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Brainstorm: Was "Back in the day" Really That Good? - Sun, 08/25/2019 - 01:57
If so, were the early-day strength athletes stronger, faster, and more powerful than present-day competitors? Studies about nostalgia suggest the answers to these questions root in nostalgic accounts from both positive and negative emotions.
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4 Mistakes Fallen Leaders Are Prone To - Sun, 08/25/2019 - 01:26
Wealth, power, and fame. Some might say those are inherently negative characteristics. I, however, believe the way those characteristics are wielded determines whether they are good or bad.
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Mobility Exercises for Desk Dwellers: Exercises for the Office or Cubicle - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 11:56

By Angie Hurley, CSCS, CAT(C)

If you’re sitting like this right now reading this, STOP! …and continue reading :)

Desk dwellers often experience work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) due to sustained postures and repetitive motions (NIOSH, 1997). Fifty percent of all work-related MSDs involve the back, neck, shoulders, and upper limbs (Collins, Van Rensburg, & Patricios, 2011).

Some common MSDs include back pain, muscle strains, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, epicondylitis, and thoracic outlet syndrome (WSPS, 2011).

No particular positioning or posture is inherently ‘bad’ but, when sustained for long periods of time, postures can create prolonged static contraction of muscles, tension on ligaments and muscles, decreased tissue flexibility, altered spinal curvature and weakened para-vertebral muscles leading to increased risk of injury (Janwantanakul et al, 2008).

Other factors that increase your risk of an MSD include lack of physical activity and obesity (Collins, Van Rensburg, & Patricios, 2011).

3 Ways to Prevent Work-Related Injuries

Prevention of the aches and pains associated with long hours at a desk is possible! Frequent changes of position, stretch breaks, and movement are key! To prevent work-related injuries:

  1. Adjust your workplace to make it tailored to your individual ergonomic needs, i.e., appropriate workstation height or even install a standing desk,
  2. Take frequent breaks to change postures and positions, and
  3. Do preventative stretching and exercises.
Preventive Exercises for the Office

Try some of these exercises in your office or cubicle to prevent some of the most common work-related musculoskeletal disorders. A few reps, multiple times a day can help. Set a 60- to 90-minute timer to remind you to switch your posture up; stand, do a stretch, or take a quick walk. If you already have a suspected injury, make sure you see a qualified professional for an accurate assessment!

Wrist flexor stretch

Target: flexor muscles of the forearms, carpal tunnel syndrome, golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)

Instructions: palms up, finger tips on the edge of the desk, straighten the arms and push palms to be perpendicular to desk
A little something extra: Ensure the fingers are straight to maximize this stretch – the flexor group of the forearm has many muscles that pass through the carpal tunnel and into the hand, so straightening the fingers ensures we’re also stretching the muscles that go beyond the wrist joint. Hold/reps: 30 seconds/every 90-120 minutes.

Wrist flexor stretch stretches the flexor muscles of the forearms Wrist extensor stretch

Target: extensor muscles of the forearms, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
Instructions: Palm down, make a fist, knuckles on edge of the desk, straighten arms
Hold/reps: 30 seconds/every 90-120 minutes.

Wrist extensor stretch stretches the extensor muscles of the forearms Military sets

Target: reduces internally rotated shoulders and rounded (kyphotic) thoracic spine, thoracic outlet syndrome
Instructions: sitting tall, shrug shoulders up, roll them back, then draw them down out of the shrug (see pic below for final position)
A little something extra: use a mirror, or your front facing phone camera, to see how your posture is changing
No hold. Perform dynamically/20 reps

Military sets help reduce tension in the shoulder, mid/upper back, and neck area. Double chin tucks

