Rick Kaselj just released his new Muscle Imbalances Revealed: Assessment & Exercise video webinar series this week, which marks two important milestones. First, it’s the third part of the Muscle Imbalances trilogy, which if you’ve seen enough videos you can tell that trilogies are always more awesome than individual movies (think Batman, Lord of the Rings, or Back tot he Future. Just not the Godfather, that third one sucked horribly). Second, it’s the first one where I’m not a contributor, so it has a completely new roster that can provide a completely different point of view on how the body works.
Personally, I love looking through these videos, as they come from people who you don’t commonly hear from. The big names are usually all over the place, but people who are still incredibly smart but may not have the marketing presence or sharability and who can still offer incredible amounts of information don’t typically get the spotlight. That’s where these videos come in very handy, because you get a chance to see some up and comers share their thoughts without having to pay an arm and a leg that the big guys would often charge.
In this edition of Muscle Imbalances Revealed, Rick has brought together Nick Rosencutter, Andrew Mychal, and John Izzo to talk about how they assess their clientele, what they look for in starting new programs, and how important some of the often overlooked components of fitness may be when starting a program and taking your clients’ goals to that next level.
I’m going to go through each of the webinars for you this week for the entire series, and highlight some of my big take aways from each of them, plus reasons why you should look at getting this series. These are always great series to get my geek on, so I will apologize up front if I start getting excited about obscure concepts that don’t directly involve the deadlifts and getting your swolertrophy on.
First up is Nick Rosencutter. Admittedly, I’ve heard his name a few times through various internet sites, but haven’t really looked into his information or teaching style before. Nick is unique in the fact that he is a competitive powerlifter, strength coach, and also a manual therapist who works with clients through the entire health and wellness spectrum. He definitely delivered on his presentation, “Assessment and Exercise for Performance.”
Nick started out by differentiating between the stiff vs. short muscle, and when and why they may be important. I’ve written about this concept before HERE when talking about the hip flexors, and Nick definitely picks up where I left off. He points out the commonly “stiff” hip muscles as well as what they do to the rest of the kinetic chain, as well as what that would mean to performance variables, such as a runner getting a lateral “wobble” during their stride.
I really liked how Nick related the concept of a tight muscle back to utilizing neural re-setting instead of going to the tired and cliched old “stretch the tight” concepts. The alteration in nervous tone has been something I’ve seen as a game changer in understanding and fixing how we move, and how we see performance improvements, so I pretty much jumped up and slow-clapped when he brought this up and showed some of the methods he used to address them.
Nick also lays out a great book that I haven’t put into my library, but is now on order from Amazon, called “Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques.” Volume 1 deals with upper body issues, and volume 2 deals with lower body issues. I liked how he discussed proper firing sequences during prone extension, as this is an assessment I commonly use during any exam of a client with a history of low back pain, and he hits the nail on the head with the overview of how the firing patterns of the posterior chain should work in theory. I would argue that the low back should be the first to fire to create stability for the hips to move without creating spinal extension, but that’s just me being me. I really liked the discussion of true hip extension versus false extension coming from the SI joint, so I’ll give him major props for that one.
To link his talks to a recent event, Usain Bolt was able to win three gold medals this past week in the Olympics, despite complaints of low back pain that had limited his performance. Imagine if he had someone like Nick helping him out so he didn’t hinge at his low back and developed maximal power through his glutes and hamstrings, how fast he could actually become.
The connection between impaired posterior firing pattern and performance is huge, and as Nick pointed out lifting heavy things with only one glute muscle is pretty much either impossible, extremely difficult, or a sure way to get a physio appointment and start working on rehab.
Nick then discussed lateral strength and stability through side lying assessments, and how creating lateral chain strength play such a huge role in performance of pretty much every sporting movement possible, and also how it relates to the average cubicle jockey looking to lose a few pounds and stay healthy. We’ve all seen people doing lunges that made you cringe from all the shear forces they have going on, and Nick showcases some of the more common dysfunctions and corrections for this common movement pattern, and what each dysfunction means. This is pure gold for any strength coach or trainer who works with people, so pretty much every one of them.
Nick then goes on to showcase about 963 different variations on compound corrective exercises, as well as why you would use them and with what dysfunction. Many of these I’d seen before, but there were about 2 or 3 dozen ones I had never seen or thought of, so ti was definitely good to go through, and it’s always good to review some of the other ones I’d seen before, as I have the short term memory akin to a colander and will tend to forget a lot of exercises over time. One area I liked a lot was the different lateral chain exercises, such as side plank variations, suticase carry variations, lateral bending, and other great tools. We don’t see enough lateral chain exercises in the gym, thinking that saggital plane movements will use the lateral chain by osmosis. Somehow athletes who use a lot of lateral chain movements tend to dominate those who only train in saggital plane, so maybe there’s something to it.
One last component that I really liked with his presentation were some of the adaptations he used to take a typical corrective exercise and “sexify it” to make it a performance exercise, such as manipulation of speed, load, directional vectors, and metabolic loads. These are the kinds of things great coaches do really well, so it was neat to see.
Tomorrow I will review Anthony Mychal’s presentations, which I’m looking forward to since he’s a pretty interesting guy with a different philosophy than most strength coaches. In the mean time, you should definitely pick up Muscle Imbalances Revealed, Assessment and Exercise today so you can go through Nick Rosencutter’s presentation and see what the heck I was talking about with all his presentation material. It’s currently available for [insert cost here] for this week only, plus it gives you the chance to earn continuing education credits from a variety of organizations.