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Kyle Snyder is a freak of nature.

Check out this sled workout with Coach Myers where Kyle pushed 1400lbs:

Kyle Snyder 1400lb Sled Push

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Want to build a functionally STRONG core?  Try these 3 killer movements on a swiss ball:

Get Strong Now

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Mobility Monday News Letter

 Todd Sabol, MS, AT

            What is going on guys, happy Mobility Monday! There is no better way to start the week than by getting a solid training session in, and your training hasto include focusing on your weak points. This week’s Mobility Monday Tip focuses on a mobility movement for your thoracic spine, something I like to call “Happy Cat, Angry Cat”. The spinal column has 33 total vertebrae and is split up into five sections, the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal segments, each having their own responsibility in terms of movement. With the spine being the center of skeletal support, we rely on it for structure in every movement we do. The thoracic spine is the biggest individual section of the spinal column with 12 vertebrae. It is designed to help provide protection to the spinal cord and provide structure to the ribs. One thing that I have noticed, not only within my own training, but also in the vast majority of other athletes who train is poor mobility and control of the thoracic spine, or “midback” area. Many patients I work with, or guys I know at the gym, suffer from that mid back pain, right inside the shoulder blade, sound familiar?

            The pain and discomfort we feel in those areas is typically caused from a combination of poor neuromuscular control and poor mobility of the thoracic spine. Proper control of this segment of the spinal column is vital during many of our common movements in the gym. A weak and poorly mobilized thoracic spine will cause your back to round, during movements like deadlift, front squat or bent over row for example, and additionally in terms of your posture it won’t allow you to maintain a stable neutral spine throughout the day.

            This thoracic spine mobility movement will start with you in a quadruped position. From there you will start by extending your trunk by engaging your midback musculature. Once you have held this position for 1 second, you will then reverse the motion and engage in flexion of the thoracic spine. Hold this position for one second and repeat both directions 12-15 times. You want to make sure you are not initiating the movement from your lumbar spine, but that you are beginning the movement by activating the mid and upper back musculature. If you need an external cue to help you do this, add a mini band around your midback, as I show in the video and using that feedback to push into the band. This will help mobilize your spine in two efficient positions and allow you to obtain more neuromuscular control.

 

Todd Sabol - Contributor

AREAS OF EXPERTISE: 

Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, Functional Examination, Soft Tissue Treatment

EDUCATION:

BS, Marietta College, 2015

MS, Ohio University, 2017

CERTIFICATION:

BOC Certified Athletic Trainer, 2015

OTPTAT Licensed Athletic Trainer, 2015

EXPERIENCE:

Currently is in his third year as Head Athletic Trainer at New Lexington High School providing sports medicine services for all athletes. He is the owner of his own sports medicine seminar business which provides seminars for Ohio coaching certifications. He also provides treatment at Old School Gym for Cory Gregory and numerous other members.

"I have always strived to be a practitioner of what I do. Whether that was being a collegiate soccer player or now engaging in powerlifting and bodybuilding, I strive to push my body to its limits like the clients I treat so I can be a more effective clinician. I get no better feeling than having someone leaving a treatment session with me feeling, moving and performing better, it is the reason I love what I do."

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I’m the first to admit that the typical ab routine bores me.  Not only do I find high volume crunch variations to be mundane, most common ab routines do little to build strength and increase muscle mass thru out your core and abdomen.  While I have been known to incorporate “extreme” core movements such as Dragon Flags and Barbell Climbs into my weekly routine, not every effective core exercise needs to be at a gymnasts level of difficulty.  Here are 5 basic Ab Exercises with a little added twist to ratchet up the intensity and help you truly build a strong and defined core.

 

1. Band Resistance Ab Wheel

The Ab Wheel is one of my favorite core exercises, but if you have been doing them forever like I have, then you know it can get tedious repping out sets of 50 in order to challenge your self.  Other than doing them standing - which can put a lot of pressure on the lower lumbar region - how can you make the Ab Wheel more challenging?  How about Band resistance?  Try attaching a mini band to a low rack and looping it around the handles of the wheel.  Start laying down with your arms fully extended and the band tight.  Pull up and roll the ab wheel towards you as the band provides resistance.  Control your speed and fight the band as you slowly roll back to starting position.  Shoot for 3 sets of 5 reps.