Targets: forward head posture (see pic 1 below), lengthening of the posterior neck, shortening of the scalenes, sternocleidomastoid, and other anterior neck musculature. Tension headaches, neck pain.
Instructions: sitting tall (head towards the ceiling), shoulders set back, glide the chin back to create a double chin. Do not tilt the head back or forward. (See pic 2, below).
A little something extra: Fit these in while brushing your teeth! It’s a great time to have the mirror as a cue and multitasking won’t interfere with keeping those pearly whites shining. Another great reminder is every time you sip your coffee or water.
Hold/reps: 3 second hold/10 reps

Pic 1: To avoid forward head posture like this, try double chin tucks as well as changing your work station to promote healthier sitting posture Pic 2: Double chin tucks help stretch the back of the neck and relieves tension on the neck and upper back. Trap stretch

Targets: upper traps, where many ‘hold their stress’
Instructions: Sitting at your desk, tuck your right hand, palm up, under your right hip to sit on the hand, bring your left ear to your shoulder. Sitting on your arm helps pin the shoulder blade so we get a better stretch. If you do not feel much stretch, you can use your free hand to apply a gentle overpressure on your head.
A little something extra: if we bring our ear to our shoulder and look down to our arm pit we will change the stretch to also include the levator scapulae. If we bring our ear to our shoulder and jut the chin to look over the shoulder, we will target the muscles of the anterior neck.
Hold/reps: 10 breaths/2 per side

The trap stretch helps relieve tension in the upper shoulders where many people hold their stress Dowel swings

Targets: Pec major/minor, rotator cuff, increased shoulder range of motion
Instructions: standing with a wide grip, use a controlled swing to bring the arms around to the back, and return to the front. Try to gradually narrow your grip on the item.
A little something extra: perform with a resistance band, towel, or if at work – your scarf or tie!
Hold/reps: perform dynamically, controlled tempo throughout entire range of motion/8-15 reps.

Starting position. Dowel swings stretch the pecs, rotator cuff, and shoulders Midpoint position. Dowel swings stretch the pecs, rotator cuff, and shoulders End position. Dowel swings stretch the pecs, rotator cuff, and shoulders Doorway stretch

Targets: pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, shoulder and upper spine mobility
Instructions: Standing in your doorway, feet together, with both arms up so forearms are on the door frame, elbows bent at 90 degrees. Take a step through the doorway with chest out. 
A little something extra: Slide the arms up the door frame until the elbow is at 135 degrees. Slide the elbows down the door frame until the elbow is at 45 degrees. This ensures all 3 heads of the pectoralis muscle are targeted.
Hold/reps: 5-10 breaths/2 per side

Doorway stretch for the pecs and upper spinal muscles Banana stretch

Targets: latissimus dorsi, intercostals, obliques
Instructions: standing next to your doorway (or cubicle wall), cross the outside leg over the inside stance leg. Use the inside hand to stabilize, while reaching to the door frame with the outside arm forming a curved, or banana, shape.
A little something extra: in this stretch if you lean back at the hips you will get more iliopsoas with the above mentioned muscles, and if you lean slightly forward at the hips, you will get more quadratus lumborum, a low back muscle that runs from the top of the hip, to the spiny process of the lumbar vertebrae, to the bottom of the rib cage.
Hold/reps: 10 breaths/2 per side

Banana stretch stretches the lats, rib muscles, and obliques Child’s pose

Targets: erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, latissimus dorsi, thoracic spine extension
Instructions: from your hands and knees, sit back onto your heels, press the chest to the ground and reach forward with your hands. After several breaths try to walk your hands further out while keeping your hips low on your feet.
A little something extra: A reach! Add in walking your hands over to 10 and 2 o’clock for more lateral stretch.
Hold/reps: 30 seconds each at 12, 10, and 2 o’clock

Child’s pose stretches the lats and spinal muscles Seated figure 4

Targets: glutes, internal rotation mobility of the hip
Instructions: Seated at your desk, cross an ankle to rest at the opposite knee. From this position, sit tall and bend forward at the hips, not by rounding the back, to enhance the stretch.
A little something extra: calf raise the leg that’s on the ground to push the crossed ankle higher Hold/reps: 20 seconds/ 3 per side

