Apr 27, 2018
Better Together, Part 6
Barry Lippman

Over the past few weeks, I’ve described how we have restructured our baseball conditioning at Coastal Carolina University. Hand-in-hand with the process was developing our core values. Below are the components that make up “The Coastal Way.”

1. The three guiding philosophies — individuality, synergy, and attention to detail.

2. Teaching anterior pelvic tilt and/or abdominal bracing with all appropriate exercises. For example, when completing a prone plank, hips should be slightly rolled forward with decreased lordotic curve, activating the lower back’s protective mechanisms and compressive pattern versus shear pattern of erector spinae.

3. Incorporating shoulder flexion stretches whenever performing pull-up variations. This prevents shoulder flexion restrictions, which cause rib cage flare and excessive back extension.

4. Emphasizing ears over shoulders and making a double chin during all exercises, namely farmer’s walks and pulling variations. No neck hyperextension or protrusion is permitted.

5. Absolutely no lumbar extension exercises are completed and only limited spinal flexion exercises. All extension needs to come from the hips and thoracic spine. The spine is similar to a credit card — there are only so many bends before it breaks.

6. Very little, if any, lumbar rotation is allowed and absolutely no weighted torque rotation. Rotation should be centered around the hips, not the spine. To achieve this, cue back foot rotation.

7. High amounts of anti-rotation and anti-extension exercises are almost always done in the vertical position. Example exercises include Pallof presses, planks, rollouts, ball throws from a variety of stances, and lunge variations.

8. Limited overhead shoulder compression exercises (i.e., military presses, snatches, push jerks, dips, etc.) are permitted for position players and none for pitchers. These exercises compress and grind the labrum, create valgus extension overload to the elbow, and cause impingement at the shoulder.

9. Performing at least twice the amount of upper-body pulling than pushing exercises.

10. Including all three planes of movement (sagittal, frontal, and transverse) in all sessions.

11. Including closed-chain horizontal push exercises in upper-dominant work. This greatly increases activation of the scapular stabilizers and increases anti-extension core stabilization.

12. Each individual athlete must demonstrate appropriate alignment, muscle control, and breathing pattern in a given exercise before advancing to that movement’s more advanced level.

Part 1 of this article can be found here.

Part 2 of this article can be found here.

Part 3 of this article can be found here.

Part 4 of this article can be found here.

Part 5 of this article can be found here.

Barry Lippman, MS, ATC, CSCS, is Associate Athletic Trainer/Director of Rehabilitation for Coastal Carolina University athletics, where he oversees athletic training for Olympic sports and works directly with the baseball team.

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