 

2. Partner Static Sit Up Holds  

I never incorporate basic sit ups as they rely too heavily on the psoas and can put some strain on your lower back.  However, holding a sit up at the mid point for time can really give your abs a good burn.  Moving thru a range of motion during that static hold really ups the ante.  Start in a sit up position and lift your feet up slightly until your upper leg is perpendicular to the ground.  Place your finger tips on your forehead and crunch up until your elbows make contact with your thighs.  Have a partner grab your ankles and slowly pull you up and back down either for a set number of reps or a period of time.  As your partner moves you do not lose contact with your legs or your forehead.

 

3. Band resistance Crunches

Regular crunches are another exercise I never use because they are merely “exercising” your abs, not building strength, and take 100s of reps to get anything close to a good burn.  Add some band resistance to actually get some benefit from them.  Kneeling crunches with an overhead band are an excellent option, but the simplest variation is just laying on a bench in a sit up position, and looping a mini band under the bench.  Hold the band in each hand as you keep both arms extended then crunch up towards the ceiling.  Hold at the top for 2 seconds.  Sets of 10-20 reps.

 

4. Weighted Planks

A basic bodyweight plank is my all time favorite core exercise because it works every muscle in the core and it can be tailored for use by beginners up to advanced athletes.  Once you can hold a static front plank for 2 minutes, you are ready to start adding some weight.  Start with 1 plate and shoot for a 30 second hold, then work up from there.  It's very important to keep the abdominals flexed and avoid lowering your hips - this could strain your lower back. 

 

5. Hanging 90 degree Knee Raises

Perform a knee raise and pause at the top when your knees touch your elbows..  Lower your legs down to an L-Sit bent leg position (think sitting in a chair) and lock and hold.  Continue to perform knee raises, not by hinging at the waist, but by using your lats and “pushing your arms” towards your knees.

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Old School Gym by Todd Sabol - 1w ago

What is going on guys!  There is no better way to start the week than by getting a solid training session in, and your training has to include focusing on your weak points. This week’s Mobility Monday Tip focuses on an active squat warmup. I learned this movement in October of 2016, and it has been a staple in my lower body warmup ever since. What I really enjoy about this movement is it acts as a dynamic stretch and activation movement at the same time. I am personally not a fan of static stretching without some type of active warmup either before it or with it, so that fact that this encompasses both at the same time is perfect because it also saves time. The reason that this acts as both a stretching and activation movement is because you are lunging to both sides. When you lunge away from your left side for example, you are putting the left adductor muscle group on a stretch. So as you are leaning away, you stretch the whole left side of your medial thigh while you are actively lunging towards your right side, so you are getting an awesome load on the glutes, hamstrings and adductors of that side. Additionally, if you keep that heel down of the foot you are lunging towards, you get an awesome posterior ankle capsule stretch that will help with your squat mobility, like we talked about last week.

To do this correctly, you begin by having your feet much wider than shoulder width apart, almost as if you are in a wide sumo deadlift stance. From there you will initiate a side lunge so your knee of the side you are lunging to should move directly over your foot. Again, you want to lunge to the side slow and controlled so you are activating your glutes, adductors and hamstrings of the side you are lunging to, while getting a nice eccentric load on the quads, so it is great for neuromuscular control. Next, if you are keeping the foot on the side you are leaning to flat as well, you will get a very nice opener for the posterior ankle. Concurrently, when you are lunging to one side, the opposite side will get an awesome adductor stretch, especially if you are keeping that foot flat as well. You should repeat this side lunge to both sides for a total of 12-15 reps. It won’t take much for you to begin to feel both sides beginning to burn, but it will have you ready to squat, lunge or deadlift in 2-3 sets. There is a second progression we can go into in upcoming weeks, but for now we will start here and move on later. If you have any questions feel free to hit us up, we want you to move better, feel better and keep hitting those PRs.