Seated figure 4 stretches the glutes and hips Kneeling lunge

Targets: Quadriceps and hip flexors
Instructions: in half kneeling position, where the knees are both at 90 degrees, squeeze the glutes while tucking the pelvis in, and push the hips forward.
A little something extra: Using a ballerina reach with the same arm as the down knee, reach overhead and back to target the high hip flexors as well.
Hold/reps: 30 seconds/2 per side

Kneeling lunge stretches the quads and hip flexors

I hope this article help improve your posture and helps you feel better. Happy training! ~Angie

Let us help you prevent work-related injuries by getting stronger and fitter than ever! Interested? Fill out an application to see if we’re a good fit!

Let’s Do This!


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LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast #25 with Casey Williams - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 05:26
Dave Tate's bringing yet another amazing athlete to the table... Talk Podcast! (See what we did there?) This time, it's elitefts athlete Casey Williams.
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LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast Clip — Justin Harris Explains Carb Cycling - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 01:49
Carb cycling: A fancy phrase for rotating calories. Nutritionist Justin Harris breaks down why you should be carb cycling and why it works in simple terms.
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Competition Report: Brute Strength Gym’s Spartacus Strongman - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 12:44
This competition was preceded by my dad's unexpected death, a delay in his death certificate, and burying him the Monday before my wedding. It's been a tough year, and my training and diet reflected that. Still, I did pretty well all things considered.
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Garrett’s USAPL Nationals Training Log | Part 1 - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 10:07

Garrett Blevins kicks off preparation for USAPL Raw Nationals using the JuggernautAI Powerlifting system.

The post Garrett’s USAPL Nationals Training Log | Part 1 appeared first on Juggernaut Training Systems.

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Stirring the Pot, Volume 1 - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 09:39
I've been told I do a good job of being a heretic of the strength and conditioning coach profession, so I might as well keep it up and stir the pot with some of my hot takes on sumo deadlifts, box squatting, and more.
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Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: 8/23/19 - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 07:40

Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo

BUT FIRST…CHECK THIS STUFF OUT 1. Coaching Competency – Dublin, Ireland

This is happening Sunday, September 8, 2019 (Early Bird rate ends THIS WEEKEND)

Save $100

Register HERE

So what happens when a room full of Irish(w0)men find out I’m not much of a drinker?…;o)

Whether you get paid to tell people to lift heavy things or you just like to lift heavy things yourself, in this 1-day workshop you’ll get the opportunity to listen to me talk about my how I approach assessment and gain a better understanding of how I “match” the exercises I prescribe to better fit the needs, ability level, and more importantly, the anatomy of each individual I work work.

In short, this workshop looks at the “umbrella theme” of my coaching philosophy.

For more information – including itinerary and how to register – go HERE.

3. Strategic Strength Workshop – London, England

This is happening the weekend of September 14-15th, 2019.

Register HERE

Luke Worthington and I have presented this workshop twice. Once in London last year and again this past June in Boston.

We’re bringing it back to London this Fall, my most favorite place in the world.

This two-day workshop is designed to arm fitness professionals with all the tools they’ll need to hone their assessment skills and to make their clients/athletes a bunch of bonafide, resilient, strength training Terminators.

Combined Luke and I have ~40 years of coaching experience (or one Dan John) and bring different perspectives and skill-sets to the table; Luke peels back the onion on PRI (Postural Restoration Institute) concepts and assessment, while I go into detail breaking down movement and how to better “match” the exercises we prescribe to our clients.

For more information – including itinerary and how to register – you can go HERE.


I repeat it time and time again to personal trainers, but it needs repeating.

Generating leads is important. Marketing is important.

However, the key (I believe) to long-term success (and consistent income) is focusing more on how to KEEP your CURRENT clients.

