Reign Superior Athletics

Basketball Weight Training Workout | Athlete Workouts Episode 5

This was a workout that is designed specific for basketball players to improve the athletes ability apply a vertical force. Prior to performing this workout, the athlete should have already established a proper squatting pattern and have prerequisite levels of strength through a full squat. 

This workout demonstrates a partial squat because that is what is encountered more in a basketball environment, in particular when we talk about vertical jump. A box jump is added as well for a plyometric after the lift for post activation potential. We follow this up with some tempo squats with eccentric focus and sled drags.

Foundation Program -

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The #1 Box Jump You Are Not Doing

Whats going on everyone. In effort to try to provide more information to the public on specific training for athletes I am going to be starting to post 1-2 videos per week on the topic. On the video it says "Athlete Workout Wednesday". Decided to keep it short with "Athlete Workout, Episode 1". Be sure to subscribe to the youtube channel to get updates if you'd like, and hope you find these useful!

Today I wanted to share with you my #1 box jump variation that most athletes are not doing. I call this box jump variation the "drop step box jump". This is because it looks like a basketball player about to throw down a nasty dunk on somebody. 

The reason why I am such a fan of this exercises is because after mastering a simple box jump, the prerequisite level for performing this type of box jump or plyometric is fairly low. Now I will always say an athlete should establish a foundational level of strength before performing any type of box jump. But once that is accomplished, this exercise can be progressed to fairly quickly. 

Its a nice exercise because it gets that athlete to start utilizing momentum and the stretch shortening cycle by adding in the step. By making it a drop step it will add coordination to the mix. You may notice one side easier or more explosive than the other. Finally by opening the hip and rotating the leg it will bias more hip rotation and load the hip greater for a more explosive exercise.

Two Drills to help you Run Faster

On Track Physical Therapy featured at The Barbelll Physio. Read HERE for full article.

Speed is one of the most sought after traits of all sports. The fastest athletes have a unique ability to relax. Relaxation and removal of tension in unwanted areas is the key to running faster. It takes an enormous amount of practice and repetition to learn this quality. Strength training requires an enormous amount of tension through the entire body with the majority of the lifts. For this reason, training a strong athlete to relax while sprinting is much more difficult than training a fast athlete to become stronger. Sprinting is also a skill that is very hard to coach. Giving someone a lot of cues on what they should be doing with their arms and legs while sprinting is actually harmful for speed development and can slow the athlete down. When considering training youth athletes, coaching cues should be at a minimal anyways. Youth athletes are in a stage of exploration/trial and error, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm them with information they cannot properly digest yet. Sprinting is a simple exercise you can perform with youth athletes that requires minimal to no cues except “Go”, “Move”, or “Fast”. You can get creative with variations such as momentum starts, kneeling starts, or lying face down starts. All of these give the athletes different stimuluses of various joint angles and will help teach them (without coaching) which angles are most effective for creating speed. Finally, sprinting is an easy way to create an environment of competition. What’s the easiest and quickest way to get the competitive juices flowing? Simply telling a kid “lets race!”

How to run faster - part 1: Momentum Start.

The momentum start utilizes a little bit of momentum at the starting point of your sprint so the weaker athletes can obtain proper shin angles to start getting a feel for efficient sprinting mechanics while they are working on developing strength.

How to run faster - part 2: Kneeling Start.

The kneeling start is a good progression to the momentum start once the athlete has developed a sound foundation of strength. A kneeling position prior to the start of the sprint requires a lot more force application to get up off the ground. The kneeling position will also force the athlete to rock forward and obtain a good forward shin angle that is needed for acceleration.

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On Track Physical Therapy Featured on

Recently had the opportunity to publish some content over at STACK

The article discusses a common mistake athletes and coaches make when first programming pullups into an athletes program. Be sure to check the article out HERE.

If your an athlete that is struggling with injuries or wants to take there performance to the next level. Contact On Track Physical Therapy to see how we can help!

