MBSC Intern Q & A: Week 2

11 Jul

Here is some more intern Q and A from week 2 of the summer. Enjoy!

If a person is having a little trouble with an exercise but you are confident they can get it with a little more coaching. How long should you take to coach them to help them achieve proper form on the exercise? Should you immediately regress them further even in situations where the rest of the group is good to go and there are no immediate time constraints?  

Keep coaching and find a way to get it right. Don’t progress anyone who hasn’t earned the right to do so.  Continue using external cues and tools to fix the pattern until it’s up to par. Do not progress an athlete simply because the rest of the group is progressing. Just because the program progresses doesn’t mean all of the athletes do.

Should we coach full hip extension during hang cleans? It seems like a lot of athletes never get full extension before the catch.

Yes. We want full extension at the hips. Ensure first that the athlete is hinging correctly when they set up. If they  do not hinge into the start position then they will have a very difficult time getting the extension we are looking for on the pull.  I like to cue them to jump, shrug and “get their hips to the bar” on the pull.

If someone feels pain doing an exercise would it be more useful to regress them or just tell them not to do the exercise in general?

Find a substitution that is non-painful. Typically, with knee pain the answer is to move to a hip dominant pattern rather than a knee dominant one. With back pain the answer is usually to remove axial loading and avoid trunk flexion, extension and rotation. Your best bet is to just follow the rule “If it hurts, don’t do it.” Keep trying different strategies that are functional and non-painful until you find one that fits. Also, as an intern if you encounter an athlete in pain find a head coach to get advice.

If an athlete asks about nutrition what should we tell them what we believe is true or should we ask one of you first?

Keep it simple and do not prescribe supplements. We generally work off of the book “Food Rules” with a little more emphasis on protein intake.

1). Eat whole foods. (Non-processed)

2). Eat fruits and vegetables.

3). Include protein rich foods at most meals

None of us at MBSC are nutritionists and we want to instill these kids with basic healthy eating habits.

“So simple a high school kid can do it”

 Can you please explain more about how the big toe effects back pain?

Poor big toe mobility can have a big ripple effect. If you don’t have full expression of extension through the hallux your body is going to find a way around the restriction in order to keep walking. Naturally, the other structures in the system will compensate to pick up the slack. The compensations can evolve differently depending on the individual but there is usually a similar pattern.

Because of altered proprioception at the toe your nervous system creates a more neurologically efficient pattern by shortening your stride. The result is limited hip extension and dorsiflexion to reduce the need for full extension of the toe. The tightening of the hips and associated compensations often lead to a loss of midfoot stability and a collapsed arch. The resulting biomechanics lead to an anterior weight shit and compensation in the lumbar spine. Often degenerative changes can be seen upstream past the low back all the way to the neck.

Check out these articles and videos for more info from people smarter than me…



If an athlete wanted to do more conditioning after their workout was over can they and if there is any limit on if doing too much will hurt them?

I will allow athletes to get extra conditioning under the condition that they let me prescribe it for them. If they ask you for extra conditioning ask a head coach and they can give it to them. Extra work can be good but it can also be bad if we leave the athlete to their own devices.

Whenever I do the anti-rotation exercises on the Keisers my wattage never goes above 400 or so, yet when I imagine baseball, hockey, or any other sport with a rotational elements twists the power is probably through the roof. Because of this, it seems that anti-rotation is more about injury prevention than deceleration, is this the case or am I totally off?

Don’t think so much about the wattage, it’s just a number on the machine. “Anti-rotation” the way we train it, is about resisting torque. Anti-rotation training is as much about “injury prevention” as it is about “performance” it just depends on the context  that you  are looking at it.  Anti-rotation exercises like pressouts, chops, lifts and landmines are about building a strong outer core so that we can resist rotational torque and create movement elsewhere in the limbs. The adaptions from training will increase the rotational forces we can generate and absorb so in becoming stronger we also become more resistant to injury.

Check out this article where Charlie drops some more knowledge on the relation of Anti-Rotation and Rotary Stability….http://charlieweingroff.com/2012/05/behind-the-walls-of-fms-rotary-stability/

If someone is experiencing knee pain during RFE’s and deadlifts and front squats what are some other exercises for them do to that can build quad and hamstring strength?

Find a head coach to assign an intervention for their pain. With knee pain, the solution is often assigning a hip dominant exercise. More importantly, I would try to figure out what is causing the pain. Often we find that tissue restrictions through the anterior chain and hip as well as poor recruitment of the hip abductors and external rotators is the problem.

You think some restrictions through the quadriceps could cause knee pain?


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