— Tony Gentilcore (@tonygentilcore1) August 20, 2019



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Yesterday was a good day. . Because my client @lollercoaster24 hit her first 200 lb deadlift. . I think Cristy – sitting in the background and clapping – was most excited of all. . Speaks to the power of training amongst your “tribe” and surrounding yourself around supportive people who will push and encourage you. . SIDE NOTE: This wasn’t even a planned PR attempt. Maura crushed last week’s numbers, she was feeling good yesterday, so I was like “screw it, let’s go for 200.” .

Eric Cressey on Building the Bulletproof Baseball Shoulder

Eric Cressey is the president and co-founder of Cressey Sports Performance, with facilities in Hudson, MA and Jupiter, FL. Eric has worked with clients from youth sports to the professional and Olympic ranks, but is best known for his extensive work with baseball players, as more than 100 professional players train with him each off-season.

Eric publishes a free blog and newsletter at his website,, and has a podcast at

Eric is someone that I consider a true professional in our industry, and a good friend as well. We’ve co-authored products and articles together, and he’s someone I’m constantly learning from.

In this show, Eric and I go deep on the topic of shoulders. We start with how a beat-up shoulder from tennis helped him become a go-to resource for pitchers, the massive demands placed on the shoulder when throwing, an overview of his assessment process, how he blends movement quality with training savagery, the power of the lats in pro pitchers, and his current thoughts on arm care.

If you train any overhead athlete you should be listening to Eric, and we cover a ton of ground in this show.


Show Outline

Here’s a brief overview of what we covered in this week’s show:

  • Show Intro:
  • Deep Thought:
    • Put Yourself Out there
  • Interview with Eric:
    • How a beat-up tennis shoulder gave Eric a massive understanding of the shoulder, and helped him become one of elite resources in all of baseball.
    • The extreme demands placed on the shoulder when pitching.
    • His assessment and evaluation process when starting with a new pitcher, including how much time is spent in different areas of the assessment process (i.e. discussion, orthopedic, sport-specific, etc.)
    • Real talk: How do you write a program that allows someone to train like a savage, while keeping their shoulders healthy in the process?
    • Eric’s advice on arm care routines, and how he finds ways to sneak this kind of work into his programming.
    • A frank discussion on breathing, resets, and how he incorporates them into his workouts.
    • A peek behind the curtain – what are the differences between training an up-and-coming prospect, versus an all-star or Cy Young Winner like Max Scherzer or Corey Kluber?
    • A super engaging lightning round where we talk about the new CSP facility, the qualities he looks for in interns, how he works to find work/life balance, and what’s next for Eric Cressey.


Related Links


Do You Want to Become a Complete Coach?

It seems like every day I talk to a young trainer or coach who is frustrated.

Frustrated with the results they’re getting.

Frustrated because they don’t have trusted resources to learn from.

And maybe they’re frustrated because they simply don’t have enough clients, and wonder how long they’ll be able to stay in the industry.

So if this sounds anything like you, I’ve got something that I know will help!

My Complete Coach Certification was created for trainers and coaches just like you – who are serious about the results they get, and know that becoming a better coach can directly translate to a bigger bottom line.

This certification is going to take the last 20 years of my life’s work and put it all into one massive course. In it you’ll learn:

  • How to use the R7 system to create seamless, integrated and efficient programs for clients and athletes of all shapes and sizes,
  • How to create the culture, environment and relationships with everyone you train so you can get the absolute best results, and
  • The exact progressions, regressions and coaching cues I use in the gym – from squatting and deadlifting to pressing and pulling and everything in between.

Of course there’s a ton more that I cover, but that should give you a pretty good idea of what the certification is all about!

Now here’s the thing – spots for the certification will open twice per year for a limited time only. If you’re interested in learning more, my next certification will launch in September, and if you join my FREE Insiders List, you’ll be able to save $200 when it opens!

If you’re interested in learning more, please head over to to get on the Insider’s List. Thank you!


Sharing is Caring!

If you took something away from this AWESOME show with Eric, please take 30 seconds out of your day to share via email, social or whatever means work best for you.

Thanks so much for your support!