Youth and High School Athlete Training Program

Long term athletic development and youth athlete training programs are hot topics right now to discuss. During this webinar we will discuss:

  • How youth sports ended up in this short term goal oriented mindset
  • The importance of skill in sport
  • Variability of movement
  • Creating a long term athletic development plan
  • General Physical Preparedness
  • Letting the movement teach the lift
  • Prerequisite/Progressions
  • Are Olympic Lifts needed?
  • Sets and Reps
  • Growth Spurts
  • Deceleration Training
  • Why youth athletes don't warm up?

To pick up your copy of the "Reign Superior Athletics" Training System, head on over HERE


FIFTEEN Different Programs For The Price of One - As previously mentioned, there are 5 different levels the athlete will progress through. The training system includes multiple workouts per level. Workouts in the weight room to make you stronger and more powerful! As well as workouts on the field/court to make you faster and more explosive!

Step By Step Training Programs - Every rep, of every set, of every exercise is included for you here in the training program. Quite simply, we left nothing left to chance! All you have to do is show up and follow the program. That's it! Most importantly, every aspect of your training is accounted for. That includes your mobility/flexibility training, power training, strength training, speed training, and conditioning training. All the work is done for you, all you have to do is show up and put in the work!

Video Demonstration/Exercise Database - How much better would your training be if I could coach you through every single exercise? In person training can be expensive, upwards of $100 per training session. This option is not feasible for everyone. This program gets you access to high quality training for the fraction of the cost. Every single exercise in each workout has a video linked to show you exactly how to perform every movement with cues to make sure you're doing them with perfect form!

Warmup/Mobility Routines - The mobility warmups programmed into every workout will assure you that you can perform all the exercises programmed in each workout. It also makes you a much more resilient athlete, allowing you to stay on the field or court competing! I always tell my athletes that the fastest way to lose athleticism is to get injured. Unfortunately some injuries happen, this is the nature of sports. However, having a background in physical therapy allows me to program exercises in a way that will reduce the risk for injury! Keeping you in the game longer so you can continually improve your game.

Nutrition - Quite simply, nutrition is the fuel for your body to grow and recover. Without a solid nutrition plan, a lot of your efforts in the gym can go to waste. The problem with most nutrition programs is they make it extremely hard and time consuming to follow without breaking the bank. We give simple, cost and time friendly suggestions for high school athletes that make nutrition planing a breeze.

Modification to the Assisted Pullup

The assisted pullup is often utilized for clients or athletes that do not have the strength to perform enough body weight pullups to include in their programming. I like to perform this exercise with a slight twist then what you may have commonly seen before in the weight room.

Stretching the band across the squat rack as opposed to hanging it from the pull up bar allows the athlete or client to maintain a more vertical posture. Thus removing the potential learning curve/awkwardness of the legs swinging out in front of the body.

Another variation I like for beginners is the Assisted Pullup Isometric Hold. This gives assist during the concentric and eccentric portions of the lifts. However at the top, the assist is minimal and the athlete can really focus on recruitment and tension under the lats. The other added benefit is increasing time under tension with this exercise, as with your typical rep schemes a beginner who lacks general strength will tend to fatigue to quick. It also is a great accessory exercise for advance lifters because it keeps time under tension high while decreasing total reps, thus eliminating some of the repetitive joint strain.

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3 Beginner Plyos That Safely Build Explosive Power

On Track Physical Therapy's latest article featured on Demonstrating three exercises that are essential for beginners when first implementing a plyometric program to build explosive power for athletes. Check it out here:

Seated Box Jumps

This exercise is great for early stages when first starting to implement a plyometric program with an athlete. It also serves as a good late stage rehabilitation exercise for athletes (especially ACL rehab). For more advanced athletes, this can be a good alternative to high impact plyometric training at certain periods during their training programs.

Seated Box Jump - Starting the exercise in a seated position takes away the countermovement to the jump (when the athlete dips the hips down prior to actually jumping). This allows you to focus on explosive jumping power and more importantly on landing mechanics.

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Core Stabalization Progression

The Wall Press Abs exercise is an excellent way to learn how to create protective stiffness in the spine. When performed correctly it will help create stability through your low back and aid in creating increased mobility through your hips. Being able to dissociate between the low back and hips/pelvis is a region where many people with hip or back pain struggle. 