Todd Sabol - Contributorhttps://youtu.be/qlLt3fXmNUU

AREAS OF EXPERTISE: 

Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, Functional Examination, Soft Tissue Treatment

EDUCATION:

BS, Marietta College, 2015

MS, Ohio University, 2017

CERTIFICATION:

BOC Certified Athletic Trainer, 2015

OTPTAT Licensed Athletic Trainer, 2015

EXPERIENCE:

Currently is in his third year as Head Athletic Trainer at New Lexington High School providing sports medicine services for all athletes. He is the owner of his own sports medicine seminar business which provides seminars for Ohio coaching certifications. He also provides treatment at Old School Gym for Cory Gregory and numerous other members.

"I have always strived to be a practitioner of what I do. Whether that was being a collegiate soccer player or now engaging in powerlifting and bodybuilding, I strive to push my body to its limits like the clients I treat so I can be a more effective clinician. I get no better feeling than having someone leaving a treatment session with me feeling, moving and performing better, it is the reason I love what I do."

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What is going on guys, @toddsportsmed here to wish you a happy #mobilitymonday! There is no better way to start the week than by getting a solid training session in, and your traininghasto include focusing on your weak points. This week’s #mobiltymonday focuses on the posterior ankle capsule. Many times I see people in the gym squatting, trying to reach the proper depth, but as they descend, their heels pop up off the ground.. a tell-tale sign of poor ankle mobility. In our everyday lives, many of us tend to develop tight posterior ankle capsules over time. As they get tighter and less mobile, our gait pattern then become less efficient and we don’t transfer our weight entirely through our foot because our toe off becomes too early and a poor movement cycle ensues. The muscles that act on the posterior ankle include musculature from the superficial and deep compartments of the lower leg. The superficial compartment includes the muscles you always hear about: the medial and lateral heads of the gastrocnemius (upper calf muscle), and the soleus (lower calf muscle) which becomes continuous with the Achilles tendon. The deep compartment includes the tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum longus and flexor hallicus longus, which lay beneath the previous muscles we talked about, and they also act on the foot. This is simply pointing out that many structures play a role in how your foot and ankle work, but today we are only focusing on the posterior aspect of the ankle and lower leg. So how do we work on it?

You can work around poor ankle mobility by wearing “lifters” or putting a plate under your heels, BUT THAT IS NOT ADDRESSING THE ISSUE. There are one thousand ways (not an exact number) to work on your ankle mobility that are active or passive. Today we are focusing on a great, passive way to work on your ankle mobility for the squat, and that is….. to squat! As you will see in today’s post, I show you a deep bodyweight squat, but the kicker is you need to hangout in this position for a total of 10 minutes per day. Whether you can only do it for a minute at a time, 5 minutes at a time or even the full 10, it all depends on what you put into it. I personally have tight adductors and ankles, so I sit in a wide deep squat for the 10 minutes, but if you feel tighter in a different position, do that one! This is a nice intervention because you can move around, see what feels good and make adjustments as you go. If you struggle a lot at the beginning, hold onto something in front of you, or load it with a kettlebell or dumbbell. Regardless of what you do, just get into the position and hangout, it will be uncomfortable, but usually when we do things that are, we get better. I challenge you guys to work up to do the full 10 minutes without a weight or holding on to anything, but the important thing to remember is don’t make it an ego thing, if your posture is poor and thoracic spine is rounded a lot while doing it, don’t hold a compromised position for 10 minutes. See what you can do and use it as an opportunity to learn more about your body! There is a reason body squats are a great evaluation tool, because they reveal so much, take the information and use it to your advantage!

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Burst Training

Pairing HIIT with Max Effort loads to build power endurance

I have always used sled work - pushing, pulling, dragging, rowing - to train my athletes.  I believe that a prowler or sled is the best tool to build functional strength and endurance, particularly in combat athletes such as wrestlers.  One of the issues I was faced with was how to make sled more of a power modality rather than just building strength or increasing muscle endurance.  The other factor I am interested in is how do we increase an athletes “power endurance” - the ability to explode powerfully over and over again during the span of a match with out losing a significant amount of their power?  When you want to develop a fast, powerful sprint you would work with short intervals.  Likewise, when you want to build power on compound lifts, you would focus on moving the bar very fast with heavy loads for low reps.  Rather than push or pull a sled for 100+ feet, why not push a very heavy sled (one that you must give max effort just to budge) for short distances?  While consulting with OSU Football Strength Coach Micky Marotti, we came up with the idea of pairing that concept with a high intensity interval protocol that I have labeled Burst Training.

