My Favorite Exercise Combinations: Installment 6

As many of our athletes have returned from their high school and collegiate seasons (and go on to play summer baseball as well), there have been many individuals who, for several reasons, have only just returned to lifting on a more regular schedule.

When it comes down to it, there are only so many general preparatory exercises that need maintenance on a day to day basis.

  1. Hip Hinge
  2. Squat
  3. Lunge
  4. Push
  5. Pull
  6. Anti-Extension, -Rotation, -Flexion

The loads, implements, and other items will change from day to day, but the movements will largely remain the same.

As a rule of thumb with many of our youth athletes, the rotational demands that they have experienced for all of the season during their school year will need to be restored, maintained, and improved upon in order to prepare their body for the upcoming fall semester of play.

If an athlete is returning and they have only give or take 2 months (8 weeks) of hard training, not including any weeks off for vacations (so only 6.5 to 7 weeks in reality).

The drills indicated by the baseball edition of the combination days hopefully serve as an index for restoring movement that may have been as a cause of degradation during the season.

During the off-season, the athlete can now restore mobility, improve power and strength qualities that may have been lost for absolute speed qualities that were improved upon during games.

With all of this in mind, two drills (with a bonus third) I find myself using after the dynamic warm-up involve utilizing a rotational medicine ball drill, and a very simple half kneeling mobility drill.

A1. Hot Feet Recoiled Shotput – 4×4/side

A2. Half Kneeling Windmill – 3×8/side

The “hot feet” version of the recoiled shot-put involves understanding what it means to shift weight appropriately from foot to foot, and from hip to hip. As you move back and forth with intention, the movement will require adequate mobility through the hips, thoracic spine, and scapulae as you throw the ball.

Often times the movement may incorporate simply too much movement from the upper body, and not enough in the hips or even the feet.

What is hopefully accomplished with the pairing involves understanding how the Half Kneeling Windmill works – there is movement that aims to free up the scapula, requires co-contraction of specific lower body musculature, along with maintaining abdominal integrity as you rotate.

This coordination of the lower portion of the body with the upper body is necessary towards developing low levels of motor control – a quality that is also necessary for doing Moonwalks.

Perhaps this third exercise can be introduced to solidify the dissociation and association necessary for more body awareness for our athletes!

As always,

Keep it funky.


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