By pressing your arms into the wall you will help engage your abs. Holding this position, then taking a breath in then exhaling and allowing your ribs to drop down will activate you oblique muscles further. Then maintaining this position of ribs down inhaling and exhaling will incorporate your diaphragm which is a muscle and spinal stabilizer as well.

Finally you will begin to move or extend your legs out which will continue to challenge core control while you work hip mobility. Below are the progressions from easiest to most advanced.

Anterior Plank - Not just an exercise for your abs

The Plank is often thought to be a core exercise. However, I'm here to tell you that there are other unforeseen benefits of the plank that you may not have considered before.

First we need to talk about what a good plank looks like. A good plank will show a nice straight line from your head to your tailbone. This line should be parallel with the floor. You should be actively reaching through both elbows pushing your chest away from the ground. Hold this position as you take a breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. When you breathe in through the nose your should feel your upper back expand. When you exhale, you should feel your abs turn on.

When performed in this fashion, here are some added benefits and applications you may have never considered before.

Shoulder - Reaching through your arms (elbows in this case) stimulates the serratus anterior which is needed for shoulder health. Reaching + Breathing creates an optimal relationship between the scapula and rib cage. All the while your rotator cuff muscle are firing in an isometric fashion.

Shoulder Rehab - this is an excellent way to start introducing closed chain activity for the upper extremity at a lower level to work scapula thoracic relationship.

Youth Sports Training - Obviously its a good exercise to gain core control, we know that. But many youth athletes struggle mightily with a pushup. 1) Due to lack of core strength/endurance to maintain a neutral spine position. 2) Lack of shoulder strength/stability. Performing a plank correctly can stimulate both of these components as you simultaneously work relative strength with a dumbell floor press.

Box Squat with Single Leg Concentric

Last week I contributed this exercise to the article: Great Exercises You're Not Doing. In case you missed it, here is the summary below.

Want to improve your squat without your knees and hips always feeling so beat down. We all know squats are important for performance. However, performing heavy squats multiple times per week can become brutal on your joints. The box squat with a single leg concentric is an excellent way to still train the squatting pattern with high effort, but utilizing a lighter load that decreases the compressive stress on the joints.

How to perform the exercise: Set up a bench/box to an appropriate height/skill that allows you to squat to a depth of near parallel. Squat down to the box. Move one leg in closer towards mid-line, and extend the opposite leg out keeping the heel on the ground. Subtly shift your sternum toward the working leg, and push through the entire foot to stand up tall. Repeat on one leg for desired number of reps before performing on opposite side.

When performing the exercise you may notice that one side feels much easier than the other. You may also notice that one knee displays greater control or balance on one side compared to another. These are a couple of asymmetries you will want to improve upon prior to increasing the amount of weight you put on the bar.

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Is Plyometric Training Causing you knee Pain?

On Track PT and Performance featured this week on John Rusin Fitness Systems. In this article we go over how to keep your knees happy if your sport or training involves a lot of plyometric activity. Be sure to check it out and share it with a friend! 

Exercises for Athletes #4 - Box Jump with Drop Step

Box Jumps with Drop Step - This is a mid level plyometric exercise that is excellent for building and displaying vertical jump power. More specifically it is a great exercise to develop your two foot jumping capabilities. In addition to squats and deadlifts, this exercise can make significant changes to increase your vertical. By performing a drop step you are creating a more dynamic environment for the athlete by allowing them to perform a quick counter movement prior to jumping. It will also teach the athlete how to properly gather their feet prior to jumping which is very applicable to many sports.

Find a box that is appropriate to skill level. While facing sideways to the box, perform a quarter turn by first moving your inside foot followed by the outside foot. Explode up to the box, land under control with both knees in line with your middle toe.

Why are kids injured more often in sports?

Below is a great article written by Cordelia Carter, Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the Yale School of Medicine. It explains why early sport specialization may not be the best route to develop athletes or keep them injury free. In addition, the lack of an off-season is leading to increased exposure to potential injuries and possibly developing overuse injuries. Read it here: Why are kids injured more often in sports

The lazy man's summary:

“Gone are the days when kids played multiple sports with breaks both during and between seasons. Today, kids specialize in one sport from increasingly young ages.”