The post Eric Cressey on Building the Bulletproof Baseball Shoulder appeared first on Robertson Training Systems.

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Exercise of the week: Rear Foot Elevated 1-arm Low Cable Row - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 11:54

This week’s exercise of the week features a new spin on an old favorite of ours. By elevating the rear foot, you can get more weight shift into the front hip on split-stance low cable rows.

In both pitchers and hitters athletes, we’re constantly seeking better ways to teach front hip pull-back – and this is an awesome exercise for feeling the involved musculature. If you want to see this in action, check out the 29-30 second mark in this video of Zach Greinke:

I was surprised at how heavy we’ve been able to go on this exercise, as I expected a big drop off in resistance utilized because of the balancing component that’s involved. In athletes with some single-leg proficiency, though, the rear-foot elevated 1-arm low cable row is an awesome progression.

If you’re looking to learn more about how we assess, program, and coach at the shoulder girdle, be sure to check out my popular resource, Sturdy Shoulder Solutions.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

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The Running Shoe Caste System - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 11:41
"Buy nice; don't buy twice." That saying might apply to elitefts equipment, but it might also apply to running shoes when it comes to doing cardio... Any suggestions for replacing a 27-year-old pair of sneakers?
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WATCH: Matt Rhodes Gives Advice to Young Coaches - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 09:54
A few pro tips from Coach Matt Rhodes: Not everything you learn in a book can be applied to strength and conditioning. Open your mind to new ideas and influences, and learn how your mentor wants things down.
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Sleep, Response Heterogeneity, and Dr. Brandon Roberts (Episode 14) - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 05:00

Time Stamps

0:00:40 Feats of Strength

0:21:26 Research Review: myostatin, follistatin, the hormone hypothesis, and sleep’s effects on fat loss

Studies discussed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

0:49:32 Research Roundup: sleep’s effects on performance, and new research on caffeine and sleep quality

Studies discussed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

1:10:23 To play us out: Eric’s chicken tips

1:18:25 Interview with Dr. Brandon Roberts

1:19:09 How is your current bodybuilding prep going?

1:21:34 What is the lowest caloric intake you have implemented?

1:24:57 How are your hunger/hormone/sleep issues this time around?

1:26:38 What is response heterogeneity, and why is it important?

1:30:44 How variable are responses to resistance training (strength, hypertrophy)

1:34:13 Why are responses so variable?

1:41:58 What are your thoughts on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy?

Study discussed

1:50:02 Why do we sleep?

1:51:13 Does poor sleep impact performance or body composition?

1:56:21 Are there people who simply need less sleep than others?

2:04:25 What are chronotypes, and how do they matter in relation to sleep?

2:08:11 Will naps help me recover from a lack of sleep?

2:10:12 The Gang recklessly speculates about Spanish culture

2:11:35 What is sleep debt and can it be repaid?

2:13:38 Greg talks about bears

2:19:39 After searching the literature about sleep, has Brandon changed his sleep habits based on what he learned?

2:20:28 Does Brandon believe in any specific training or nutrition strategies that lack supporting research, or that directly oppose the existing research findings?

2:24:21 Where can people find Brandon Roberts online?

The post Sleep, Response Heterogeneity, and Dr. Brandon Roberts (Episode 14) appeared first on Stronger by Science.

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WATCH: Dave Tate's Definitive Guide for Wrapping Wrists - Wed, 08/21/2019 - 11:54
Learn the secret that we've kept under wraps until now: How to properly wrap your wrists for the Big Three: bench, squat, and deadlift.
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The Best Bang for Your Buck: Wrist Wraps - Wed, 08/21/2019 - 11:53
Want to get the most out of your wrist wraps? Or maybe you don't know where to start when it comes to all of the wrist wraps elitefts offers. Look no further than this article, which rounds up some of the best wrist wrap guides and related workouts.
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No Pain, Less Strain, More Gain—What the…? - Wed, 08/21/2019 - 08:32

Most endurance training plans are predicated on sheer volume. For triathletes, runners, and cyclists, that can mean triple-digit mileage every week. In other sports and activities, it involves more sets, repetitions, and tonnage, possibly across multiple sessions per day. The trouble is that such high volume often leads to injury and in the long run […]

The post No Pain, Less Strain, More Gain—What the…? appeared first on StrongFirst.

