The best way to ramp up that interval milage in your training diary

These guys obviously didn’t read that post by Jason Ferrugia regarding the evil of treadmills.

I didn’t quite get to finish this post yesterday so going to quickly add to it before I head off to work.

Bart said:

Hi Will,
Trying to improve the number of pull-ups I can do. Are there any other exercises (besides pull-ups and assisted pull-ups) to help improve this?
Thanks,
Bart

I sent Bart a mail and told him to come into the gym. It took me all of about 4.3 seconds to work out what one of his problems was…I say 4.3 seconds because that’s how long it took for me to say hello and to follow him in.

 

Bart's Back

Bart's Back

I just took this photo quickly to show Bart. It wasn’t taken with the intention of blogging about it so it isn’t as clear as it could be. But Bart has a lot of scapula winging…now winging is cool if you’re Batman or Satan but it isn’t cool if you want to do pull ups.

This winging indicates a few things. Firstly, weak and or dysfunctioning serratus anterior. There are other causes of winging such as issues with the trapezius muscle or the rhomboids. In Bart’s case his winging is most significant when moving his scapula laterally and when elevating in other words outwards and upwards which is more usually an indication of a serrratus anterior issue. All this stuff is interesting but as I’ve said before…I don’t want to turn this into an egghead blog….mainly because there are so many guys out there that can out egghead me…so I try to stick with what I actually do rather than the theory behind it…if it’s an area that you are particularly interested in let me know.

These muscles run from the front here where you see them around the rib cage to the back where they attach on the medial border which is the inside edge…the edge closest to the spine of the scapula. These muscles are really important in scapula control and in helping to fix the scapula…I say ‘fix’ as in hold it in place. If you can’t fix the scapula, hold it in place and control its movement then you have no base to apply force from.

If you dont have a good base...nothing else matters

You need to be able to secure the base…that is your scapula…so that the parts that are doing the lifting and the muscles doing the work can apply all the force they have.

So what Bart is going to do first is to work on all those muscles around his scapula. 

I made this video a while ago…which practically none of you watched…but that’s not my problem.

This video basically goes through a bunch of exercises you can do to improve the stability, mobility and strength of these muscles. I am going to make another video today if I get a chance on the routine that I think Bart should be doing because all too often what coaches tend to do is similar to what doctors do and that is to treat the illness not the person. In this case with Bart it is not just a matter of ‘he has scapula winging so lets strengthen the muscles that need to strengthened and stretch the muscle that need to be stretched’ you have to look at the whole…look at making sure his movement patterns are right and if they aren’t looking at correcting those as well. So in short Bart like most athletes plays his sport, competes and gets on just fine because his body has learned to compensate and has made adjustments…the human body is great at it…but his performance will be far from optimal until he gets these issues sorted out.

As an aside

A friend of mine who is coaching in Germany sent me this email…he reads the blog and said it reminded him of my work.

In fairness…I do know how these army instructors feel.

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12 thoughts on “The best way to ramp up that interval milage in your training diary

  1. A view of the scap movement and range of motion would be helpful in showing the proper form for scap chiiins. Someone I know has his own but very wrong idea of what a scap chiiin is.

  2. Michael Sullivan said
    A view of the scap movement and range of motion would be helpful in showing the proper form for scap chiiins.
    No problem.
    Someone I know has his own but very wrong idea of what a scap chiiin is.
    He sounds like an idiot.

    Lyle said
    Serratus Anterior?
    I read it in a book.
    C’mon, no one is going to buy that’s real, you totally made it up to look smart.
    No I swear…it was in a book.

  3. I really wish I’d spat my gum out before that video. I look like I don’t give a shit and I’m coasting whereas anyone who has seen me do those know I have to bite my lip to concentrate enough to get them right.

    Actually I’m glad you posted it because the horizontal pull aparts look so terrible there and now they’re much smoother, at least they do to me in the mirror anyway.

  4. I wish I could be bothered to make an ‘Anatomy for Dummies’ book joke but I am apparently suffering from an acute case of cannot be asked.

    Lyle

  5. So here’s the story of my day:
    Woke up at 5.30 cause I had go to the city to take a buss to the airport located 150 km outside of the city. I got there at 9.30, my plane was supposed to leave at 11.00. When I arrive I see that the plane has been delayed to 12.05. I check-in my luggage (including 2 rolls of general lössnus) and they throw away my deo since its apparently 150 ml’s and you can only bring 100 ml. So I sit and wait until 11.30, when they tell me that the flight has been canceled due to weather conditions in dublin. They tell us to contact the service desk, and when I get there I got 30 people ahead of me. Im thinking this will go pretty quick since they have 7 desks but it takes 2.30 hours before I get any help. I tell them I need to be in dublin before 10.00 tomorrow and that ive got a room for three nights already payed for. The young woman says that she can get me on a flight to holland later today and that I can take a flight from holland to dublin later this evening. She is a rookie though and not wery quick, so during the time she is trying to rebook me the seatings fill up. So then she says that she’s sorry but I won’t be able to get a flight until sunday. So I try to get here to fix me a seat and im so pissed that im imagining me trashing the whole counter, but she’s unable and I realize that im completely FUCKED… and take a buss back to town. I also call another airport but neither do they have any flights leaving earlier then sunday. After 10 hours of sitting on a bus,queuing,waiting at the airport, im finally back home in my apartment. Im going to see if I somehow can fly via another city and get to dublin in time, ill keep you updated.

  6. Joel said
    So here’s the story of my day:
    Woke up at 5.30 cause I had go to the city to take a buss to the airport located 150 km outside of the city. I got there at 9.30, my plane was supposed to leave at 11.00. When I arrive I see that the plane has been delayed to 12.05. I check-in my luggage (including 2 rolls of general lössnus) and they throw away my deo since its apparently 150 ml’s and you can only bring 100 ml. So I sit and wait until 11.30, when they tell me that the flight has been canceled due to weather conditions in dublin. They tell us to contact the service desk, and when I get there I got 30 people ahead of me. Im thinking this will go pretty quick since they have 7 desks but it takes 2.30 hours before I get any help. I tell them I need to be in dublin before 10.00 tomorrow and that ive got a room for three nights already payed for. The young woman says that she can get me on a flight to holland later today and that I can take a flight from holland to dublin later this evening. She is a rookie though and not wery quick, so during the time she is trying to rebook me the seatings fill up. So then she says that she’s sorry but I won’t be able to get a flight until sunday. So I try to get here to fix me a seat and im so pissed that im imagining me trashing the whole counter, but she’s unable and I realize that im completely FUCKED… and take a buss back to town. I also call another airport but neither do they have any flights leaving earlier then sunday. After 10 hours of sitting on a bus,queuing,waiting at the airport, im finally back home in my apartment. Im going to see if I somehow can fly via another city and get to dublin in time, ill keep you updated.
    So you had a good day then?

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