“As a result, pediatric sports surgeons like myself have seen dizzying increases in the number of sport-related injuries in child and adolescent athletes. In New York state alone, the rate of ACL reconstructions performed on children aged 3-20 more than doubled from 1990 to 2009.”

“One recent study found that junior elite tennis players who specialized in tennis had a 50% higher rate of injury than those who played other sports. Another group of researchers determined that the rate of anterior knee pain among adolescent female athletes who specialize in one sport (e.g., basketball, soccer, or volleyball) is 1.5 times greater than those who play multiple sports. Young baseball pitchers who pitch more than 100 innings per year have been reported to have an injury rate 3.5 times greater than those who pitch less.”

“There is evidence demonstrating that kids who play multiple sports while they’re young and wait to specialize until the early teenage years are actually better athletes. For example, one recent study described survey results from 376 female Division I intercollegiate athletes. Of these elite-level athletes, 83% had participated in multiple sports as youngsters (three sports per athlete) and the average age of sport specialization was 13 years.”


My 2 cents:

Early sports specialization and the combination of increased sedentariness in children is a very dangerous combination.  Kids are sitting in classrooms for a good part of the day, and now, more and more kids spend the remainder of the day either on their phone or playing on the computer/video games. After school sports is a structured playtime, as they are put through drills and taught a sport. Kids still get some random play time by way of gym/recess; however, you could argue that this has become devalued and even turned into more of a structured play time. Random play is important because it exposes kids to a variety of movement patterns reactively in a stimulating environment. Games like tag or climbing on playgrounds teaches young kids how to move naturally. Structured environments or playing only one particular sport exposes kids to only a few movements in a repetitive fashion.

Therefore, as a parent, you can help out by encouraging your kids to play multiple sports and partake in games/random play. However, we need to take this one step further. Overtraining or overexposure is very dangerous too. Having some resemblance of an off-season is very important.

So your kid plays football, basketball, and baseball. Alright great! Football and basketball create a similar wear and tear on the body, so playing baseball is a good change of pace and allows the lower body to rest.  However, I see far too many kids playing baseball and AAU or travel ball (name your sport) at the same time. Now you have just created an environment of increased exposure to injury. It does not take a mathematician to figure out that the more games you play during the year, the risk for injury will automatically rise. The exposure obviously rises if you go from playing 50 basketball games in a year to 75-100 games. I would argue that the risk for injury starts to compound at this time as well, because they are playing in a physically fatigued/burnt out state now (mentally burnt out; maybe yes, maybe no).

So please help your youth athletes out by encouraging random play. Make an effort to expose them to a variety of sports at a young age, and then specialize as they mature. Finally, some form of an off-season from intense competition will help avoid mental and physical burnout in youth athletes.

Exercises for Athletes #2 - Goblet Squat

The Goblet Squat is a great lift to teach proper technique to a youth athlete or beginning lifter while still eliciting a training effect.  Due to the anterior load of the weight, it allows the lifter to better obtain a squat position as the weight will act as a counter balance. For this reason, a Goblet Squat will actually start to improve squat mobility by gaining control over deeper ranges of motion in the squat position while still maintaining a neutral spine. Once optimal squat depth is obtained with a neutral spine you can then start to focus on increasing load and time under tension. The amount of load you can perform with this lift is limited. However as youth athlete or beginning lifter, ultimately your main goal is time under tension.  In other words, performing set/rep ranges of 3-5 sets x 8-12 reps will give you a baseline level of strength needed to then progress to a lift that will allow for greater loads such as a box squat. As the athlete progresses in his strength and lifting technique, the Goblet Squat will remain a great tool for warm ups or accessory lifts. 

Exercises For Athletes #1 - Drop Jump Landing

The Drop Jump Landing is a entry level exercise to shock plyometric training. It teaches an athlete how to decelerate and absorb forces. The best athletes all have the ability to quickly absorb and transmit a high amount of force over a short period of time. This exercise can also be used for injury prevention. It is commonly included in ACL prevention programs because research has shown that a possible cause for non-contact injury is the lack of ability to absorb a large amount of force in a short period of time. This exercise should be programmed into a youth athlete's training routine in addition to some sort of squat variation. An athletes' training superset may look something like this: A) Box Squat 4 x 5  B) Drop Jump Landing 4 x 2.