Get Strong

Grip Strength And The Shoulder Rotator Cuff

A common occurrence especially in contact sports is shoulder pain as a resultant of rotator cuff pathology. People move differently in pain. Pain causes alterations in muscle activity and reduces loads within the affected region to protect from further discomfort and injury. The handgrip, shoulder flexion and bicep brachii activity can potentially change 'internal loading' of the shoulder muscles as there is a co-activation of the proximal and distal arm muscles during gripping.  How you grip an object and the effort you apply results in a redistribution of force in the rotator cuff muscles, positively or negatively since shoulder stabilizer activity increases during handgrip actions.

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Knowing this about hand movement and the rotator cuff helps us not only in rehabilitation of an injury, but also in strength training. Having a program with many gripping movements with your shoulder in flexion strengthens much more then your hands. A variety of grip strengthening exercises as an emphasized regular part of your athletic program may in fact be one of the best methods of working the musculature to stabilize the rotator cuff. 

Train your hands and protect your shoulder - Get the Grip Strong.

Pendulum Grip Cart

Build your own Pendulum Grip Cart with a wide variety of gripping tools from Rogers Athletic 

Topics: Pendulum Gripper, Pendulum Grip Cart, Strength

Neck Pain And Your Athletes

Athletes often have neck pain, yet we do not always understand the effect it has on performance. BioMed Central Musculoskeletal Disorders Journal, "Evidence for a general stiffening motor control pattern in neck pain: a cross sectional study.", describes how neck pain can effect us in many ways.  Athletes need to play at a high level and they, as well as their coaches must be in tune to it's effect on the execution of skill. 

Neck pain effects flexibility and 'conjunct motion'. Flexibility or range of motion is associated with mobility - conjunct motion is the smooth timed transitions that our musculature makes to perform movements. Pain inhibits the underlying passages of muscle to muscle contractions, which effects how our skeletal system operates. A simple test administered by researchers is to have subjects with neck issues stand on a balance pad versus healthy individuals performing the same task. Those with neck problems have more difficulty with motor control and maintaining posture.

There are other adverse problems associated with neck pain that effect performance, such as slower neck movement velocity, increased head steadiness and more rigid trajectory of head motion patterns.

When an athlete receives neck trauma they must get treatment from the trainer with regularity and make sure their neck strength also returns to it's original level. There is more musculature than 'degrees of freedom' in the head and neck region. Degrees of freedom represents our ability to move our head and neck in all the various ways that we normally can. Having more muscle than degrees of freedom allows for substitution of the injured musculature by other groups of head and neck muscles to perform the same movement - but not quite as well.  When an athlete returns-to-play even though only experiencing minor degrees of pain athleticism may be less then optimal. Like any region in the body each muscle must heal and regain strength so that we are no longer substituting and have normal conjunct motion.

Keep accurate records on the Pendulum 4 and 5 Way Head and Neck machine and if an athlete is ever injured make sure they can return to their previous levels of strength - Get Strong and Keep Strong.  

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Topics: Head/Neck/Trap/Shop, Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Strength

Tools

Sport requires year-round training for excellence. Practicing and playing with limited time off heightens the risk of injury. Programs with numerous tools for training allow an athlete to increase strength and remain strong by addressing each issue that may arise.

West Virginia's men's and women's basketball program use many different exercise devices to train their athletes. Having a variety of tools keeps and Gets them Strong.

20160909_094419.jpgThe Pendulum Seated Squat 

20160909_093841.jpgThe Pendulum Reverse Glute/Ham

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The Pendulum 5 Way Head and Neck

20160909_093938.jpgThe Pendulum Leg Curl

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The Pendulum Row and Hip Presses

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Pendulum Grippers

 

 

Topics: Pendulum Seated Squat, Pendulum Reverse Glute/Ham, Pendulum Leg Curl, Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum Gripper, Pendulum Hip Press, Pendulum 3 Way Row, Strength

Attenuating Impact

In the Journal of Pediatric Exercise Science, "The relationship between impact force, neck strength and neurocognitive performance in soccer heading in adolescent females.", the authors looked at heading, it's subconcussive impacts and neck strength. After extensive study their conclusion was, "This suggests neck strengthening may be an important component of any head injury prevention/reduction program."
 
Head impacts are common in contact sports and in a sport such as soccer a necessary part of the game. Attenuating head forces is the responsibility of a well constructed preparation program for sport. Having neck exercises as a normal part of a physical education exercise program should be commonplace in society for preparation of any sport.  https://info.rogersathletic.com/get-strong/bid/99013/Preventative-Sports-Medicine
 
Always prepare athletes for the rigors of the game. Get their necks Strong.
 
5 way
Pendulum Neck/Shrug
 

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Strength

Using The Pendulum Reverse Glute/Ham

The Pendulum Reverse Glute/Ham is an exceptional strength training device that targets the oft-neglected proximal end of the hamstring muscle, as well as, the glutes and hips. The Reverse Glute/Ham is an exceptional rehabilitative tool giving the athlete the ability to train when he or she has a knee, ankle sprain, casted foot or other lower leg injury. Continuation of training at a high level allows for the retention and development of tissue which enhances return-to-play from injury.

The Reverse Glute/Ham has another use beyond normal strengthening that few may be aware of.  The unique exercise device can be used to safely identify a muscular weakness in the quadriceps that is rarely picked up on any other exercise, test or exercise tool.

Begin the identification process by choosing a weight that he or she can perform 25 reps, pausing at the bottom of each repetition, with their knees bent during the entire movement. Keeping the knees bent targets and fatigues the glutes.

