Archives for September 2016

Six Great Ways to Help Improve Power and Bat Speed

By Nunzio Signore (B.A., CPT, CSCS, NASM, PES, FMS)

bat-speed-blog-image-1Creating power and great bat speed involves many things.  Electromyography testing (a technique for evaluating and recording the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles) regarding “the baseball swing” and upper body involvement shows that the role it plays is minor compared to that of the lower body. Studies by Shaffer et al. (click here for report summary) stated “an emphasis should be placed on the trunk and hip muscles for a batter’s strengthening program.” [Read more…]

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Pitching Lab – Getting After it in November – December

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, CSCS, NASM, PES, FMS)

Pitching Lab Phase 1 Top

Imagine this, a high school pitcher’s body that throws a baseball at 80+ mph achieves that speed from hand break to finish in 1.5-2 seconds.  That’s comparable to some of the fastest Italian sports cars out there.  How you could NOT get young pitchers physically prepared for this type of explosive movement is frankly beyond my comprehension. In looking back and reflecting on what we offer young athletes, I think a lot of folks don’t totally understand what we do. So, let me give it a try. [Read more…]

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The Need for Speed… Linear Acceleration – Part 3

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, CSCS, NASM, PES, FMS)

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In Part 3 of this series on Speed Development, we’re going to get moving (click here for Part 2 and here for Part 1)… literally by starting with linear acceleration (forward). This means getting our center of mass moving as quickly as possible. Linear acceleration relates to all sports, but is best put to use on the baseball field in the form of base running, stealing and in the outfield.

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Today, I’m going to break it down into three phases and explain how we train each phase separately and eventually connecting them into one fluid movement.

Phase 1- Posture – Correct running mechanics begin with good static posture. We start every session with Glute / Wall Iso Holds to help simulate what good posture looks like in mid-run.

Some of our cues are:

  • Feet approximately 3 feet away from wall (distance can vary based upon height of the athlete)
  • Wrists at shoulder height or slightly below – It’s important not to bring the hands and arms up too high due to the fact that we want to make sure the core can handle the body posture and stabilize the pelvis based on where the hands are.
  • Straight line from ankle to shoulders.

Check it out.

(Glute / Wall Iso Holds)

Phase 2 – Starting Phase (Power) – The initial push-off all the way to the first 2 or 3 steps is where 75% of the battle is won (or lost). This is also known as “first-step quickness” or “first 10-yards”. Call it whatever you want, I call it getting a good stable base of strength in the weight room before you try and go out and be powerful. Anything less is merely leaving half of it on the table.

With that being said, one way we can train power in the starting phase, is with a drill such as ½ Kneeling Starts. This drill helps to “over emphasize” the starting or “push” phase by adding extra resistance, forcing the athlete to emphasize the initial front leg push into the ground preventing a “lag in their start.  This in turn carries over to a more explosive start when in a more athletic position. We like to cue “load the front leg” as well as “throw the arms back” to help drive the same side leg up into flexion and get the athlete up quicker.

(Half Kneeling Starts)

Phase 3 – Drive Phase – Once the athlete is up and moving we need to make sure that he is continuing to accelerate by using an aggressive arm action which in turn creates a longer ground reaction time helping to produce a longer stride as well as a stronger and higher hip and knee drive. We also cue “chase the shoulders” to ensure we are keeping the load on the front leg throughout. Step drills are great to help feel what an in-sync pattern feels like.

(Step Drill)

Stay tuned for next time when we’ll talk about Lateral Acceleration.

See ya’ in the gym…

 

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Why Most Athletes Never Reach their Maximum Potential

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, CSCS, NASM, PES, FMS)

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The path to greatness isn’t a great mystery, it’s been documented by countless of great athletes since the beginning of time. Some people just seem to conveniently look the other way. Here at RPP, I see it all the time in regards to athletic training.

[Read more…]

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The Need for Speed… The Warm Up – Part 2

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, CSCS, NASM, PES, FMS)

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Today we are going to cover Part 2 of Need for Speed (for Part 1 click here).  A thorough warm up is what sets the athlete up for a productive training session or game. Today we’ll go over the steps involved in the warm up and movement prep protocol that all of our athletes at RPP go through at the beginning of every speed session. So, without further ado, here we go… [Read more…]

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The Need for Speed… What is it, why do we need it and how do we get it? – Part 1

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, CSCS, NASM, PES, FMS)

Need for Speed Top Joint

Doesn’t matter the sport, everyone wants to be fast. Unfortunately, not everyone is, but everyone can surely get faster. This comes down to a few key principles, and it’s not just about running a faster 30, 40 or 60 yard dash. [Read more…]

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