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Juniata Strength Clinic 2017 Highlights

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

2017 Juniata Strength and Conditioning Clinic

Last week, I attended the 2017 Juniata College Strength and Conditioning Clinic. Of all the years I’ve attended, and I’ve been to I think ALL but 2 since it first took place in 2000, this was one of the best, in my opinion!

Today, I went through y notes and compiled a list of all my biggest take-aways from the clinic, and shot a video covering them all.

2017 Juniata Strength and Conditioning Clinic
Part 1

2017 Juniata Strength and Conditioning Clinic
Part 1

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topics I cover, and of course let me know if you have any questions.

I hope you enjoy it.

All the best in your training,


Coaches: This Program Will Help You
Reduce ACL Tears and Other Knee Injuries: Deceleration Training

Pitchers & Tommy John Surgery – Is Grip Strength Related?

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

At the Juniata College Strength Clinic, I was recently asked about the incidence of Tommy John surgery with pitchers and other position players. Specifically, they wanted to know if Grip Strength could be a factor in the equation.

Could a lack of grip strength be a contributor to the increases in UCL tears and the need for Tommy John Surgery?

I dig into this topic in the video below:

Tommy John Surgery and Grip Strength for Baseball Players

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Strength Training and Injury Prevention for Throwing Athletes

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Strength Training and Injury Prevention for Throwing Athletes

Matt Ellis

Most athletes, whether you realize it or not, are throwers.

Think about it. The first throwing sports you may picture are the classics: Baseball, softball, the quarterback on the football team, the shot put, discus, and javelin throwers on the track and field team.

Those are the images that typically pop into your head when you think of a throwing athlete.

What you might not realize is that throwing motions are done in almost every sport. Think of a tennis player serving the ball, a volleyball player serving or spiking the ball, a basketball player making a big outlet pass

How about that same basketball player making a chest pass? Isn’t that a similar movement as a football lineman pushing his opponent?

What about the soccer player throwing the ball in from out of bounds?

Or the swimmer gliding through the water using the same repetitive motions with their shoulders?

These are all throwing motions!

When you participate in sports at the high rates athletes do today, you are bound to have shoulder, elbow, wrist, and finger injuries.

Tommy John surgeries are on the rise as are rotator cuff injuries, labrum tears, and elbow tendonitis. I won’t bore you with the numbers, but the studies are out there and it is shocking how frequently these major injuries are happening each year and that the age of the athletes experiencing these injuries gets younger and younger

Youth sports are more popular than ever. Town rec leagues, church leagues, AAU, All Star, travel leagues, sport specific coaching facilities, position specific coaching, and youth/college showcase events mean your athletes can play their sport 12 months a year without taking a true off-season.

The constant repetitive motions along with specializing at a younger age means the overuse injuries that we used to see in college and professional sports are starting to happen at the middle school and high school level.

You can’t stop younger athletes from falling in love with one sport and specializing early. It happens!

The youth sports movement will continue to grow and overuse injuries will continue to happen at the middle and high school level…

But that doesn’t mean you have to just sit around and weight for throwing injuries to come about.

You can start modifying your training NOW to head those injuries off at the pass.

It’s all about making simple, subtle changes in your strength training.

Watch the video below NOW to learn SIMPLE alternative exercises to prevent injuries in your shoulders, elbows, and hands for all your “throwing athletes.”

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Make the Shoulders Feel Better to Lift Bigger Weights

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Stretches for the Shoulders and Lats


I am willing to bet that it has been a while since you gave your lats a good, solid stretch.

This means your results in the gym are probably being stifled

Tight lats will inhibit your muscle growth gains. Muscles need to be limber and flexible to allow for optimal growth, and if they are tight, your results will be stunted.

Don’t believe me?

Have you ever seen how flexible bodybuilders are? They may look muscle bound, but the truth is most of them stretch their asses off in order to maintain flexibility. If your lats are tight, you are limiting the amount of size you can put on.

Tight lats also mean your shoulders will not work right and your lifts will suffer. A great example is any form of overhead lifting: Strict Press, Push Press, Log, Barbell, Axle – it doesn’t matter. Tight lats will hinder your overhead performance.

Don’t believe me?

Try this. Do any version of overhead press with a thick hoodie on. Put a belt on your waist over top of your hoodie. You will feel the hoodie begin to restrict your overhead movement once the bar passes your head. This is essentially what happens when your lats are tight too – they inhibit your movement, and the Overhead Lifting is not the only thing they affect either.

Best Way to Stretch the Lats

Watch the video below. It will will show you my favorite stretch for the shoulders and lats. If you do this 4 or 5 times a workout, your tight lats will be on their way out the door, brother.

Obviously, this stretch utilizes bands. If you don’t have any bands, then you need to get some because these things are worth their weight in gold. If you have any questions on which bands to get, just let me know.

Places to Get Bands

If you don’t have bands, order some today. Beyond stretches like the one I show today, you can use them for tons of other things. Here are a couple of sources.

Rogue Fitness Monster Bands

RBT Rubber Band Training

Start doing this stretch TODAY and I guarantee you will see better results from your muscle building and strength training, plus, your shoulders will me healthier because of it.

All the best in your training.


Got Other Shoulder Issues?
Get Back to Pain Free Workouts with Fix My Shoulder Pain

Easy Way to Prevent Shoulder Pain

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

I am helping one of my good friends from college get back into shape after some injuries caused him to get out of lifting for a while. He has been sending me his workouts for several weeks, and one of the first things I noticed was he has been doing too much volume in his pushing movements compared to his pulling movements.

Here is a video I shot today addressing this issue, and a quick rundown on what you can do to prevent shoulder pain and injury from setting in.

Shoulder Pain Prevention

One of the biggest causes of shoulder pain is a lack of strength balance between the anterior and posterior muscles of the torso.

When the muscles of the chest and front portion of the shoulder are too strong and the muscles of the back and rear portion of the shoulder are too weak, problems can occur.


This is just one of many causes of shoulder pain, but it is also one that can most easily be prevented.

The first step in preventing shoulder pain due to muscular imbalances is to make sure you aren’t setting yourself up for muscular imbalances. You can take a step in the direction here by making better exercise selections in your training.

The simplest way to do this is to choose exercises that will naturally begin to produce antagonistic balance, or strength balance between opposing muscle groups.

This will give you some examples that will help you make smart exercise choices that will promote antagonistic balance.

Exercise Selection To Prevent Shoulder Pain and Injury

Here are some easy exercise combinations that will compliment this approach of developing antagonistic balance.

    Bench Press + Bent Over Row
    Military Press + Pull-ups
    Incline Press + Pull-downs
    Close Grip Bench Press + Seated Narrow Grip Rows
    Front Raise + Straight Arm Pull-downs

These exercise combinations will get you going in the right direction towards workouts that will still allow you to push big weight in the gym, plus they will help keep you going strong for many years because you will keep your shoulders healthier than someone else who overloads the pushing muscles and neglects the pulling muscles.

All the best in your training.


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