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25 reps with the knee bent during each repetition

Upon completion of the 25th rep (which should be difficult) the subject then, without rest, extends their legs straight out as if standing up. The additional weight of the lower limb adds weight to the movement allowing the lifter to continue performing repetitions. The athlete brings his knees back in the bent position then extending his legs pausing for as many reps as possible. If the first weight was chosen properly the number of repetitions that can be achieved will be some number less than 10.

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Each rep is from bent to an exactly straight paused leg

Once the athlete can complete the last rep in full extension as seen above, he or she is to slowly return at a 5 second count, with the legs kept perfectly straight, to a vertical position if possible.  In the vertical position (if flexible enough) the athlete pauses each rep for 15 seconds. The subject continues repetitions until failure.  If there is a disparity in leg strength the weaker quadricep will begin fibrillating often shaking dramatically.  This will be very visible and will require direct exercise such as leg extensions and straight leg lifts to correct and return to normal in the future.  

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Topics: Pendulum Reverse Glute/Ham, Strength Training, Strength

Aerobic Strength Training

There is no question that if you strength train throughout your life that as you age you will retain more muscle mass than those who don't. The health benefit of retaining muscle mass is enormous. Remember this - skeletal muscle though seldom referenced as, is the largest organ in the body.
 
We tend to think of skeletal muscles relative to their mechanical properties of muscle contraction, movement, posture and the process of respiration. Muscle is related to much more than locomotive functions. Skeletal muscle as mentioned, is a secretory organ. Several hundred cytokines, that is, small signaling proteins and various peptides (short chains of amino acids) are released by muscle cells called myocytes. This allows muscles to communicate with other organs such as adipose tissue, liver, pancreas, bones, and importantly the brain. Much of the communication is dependent on contraction so movement and activity are paramount in our healthy existence.
 
Middle age begins a progressive decline in muscle strength and muscle mass but skeletal muscle retention is not to be associated only with strength training.  Those who participate in long-term aerobic exercise attenuate age-related reductions in muscle strength when compared to the sedentary population and also reap cardiorespiratory and metabolic benefits. 
 
If you want to retain the most muscle as you age strength train and make sure you include a form of aerobic fitness as well. "A walk in the park" is a saying used for something seemingly easy but coupled with strength training it becomes a good way to Get Strong.
 
Pendulum Power Squat Pro

Topics: Pendulum Squat Pro, Strength

Eating Less And Maintaining More

To ensure young athletes gain muscle mass coaches provide advice and direction. They set up workouts, have goal meetings, implement training rules, discuss and suggest nutritional and sleep guidelines, track weight and strength progress. Eating more calories than you are used to is often difficult for athletes to maintain and gain tissue, yet rewarding.  Proper dietary intake drives the results of a well organized and participated in program.

When you reach middle age things change, behaviors associated with weight training and muscle retention are counterintuitive. For years caloric restriction has been studied in animals as a way to increase longevity.  Now, researchers are discovering how the aging muscle receives the most benefit by restricting calories. By eating less, there is what is called 'metabolic reprogramming', this means decreased energy from glycolysis and increased cellular dependency on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Metabolic reprogramming seems to help cells better use antioxidants and protect their retention. Don't forget a muscle is an 'organ' critical for movement ...and fuel metabolism as well. 

The message is - do not continue the same eating habits that you had as a young athlete. When you reach middle age reduce the calories that you have been eating daily and you will maintain more muscle tissue using your personal strength and conditioning protocol. Eat less and Get Strong.

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Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Pendulum Rack System, Success, Strength

West Virginia Strong Men

When you are an athlete and have spent the summer in preparation for the season it is fun to compete and show off your strength before participating in fall football camp. The Mountaineers of West Virginia finished their summer session with some strongman competition. The Atlas Stones were a great success, as expected the players competed hard and records were broken. 

West Virginia Football Atlas Stones

Placing heavy Atlas Stones over the yoke with the goal of as many as possible in 2 minutes. They Get Strong at the University of West Virginia.

Topics: Announcements, Strength

Get Strong Feet

Get Strong Feet

A characteristic of any 'system' is interconnectivity and interdependence.  All parts of a system interact with one another and the entire system cannot operate optimally if any part is excluded.

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“I can’t prove this, but I believe when my runners train barefoot, they run faster and suffer fewer injuries.”
— Vin Lananna, Director of Track and Field for the University of Oregon and seven-time NCAA Coach of the Year.

A new study shows that barefoot running causes less impact to the body than wearing shoes.

Much has been written about barefoot running, the claims are that it strengthens the feet, strengthen the arches, improves movement, and balance and increases flexibilty and mobility.

In March of this year, researchers published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, "Effects on Muscle Strength, the Foot Arch, and Dynamic Parameters Before and After the Training."  The researchers strength trained the flexor muscles of the feet in a population of healthy men from the ages of 22-32. The subjects performed 200 reps per day on a special exercise device for the toes with about a 6 - 7 pound weight for 8 weeks. They targeted the intrinsic muscles of the feet, specifically the muscles of the interphalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints.

After pre and post testing, the researchers found significant improvement in the 1-legged long jump distances,  vertical jumping heights, and  50-m dash times. Keep, and Get, the entire system Strong.

Topics: Running, Muscular Growth, Strength

Western Michigan University Pendulum Rack System

The Western Michigan University Broncos install the Pendulum Rack System.

Western Michigan Pendulum Power Racks

Pendulum Power Rack System Western Michigan

WMU Weight Room

The Pendulum Rack System

WMU Dumbbells

Pendulum Bench

The Broncos Pendulum Utility Bench

Western Michigan Pit Sharks

The Pit Shark Belt Squat

Glute Ham Western Michigan University

Pendulum Glute Ham

Pendulum Glute-Ham

Pendulum Neck Machines WMU

Pendulum 4-Way Head and Neck Machines

Topics: Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Pendulum Rack System, Announcements Broncos, Strength