Archive for December, 2011

The Importance of Recovery

Posted in Uncategorized, Z.S. Basketball Training, Z.S. Tennis, Z.S. Training with tags , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by zenithstrength

Recovery is a arguably the most underutilized process in training. Everyone wants to train hard and often to get results and if you’re an athlete that includes practicing your sport. However, without adding recovery techniques to help the body adapt and improve from your training sessions, the work you put in the weight room is futile and will only lead to frustration.

The bottom line is basic recovery principles such as getting in 8-9hrs of sleep per night, going to bed at a reasonable hour(before midnight), addressing nutrition and soft tissue work are integral to get the most out of your training program.

Below are a couple of articles you should check out regarding recovery.

The Parasympathetic Nervous System:Looking for a Way In. by Patrick Ward a respected and knowledgeable  strength and conditioning coach and licensed massage therapist whose opinion I highly respect especially regarding recovery principles and the nervous system.

Patrick talks about the parasympathetic nervous system and the role breathing has with stress, pain and recovery.

Sleep by Joey Giandonato talking about the role of sleep and why it is important.


Core Stability in your Training Program

Posted in Z.S. Tennis, Z.S. Training with tags , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2011 by zenithstrength

Assessing and addressing core stability is an important part of a solid strength and conditioning program . The reason for that is the better you can control/stabilize your pelvis the better you can demonstrate force through movement. This applies to whether your goal is getting stronger and lifting heavier weights, or getting faster on the field. I have never seen an athlete who was fast and explosive who didn’t also have good core stability. Now this doesn’t mean that only thing one has to train is the core. I get asked that question a lot, and  the bottom line is that force production is the name of the game if you are an athlete. In order to get stronger, you must have stability in the right places to demonstrate force.

Here are some basic guidelines and exercises regarding programming some core stability exercises into your program.

1. Anti extension which is preventing and controlling back extension/hyperextension. This is especially important with clients who have an excessive anterior tilt and have back pain.

Some examples include front planks, ab roll out variations, body saws and loaded zercher sandbag carries

2.Anti Flexion which is preventing your low back from flexing. Consistent and repetitive flexion of the spine may potentially cause issues with disc herniations down the road.

Examples of anti flexion exercises include  hip hinging, dead lift variations and squat variations. In addition  the prone knee to chest mountain climber using sliders or the TRX is another great exercise that we use with clients who have a posterior tilt/flat back to teach them the difference between hip flexion and lumbar flexion.

3.Anti lateral flexion,which  is preventing the low back from flexing to the side.

Some examples of exercises include side plank variations, pallof presses, landmines, suite case carries using farmers walk handles.

4. Anti rotation, which is preventing rotation in the pelvis and low back.

Some great anti rotation exercises include bird dogs, renegade rows, single leg RDL’s and hip thrusts.


Both anti rotation and anti lateral flexion stability are important especially in rotational sport athletes like golfers baseball pitchers and tennis players. Since these athletes spend most of their time rotating its a good idea to throw in these exercises to keep the low back healthy.

You should have some combination of the core stability exercises listed. Depending on how many weight training session per week you lift,  the combinations are endless and don’t be afraid to get creative.

Eric Cressey has a great article on programming core exercises into your program.

Below, is an example of working anti extension and anti lateral flexion with the plank using a band.

You can make this more dynamic by adding two bands and pulling the athlete into lateral flexion. I originally got that idea from Jim Smith and Joe Defranco. They have a dvd coming out soon called Extreme, detailing creative ways to get stronger and faster.

Try some of these exercises out and let me know how they feel.

Train Hard!