Archive for May, 2011

Loaded Shoulder Girdle Mobility

Posted in Z.S. Tennis with tags , , , , , on May 31, 2011 by zenithstrength

Today’s post is about increasing shoulder mobility through unique loaded implements.

Indian club swinging and mace swings are a great way to increase range of motion of the shoulder girdle and improve strength in multiple planes. You can start with a Indian clubs and progress to clubbells or a mace.

We like to use Indian clubs and incorporate Mace swings to improve grip strength improve shoulder girdle mobility. In addition some  of our tennis athletes have also noticed an improvement in serve velocity. Is there a correlation? It would be an interesting study.

If you have never swung a mace give it a try. It is much harder than it looks and as I mentioned previously it’s  a fantastic way to improve grip strength.

Below is a video of the traditional mace swing.

You can get a mace and other cool grip toys at Stronger Grip.

Remember to assess and qualify that  the athlete is ready to use the loaded implement.

Shoulder blades should be pulled down and packed and there should be no shrugging of the shoulders during the swings.

In addition make sure you are addressing any soft tissue restrictions such as the pecs/lats/t-spine and mobilizing them as well before giving these a go.

Here’s a great lat stretch.

Give these a try and see if you notice an improvement in mobility.

Stay Healthy,



Single Leg Hip Stability Using Bands

Posted in Z.S. Tennis with tags , , , , , , , on May 5, 2011 by zenithstrength

Today’s post continues along the line of knee health and hip stability as we look to get more  creative in challenging  hip stability to help alleviate knee issues. There are times when the athlete may not be able to perform a single leg reach with their body weight without their knee going everywhere and may need assistance to create a bit of stability, so we need to create an exercise regression.

We started using the Jungle Gym to create a regression and perform a single leg reverse lunge while holding on to the handles. By holding the handles you create a bit more stability and also deload the knee-joint while  getting some good glute medius activation and hip extension as well.

They are also great for athletes who may be dealing with some knee issues and are working on increasing  knee and hip flexion range of motion.

One of the keys is to make sure the tibia stays vertical to keep this a hip dominant lift and take stress of the patella, something that both Mike Robertson and Charlie Weingroff have talked about extensively.

As you progress you can add band tension to increase the eccentric load on the hips and quads  and work on improving hip extension power as the video shows below:

In addition you can perform single leg jumps from this position as the athlete progresses.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Stay healthy,