Principles of Overhead Mobility – Treating the Teres Major

Teres_major_muscle_backSome time back I read an article by Mike Reinold about the Teres Major.  I also had this drilled back into my head while going over his and Eric Cressey Functional Stability Training of the upper body videos.  Since I’ve been treating a lot of Teres Major for overhead mobility limitations.  It’s fairly amazing how well it works too.  We often thinks pecs, lats and thoracic spine for poor overhead motion.   […]

The Best Exercises For Crossfit Shoulder Health

crossfit-injuries-1As we all know, shoulder health is paramount in crossfit.  From personal experience I’ve found that shoulders tend to be one of the most commonly injured and painful joints in crossfit.  I believe one of the major reasons for this is that Crossfit contains a large amount of shoulder intensive exercises.   To reinforce the point, here are some of the most common crossfit exercises:

  • Barbell / dumbbell / kettlebell overhead press, push press, thrusters, push/split jerk
  • Pushups, handstand pushups, handstand walking, dips, burpees
  • Pull-ups, kipping pull-ups, toes to bar […]

What’s Worse, Regular Kipping Pullups or Butterfly Kipping Pull-ups?

xfitpullupsI’ve been on a major kipping pullup kick lately.  Another topic in the pullup world I wanted to touch on briefly (I promise I’ll stop talking about kipping soon) is the butterfly kipping pullup.  I know several people that won’t butterfly kip at all for fear of destroying their shoulders, and more specifically their labrum.

Is this really true though?  Is the kipping pullup a much safer variation then the butterfly pullup?  Will I tear my shoulder to shreds if I perform butterfly pullups?  Honestly I’m not sure.  I wanted to do some brainstorming and see if we can come up with some answers. […]

6 Ways to Make Kipping Pullups Safer

Big-KipSo the last few articles were all trash talking on kipping pullups.  We went over several reasons why kipping pullups might be causing injuries.  If you missed these articles you can find them here:

Now I wouldn’t be spewing so much pullup venom for no reason.  I actually enjoy kipping pullups.  I’m just very much interested in learning why kipping pullups cause injury so that we can learn how to make this exercise safer.  If you’re a competitive crossfitter or coach then you’re most likely interested as well.  So without further ado, 6 ways to make kipping pullups safer. […]

3 More Reasons Kipping Pullups Cause Injury

francocolumbuI couldn’t help myself.  In this article we discuss 3 more reasons that kipping pullups could be causing injury.  If you missed the first 3 reasons, you can find them all HERE.  This article is even more sciency, just the way I like it.  Without further ado, here are my next 3 top reasons kipping pullups cause injury.

1. You Aren’t Mobile Enough 

I’ve been hatin on mobility quite a bit lately, but not because I don’t think it’s important, just overemphasized.  Based on research we know that a tight pec minor can place us into anterior tilt of the scapula (1).   […]

Fitness Pain Free Podcast Episode 25 – The Joint by Joint Approach for the Upper Body

Dmitriy Klokov of Russia celebrates in tJoin Rob and I as we continue on in our quest to educate the masses on performance, injury prevention and rehabilitation.  Today we go deep into the joint by joint approach for the upper body:

For last podcast covering the lower body and lumbar spine click HERE:

[0:58] Our thoughts on the crossfit games

[6:18] Smolov program, very popular but is it a good idea? (I meant to say low-bar) […]


3 Reasons Kipping Pullups Cause Injuries

kippingFirst off, I want to say that I’m not against kipping pull-ups.  If you are a competitive crossfit athlete then they are going to be a staple part of your program.  I’m ok with that.  I do kipping pull-ups regularly.  Go ahead, make fun of me!  I also do plenty of strict pullups, weighted pullups and other rowing variations.

That being said, if you have absolutely no desire to be competitive with crossfit, it may be helpful to stick with good old traditional pullups and their variations.   […]

Shoulder Packing: What is it? How do we do it? How can we use it to make crossfit safer.

The Famous Coach Dan John Packing some Shoulders

If you’ve been hanging around or listening to some of the top level strength coaches speak, you’ve probably heard the term shoulder packing come up from time to time.  Maybe you’ve heard Kelly Starrett talk about externally rotating, retracting and depressing the shoulder?  Maybe you’re a kettlebell guy and heard about it from Steve Cotter, Pavel and the RKC crew.

When it comes to keeping athletes safe, injury free or returning them to the field of play after injury it requires quite a bit of thought and action.  Proper programming and throwing them the right exercises is definitely a key part.  We also need to think about exercise technique and developing proper motor patterns.  Here is where shoulder packing comes into play. […]

How to: Ultimate Upper Body Warm-Up – The How’s and Why’s Explained

If you read my training journal at all you know I throw around the words “prehab”, “static stretching” and “dynamic warmup” quite frequently.   A lot of people have asked me what the hell that means and really its tough to describe the exercises I use.   Here’s my best effort of an explanation:

  • The term prehab (prehabilitation) or preventative refers to exercises that help keep your joints and muscles healthy.
  • Static Stretching refers to holding stretches for extended periods of time.
  • A Dynamic Warmup consists of exercises that help prepare the body, joints and muscles for the upcoming workout.  The term dynamic just means that the exercises all require movement, as opposed to static stretching.

This part of your training session is pivotal to the health of your joints and your performance.  If you’re anything like me you want to get stronger and leave the gym with two shoulder joints that don’t feel like they’ve been ravaged by gorillas after doing an upper body training session. […]