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Monitoring Arm Stress and Workload with Ben Hansen - Wed, 08/21/2019 - 06:15

We’re excited to welcome Ben Hansen, the Vice President of Biomechanics and Innovation at Motus Global, to this week’s podcast. In lieu of a sponsor this week, we’ve just got a final reminder that this week is the last chance to get the early bird discount on this year’s fall seminar at CSP-MA. It takes place September 21-22; you can learn more HERE.

Show Outline

  • What led Ben to pursue a career in biomechanics and wearable technology
  • How Motus Global strives to impact the game of baseball and how their model for developing healthy arms has shifted over the years
  • What peer reviewed research says about the significance of joint torques and how we should interpret these metrics for predicting the risk of injury in baseball players
  • What acute and chronic workloads are, and how managing these variables can allow coaches to keep their athletes healthy and high performing
  • Why pitchers should have individualized throwing programs to account for the diverse variables that impact a player’s health
  • How truly different catch play, flat ground, bullpen, pre-game, and in-game throws are, and how coaches can more accurately account for the stress they impose on pitchers throughout a season
  • How rest should be incorporated into a baseball players year and why short breaks during a season of heavy throwing may be doing more harm than good for throwers
  • What ballplayers should consider when deciding between continuing to throw into the next season or shutting down to rest
  • What role mechanics plays in the health of a throwing arm and how common mechanical tendencies, like the Tommy John Twist and the Inverted W, influence arm stress
  • How fatigue is more predictive of injury than mechanics
  • Why building a durable work capacity is more important for staying healthy than mastering mechanics
  • How reliable using perceived effort is when creating and executing a throwing program
  • Why professionals need to rewrite the return to throwing program for common injuries in baseball
  • Where more research is needed to further understand how to manage baseball arms

You can follow Ben on Twitter at @BenHansen9 and on Instagram at @MotusGlobal.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we’d be thrilled if you’d consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

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What’s the Difference between a Trap Bar and Barbell Deadlift?

One of the most common questions I get asked is:

“What are the differences between a trap bar and barbell deadlift?”

In this short video, I talk about the two major differences I see, and how they can help you determine which lift is best for you, your clients, and/or your athletes to perform.

Check it out!

Regardless of which variation you choose, a few notes on performance:

  • Work to get your hips down and back flat. Deadlifting should not hurt your back. If you struggle to get your hips down into an ideal starting position with a barbell, considering using a high-handle trap bar.
  • Think about PUSHING through the floor. With the hips in the correct position, I like to think about pushing through the floor to stand up. This helps ensure that my hips and shoulders rise at the same time (versus my hips shooting up first).
  • If you’re going to powerlift, spend most of your time with the barbell variation. There’s really no way around it – if you want to powerlift, you better get comfortable with a barbell in your hands. You do have the option of going with a sumo or conventional set-up, however. If you’d like a tutorial on how to sumo deadlift effectively, drop me a note in the comments section and I’ll see what I can do later on!

As always, thanks for your support and I hope this video helps you out!

All the best,

The post What’s the Difference between a Trap Bar and Barbell Deadlift? appeared first on Robertson Training Systems.

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Are the Olympic Lifts Helpful for ALL Athletes?

Almost all of my articles are about competitive Olympic weightlifting. Training, competition, mental development, etc. At this point, I think I’ve written around 300 articles about the sport.   However, I recently realized I’ve never written an article about athletes from other sports using the Olympic lifts in their training. This is an extremely well-covered topic in the strength world, obviously. Greg Everett wrote a book about it. Organizations like the NSCA are entirely d
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