Archive for performance enhancement santa clara

Top 3 Shoulder Exercises to improve External Range of Motion

Posted in Uncategorized, Z.S. Tennis, Z.S. Training with tags , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2010 by zenithstrength

Working with a lot tennis players and overhead throwing athletes  means that we are usually dealing with shoulder issues and reducing the risk of rotator cuff injuries.

There is a lot of  “stuff” to look for when dealing with overhead athletes and shoulder issues. Generally, you want to take a look at T spine rotation range of movement, internal and external rom and scapula stability issues like winging.

For more information on  training athletes and clients with shoulder issues check out Optimal Shoulder Performance, by Eric Cressey and Mike Reinold. There is  a ton of info regarding training the injured shoulder and specific shoulder pathologies such as internal vs external impingement and manual techniques to improve dynamic stability of the  rotator cuff.

Alright now to get into the importance of  external range of motion.  Basically the service motion, specifically the cocking phase requires the athlete to externally rotate the shoulder through an extreme range of motion. This is also similar to throwing a baseball.

Take a look at the images  of the service and throwing motion.

Without the flexibility to externally rotate the shoulder the athlete is predisposed to myriad of potential injuries.

Below is a list of our 3 favorite exercises to improve external range of motion.

1. Wall Slides. These are great for lower trap activation and since you are improving external range of motion you will also lengthen the pecs if they are tight.

2. Side Lying extension with rotation

This exercises helps to stretch out the pec minor while also improving thoracic extension with rotation.

The pec minor internally rotates the shoulder so stretching it out helps improve your external range of motion.

Check out the video on how to perform the exercise.

3. No Money Drill with bands.

In addition to performing these drills, make sure to stretch out your pecs and lats as they work to internally rotate the shoulder. When these muscles are tight they reduce the external range of motion of the shoulder and also affect the ability of rotator cuff to stabilize the humerus. When you stretch out the internal rotators you end up gaining motion into external rotation and this works similarly with  the hips and  how tight hip flexors limit hip extension from the glutes. By strengthening the hip extensors you end up improving flexibility in the hip flexors.

Here’s a great lat stretch that we use with a jump stretch band.

Stay healthy and train hard.



Hip Mobility Check List

Posted in Z.S. Basketball Training, Z.S. Tennis, Z.S. Training with tags , , , , , on November 29, 2010 by zenithstrength

At Zenith Strength, one of the first things we teach our clients and athletes is the importance of hip mobility. You need mobility in order to move well and if you are an athlete who plans on minimizing knee, back and shoulder injuries you need to make sure you are addressing you hip mobility on a daily basis.

My friend and colleague Daniel, introduced me to a site dedicated to mobility. Check it out here.

Below is a compilation of some of the top mobility exercises for the lower body, focusing primarily on hip mobility put together by Kelley Starrett, a DPT who really knows his stuff.

Check it out.


Train hard and stay healthy.


Highlights from Thursday’s Training Session

Posted in Athlete's Accomplishments, Z.S. Basketball Training, Z.S. conditioning, Z.S. Tennis with tags , , , , , , on November 21, 2010 by zenithstrength

Today’s post is video highlight of one of our collegiate tennis players from the Eagle Fustar full-time program who shows that female athletes are just as explosive as their male counterparts and can jump out the roof provided they get the right training to maximize their genetic gifts.

She is only 5ft 2 inches and easily cleared the 30 inch box.

She then followed that up with a 36 inch box jump which is over half her height. Keep in mind that she is only 62 inches tall!

Enjoy the video.

More good stuff to come.

Train Hard!


Tuesday Training at the Facility

Posted in Xtreme Tennis Conditioning, Z.S. Tennis, Z.S. Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2010 by zenithstrength

Here’s a glimpse of the workout from Tuesday the 28th of September working with the tennis players from Eagle Fustar full-time program.

We have top players training including, Eric Johnson who is ranked in the top 30 Nationally in the boys 18’s, Jelena Pandzic just got to the finals of a WTA pro event several weeks ago.

In the video we are working single leg  and hip stability with the RDL’s. We have started to incorporate the slideboard for lateral mobility and strength. In this case, we use the band around the knees to force the  hip to stabilize the front leg while sliding into a lateral lunge and also strengthening the abductors and adductors of the sliding leg.

