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Tag Archives: exercise band

  • Let's Get Nerdy!

    Hey guys! I wanted to start a series of blogs digging a little deeper into the human anatomy. Do not freak out though! I will make it easy for anyone to understand and be able to get something out of it.

    First I want to tell you real quickly why I am doing this. Here lately the numbers of studies on baseball and sports have dramatically increased, and while I have no problem with studies, I just am not sure if all of these are really helping you get better. I wanted to present things from an anatomical or body perspective. We have a good grasp on the muscles in the body and how they work. This hasn’t really changed much in the last few years if not longer. I wanted to present something to you that would be simple enough that you can implement today to improve your performance! Do not get me wrong, the body is not simple by any means, but there are some ways to start and advance from there.

    Now let’s talk about the Gluteus Medius. It can be found lateral aspect of the upper buttock. It is responsible for abduction and medial rotation of the hip. Hip rotation is critical in creating power in rotational athletes and also serves as a way to stabilize during other activities or sports.

    Here are a few examples on how coaches train this with their athletes:

    Exercise Band Activation: Band just above the knee. Knees are forced outward in order to gain tension in the gluteus medius. Wes Johnson presented this at the ABCA where he stated he tried to implement this with as many drills as he could like wall ball series, squats, hip bridges, clams, and etc…

    Donley Hip Spin: This is different than most products because it actually places the tension on hip and not the waist. It also works unilaterally so the athlete is not able to compensate.

    Pummel Ball Throws: This incorporates and integrates the full body while still keeping the primary focus on hip rotation. The ball tosses are commonly referred to by Eric Cressey, Lee Fiocci, and others as a great way work on full body rotation and power transfer. The pummel ball is ideal for this as it was made to be slammed into walls or the ground and is very durable.

    These are just a few exercises that can be used to activate and strengthen the Gluteus Medius. It may be important to stretch or work on tissue quality in this area as well. This is why you should consult with your instructor or therapist to make sure you are getting the right balance of strengthening, stretching, and tissue maintenance.

    Hopefully this gave you an insight to a powerful muscle utilized in rotational activities, and showed you how some of the greatest strength conditioning coaches train this in a holistic approach. As I stated before, one muscle is not everything, but it provides and good basis to start with and advance further. Make sure to tune in for the next video for another look into the anatomy of the human body.

    Remember to be unique And

    #BeELITE

  • Arm Care: It's Not Sexy, But It's the Most Important

    Baseball holds a special place in our society and, because of this, there is often nostalgia associated with the game. We discuss the game's greatest players with such reverence. We talk about the game's unwritten rules, the beauty of a perfectly executed hit and run, and a knee buckling curve ball. Many of us have vivid memories connected to a certain game, team, or players. This is what makes baseball America's Pastime. But the nostalgia for the way the game was played yesteryear, has created generations of baseball people who have been unwilling to adapt--unable to see that certain things about the way baseball athletes train needed to be updated and brought to the 21st century.

    Fortunately, over the last 15 years or so, there has been a titanic shift throughout the baseball world. The baseball community has slowly, but surely, began to change its mindset with regard to training. Oates Specialties has been proud to be a part of this movement.

    Perhaps the greatest change has come with regard to the perspective of how pitchers should train and prepare to pitch. The most notable result of this paradigm shift is the proliferation of academies, coaches, and trainers who are using new training tools and movements in order to help pitchers build a bigger motor. In other words, these coaches and trainers understand that the number one way to increase velocity is to build athleticism and explosiveness in an athlete. The primary focus of this training--as applied to the throwing motion--is on the acceleration phase. This is important. We all know that a pitcher has zero shot of making it to the next level without adequate velocity. But if that pitcher can't stay healthy, it really doesn't matter how hard he throws.

    To provide an illustrative example: say you drive a Honda Accord and one day I walk up to you and give you a Ferrari. I then tell you to go as fast as possible. What I don't tell you is that the Ferrari has faulty brakes. Those brakes may or may not stop the car. Would you want to see how fast that Ferrari could go? Not if you're sane.

    The bottom line is that a Ferrari without good brakes isn't much good at all. It's a recipe for disaster. The same is true for an athlete who successfully improves the acceleration phase of his delivery without intentional and serious focus on the deceleration phase. At the end of the day, assisting an athlete in increasing his velocity isn't the most difficult task. If you help that athlete become a more explosive, athletic version of himself on the mound he will likely gain some MPHs (achieving increased velocity is more nuanced than this, but you get my point). Instead, the most difficult task is to help an athlete increase velocity AND decrease arm tenderness/soreness/pain while also improving recovery between outings. This is a very different task. Think about it: if you increase velocity you are increasing arm speed, which means your arm is having to endure a greater load and more stress placed on it. It also means your body has to bring to a stop an arm that has accelerated to a higher speed in the same amount of time/space.

    Oates Specialties prides itself in carrying the tools every throwing athlete can use to strengthen and care for the arm and improve the deceleration phase of the throwing motion. It is of such importance to us, that we have a category of products on our website entitled "Arm Care" where you will find these tools--most notably, wrist weights, the TAP Baseball Training Sock, First Responder Resistance Tubing, TAP Bell Clubs, Extreme Duty Weighted Balls, Exercise Bands, Rocket Wrap Compression Floss, and the Shoulder Tube. An athlete can, and should, train to both strengthen the arm, but also to properly learn how to decelerate through proper pronation, including how to hold this pronation for as long as possible (short answer: continue rotating over the landing leg).

    Without a healthy arm, a baseball athlete cannot take the field. And without taking the field that athlete cannot compete at his current level, much less make it to the next level. Plus, the longer it takes your arm to recover from an outing the longer it is before you can get back to training to become a better pitcher, regardless of whether the objective is to increase velocity, improve command, or sharpen your breaking ball.

    So my recommendation for each and every one of you is to take some time to assess your arm care routine. How much time do you spend improving your arm's brakes compared to the amount of time you spend on your arm's engine? My guess is that most of you are obsessed with the super charger you are busy building on your engine and haven't really thought about the status of the brake pads. Such a perspective is nothing more than short term gain with long term problems.

    Oates Specialties is here to help you with your arm care needs, so reach out to us if we can assist you in building your arm care and arm health routines.

    Until next time,

    Brian Oates

    Brian@Oatesspecialties.com

  • Ice: It's Not the Answer

    It’s hard to believe, but ten years ago I was a junior in college. If you would have watched me pitch in college (or when I was in the minor leagues) you would have noticed a routine after each outing. The end of that routine was always the same: I would wrap my arm, from shoulder to forearm, with bags of ice, secured by the clear plastic wrap that athletic trainers seem to have in abundance. Looking back, I have to admit something: My name is Brian Oates, and I had an ice problem.

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