if they never have an off-season), etc.). Shoulders are rather complicated and annoyingly fickle joints that can develop irritation easily which is why proper attention MUST be paid to shoulder mechanics and care during the off-season. There is nothing “natural” about throwing a heavy object (or a light one really, really fast) and shoulders can get all kinds of whacky over a long, repetitive season. I’m going to keep it sweet and simple. 1. Restore lost mobility and […]

Early Sport Specialization: Why This Needs to Stop (with a capital “S”)

Here in northern Virginia, and in other hub-bub places too, it’s not uncommon for an athlete to play a sport during the high school season, and then transition straight into the club season (which lasts f-o-r-e-v-e-r), leaving the athlete with maybe 2-3 weeks rest before try-outs for the next year’s high school season start. Does this sound familiar? Does this sound healthy? Today we’re going to address a growing (alarmingly so) problem with youth athletics: early sport specialization. As a strength coach, I see some messed up kids when it comes to movements, joint integrity, and muscle tissue quality (all = poop) who play year-round sports at young ages (that is, under 16-17 years old). I see year-round volleyball players who can’t […]