We also have the athletes work on shoulder stability with the push up plus strengthening the serratus anterior to stabilize the shoulder blades.

We finish off with heavy prowler pushes to work on improving acceleration strength and teaching the athletes to drive into the ground with big strides.

We will be posting more training videos coming up soon.

In Strength,


3 Training Mistakes to Avoid for Tennis Players

Posted in Xtreme Tennis Conditioning, Z.S. Tennis with tags , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by zenithstrength

There is so much training related information these days that its hard to know if the information you’re reading is credible. My clients all have similar goals regarding performance training. They all want to become better athletes. In the case of the tennis player, the requirements to become better athletically are still the same. You need to get stronger, more explosive, better conditioned and need to improve hip mobility and shoulder mobility. Unfortunately many athletes have been taught by their coaches, usually the sport coach that they need to avoid weight training or need to run miles at the track to become a better athlete.

Here are 3 training mistakes that I see many tennis players make in their quest to improve their on court performance.

1. Spending too much time on the tennis court working on skill development. For some reason in has been ingrained in the head’s of so many junior tennis players that they need to be on the court 7 days a week working on tennis specific drills. While it is imperative that the athlete continues to improve  tennis specific skills, there are limitations as to how much you can improve your athletic ability. There needs to be at least 2-3 days a week dedicated to a specific strength and conditioning program to address weaknesses, mobility issues and improving power output and quickness.

2. Not integrating recovery protocols  into the program. This means taking a least one day off a week to rest and let the body and the nervous system recover. Also, make sure you are doing regular soft tissue work using a foam roller or softball. Specific areas for tennis players include working the hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, and mid-back.

3.Incorrect energy system training. This is an area that has recently gained more popularity, in light of some college tennis coaches who require their student athletes to run a specific mile time in order to earn a spot on the team. I could write a whole article as to why distance running is inappropriate for tennis but I will keep it simple. It comes down to energy system training specificity. The average professional tennis point lasts under 10sec. Most junior players will have rallies that average 30secs. The rest between points is 30seconds. Based on the principle of training specificity you should be doing a lot of sprint work in the 10-30second range with 30second rest intervals. That will benefit you much more than running for 5-6 minutes straight. They should require all coaches to take an exercise physiology class to understand this basic principle.

Take a look at the two pics. One is an endurance athlete and the other is a world class tennis player.,0.jpg Rafa didn’t build that physique without some quality sprint work in his training program

If you are a tennis player looking to play at the D1 level make sure you are training with a qualified strength coac h, integrating recovery into your workout and implementing  conditioning workouts that are no more than 45 seconds long with rest intervals of 30 seconds.

In Strength.


Sandbag Clean for Power Development

Posted in Xtreme Tennis Conditioning, Z.S. Training with tags , , , , , , on May 29, 2010 by zenithstrength

The sand bag is a great tool to integrate into your strength and conditioning program for power development. Certain exercises such as power cleans are extremely technical and difficult to teach in a short period of time. However, the sandbag  clean is relatively simple to teach and retains the benefits of integrating triple extension,which is basically an explosive jump, with the added benefit of challenging the athlete’s core stability.

A couple of cues to make sure you are doing these correctly.

1.The start position is your basic dead-lift position. Make sure your low back is flat and your mid-back is tight.

2.Drive through the hips and explosively shrug your shoulders and finish off catch phase.

There are a couple ways to catch the bag. You can rotate the bag as the shown in the video below

or you can literally get under the bag and catch it.

Try them both and see which one you prefer.

As a side note  I recommend that you check out Mark Rippetoe’s book Starting Strength. Its a great instructional resource  how to dead-lift correctly as well teaching other barbell lifts.

Train Hard!


Deepak Sabada Wins Again

Posted in Athlete's Accomplishments, Xtreme Tennis Conditioning, Z.S. conditioning, Z.S. Tennis, Z.S. Training with tags , , , , , on May 2, 2010 by zenithstrength

Congratulations to Deepak Sabada for winning the Diamond Hills 18’s Jr. Championship!

Deepak took out the #12 ranked player in the boys 18’S division in the semi-finals en route to the title. This is his second tournament win this year and he has been on a 15-1 tear his last 16 matches. Keep up the good work!