  Burst Training is a sprint interval utilized on functional movements - typically sled pushing, pulling or dragging - to build power endurance.  While typical sled work is great to build strength and endurance, performing the movements with very heavy loads will improve an athletes ability to explode and scramble at a high level multiple times with in a match without becoming overly fatigued.  The key is using heavy weight that is very difficult for them and that they must truly give max effort 5 seconds at a time.  Rest between bursts should be 3 x the sprint (1:3 ratio), so the standard protocol is a 5 second burst followed by 15 seconds of rest.  The goal is to explode and fight an absolute all out effort for 5 seconds, then recover just enough to do it again.  I will typically line sleds up with a distance of anywhere from 50-100ft to cover.  The load should be heavy enough that it takes 3-4 burst sets to complete the required distance.  On a turf field wearing spikes, I have used as heavy as 1000lbs on a prowler, and Olympic Champion Kyle Snyder has used over 1400lbs.

Another advanced method for applying burst training is to contrast the heavy intervals with a similar, unloaded movement.  For example, if we are using a prowler with an astronomical amount of weight, once 3 burst sets (5 seconds on, 15 seconds off) are complete, the athlete will immediately sprint an unloaded or very light prowler for an equal distance.  Like wise, if we are using a long rope to do burst style “tug of war” with a heavy sled, once 3-4 bursts are complete the athlete will immediately complete a rope climb or a set of pull ups.

Implement this style of training into your regimen, and you will feel an increase in your overall power, and have the ability to return to the well when needed.  Having a good burst is important - and the key is not loosing it during practice or competition.

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Old School Gym by Andrew Rosensweig - 1M ago

Everyone loves a good push up challenge, right?  Well I got a tough one for you with a little core strength twist.  This Challenge involves three exercises, all of which are done in a “push up position” - Stability Alternates, Plank Walk Ups, and of course, Push Ups.  You are going to cycle thru a superset of these exercises starting with only 1 repetition of each (stability alternates require a rep on each side to count as 1 repetition)

 

Start in a Push Up position and perform one Push Up, one Stability Alternate on each side and one full Plank Walk Up.  Immediately do 2 reps of each, then a round of 3 each and so on.  Once you can no longer complete any more reps, get out of position (butt up in the air, etc.), or if your knees touch the ground then the challenge is over.  Push Ups must be full extension and chest touching the floor at the bottom.  Stability Alternates should be held for a split second at the top.

 

How many rounds do you think you can do?  I tried it for the first time and completed a tough 8 rounds (composed of 36 Push Ups, 72 Stability Alternates (36 per side), and 36 Plank Walk Ups.  My goal was a full 10 rounds but my core was getting so exhausted that by the 8th round I was having trouble staying in position.  I’m sure that after a few more tries I can finish 10.  

 

Here’s the breakdown of the other two exercises:

 

Stability Alternates

start in a push up position and slowly raise one leg and the opposite arm, holding each rep for 1-2 seconds at the top.  Do not allow your body to twist or your hips to rotate.

Plank Walk Ups

Start in a push up position then “walk down” into a plank by bending one arm and then the other.  Once in a plank position, “walk” back up into a push up position, keeping your body straight and core tight the entire time.

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The Westside ATP (formerly known as the Belt Squat) is an extremely versatile training tool for both powerlifters and athletes.  The ATP works by suspending weight below the hips and it's unique cable system allows for a wide range of movements.  The arrangement of the belt and pulleys actually provides traction to the low back and maintains alignment in the pelvis - making squat movements a reality for lifters who avoid traditional barbell squats due to lower back or disc injuries.  In addition to squat and deadlift variations there are an almost unlimited number of sport specific movements that can be performed on the ATP.  In this video, WSB coach Tom Barry teaches Coach Myers some wrestling/grappling specific uses for the ATP:

ATP for Wrestlers

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Coach Myers is dropping his latest E-Book "The GutCheck Guide to Core Strength" in less than 2 weeks.  Get a jump on the gains by trying out a few of his favorite core strengthening techniques:

Wheelbarrows (swiss ball)  

Chinese Push Ups  

Dragon Flag  

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