Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group, LLC Blog

Interview with Coach Schexnayder : 2012 BSMPG Seminar Keynote Speaker

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 @ 07:04 AM

LSU jump



This is part 1 of the weekly “Friday Five” series where I ask 5 tough questions to world class elite coaches.

Irving "Boo" Schexnayder is regarded internationally as one of the leading authorities in training design, especially in the Jump events.  He coached triple jumper Walter Davis, long jumper John Moffitt, and 19 NCAA Champions.

Boo will be speaking at the Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group (BSMPG) on May 19-20, 2012.

You can also see his complete jumps DVD package for the Long, Triple and High Jump (plus a weight training bonus).

Q1 –  A lot of confusion and mystery lies with the true volumes of jump training that is sufficient for stimulating neuromuscular adaptions and teaching. While small doses are often looked at as the goal, teaching takes repetition. Could you expand on how important the sequence of the training year and the quality of foot strike?  Can you explain why it seems that some programs thrive off of higher volumes while some just lead to injury?

BOO:  As far as foot strike, the ability to properly dissipate impact forces through full-footed landings is obviously a huge help to staying injury free while jump training. I think there are two other, more subtle keys to successful progression and remaining injury free in jump training. The first lies in variety, specifically advancing training cycles in a timely fashion. The other is taking a purposeful approach to the process.

Just as athletes do, we as coaches tend to settle into comfort zones. You get your athletes doing particular forms of jump training. Then, as mastery is approached, it’s time to move on to something else, but our natural tendency is to breathe easy and admire our work for a while. Periodic shifts in exercise choice, volume and intensity are critical, even though they might make life for the coach tougher. Successful higher volume programs do this and show a bit of a pioneer spirit.

Also, everything done must have a very specific purpose. That purpose might be establishing initial volumes, technical development, high end or low end elastic strength development, or whatever. It’s easy to fall into a “this is my fallback workout” philosophy if you are not targeting something specific. This is the primary rationale behind the small volume programs, and I think this is the key with high training age athletes who have already accumulated injuries and other physical issues over the course of a career.

In either case, whether it is failure to progress or mindless repetition, at this point jump training quits being a stimulus and becomes simply another piece of baggage that must be carried around that increases injury risk.

Q2 – You mention that Olympic lifts are great harmonizing agents to a program. With your experience could you address what mechanisms and systems such as posture and coordination enable the lifts to transfer to sprinting and jumping?

BOO:  The results I see in my program are the main reason I feel strongly about using Olympic lifts. I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I researched them first and then started to use them. My personal journey was more of a matter of seeing huge gains and then figuring out why.

I think the orders of joint firing and the mixing of absolute strength, power, and eccentric activity show huge transfer into sport specific skills. Also, the need to stabilize the core while performing something functional like an Olympic lift does more for the body’s core than all the crunches in the world. In short, they are highly functional.

I am a fan of functional training. But I have never gone completely that way, always keeping a base in more old school approaches. Maybe it’s because I started my career in football, but it’s also because I have watched too many great athletes train that way to scrap it.

I think a key variable in strength training is the amount of muscle tissue activated in the course of a repetition. That variable, more than any other, affects blood chemistry and endocrine responses. Many exercises are functional but don’t elicit enough muscle fiber activation to accomplish this. Olympics are where gross movements meet functional training and old school meets new school.


Continue reading on   


See Coach Schexnayder at the 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar as he talks, "Mulitjump Exercises: Applications for Teaching, Training, and Rehab"


Coach Schexnayder joins Chris Powers, Craig Liebenson, Bill Knowles, and Alan Grodin as Keynotes speaers.  See these world class speakers along with the best Sports Medicine, Hockey and Basketball therapists and performance coaches throughout the weekend - May 19-20.

Register today before seats fill up!


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Topics: basketball conference, BSMPG, boston hockey summit, Craig Liebenson, boston hockey conference, athletic training books, Cal Dietz, Bill Knowles, Barefoot in Boston

Christopher McDougall talks Running Barefoot and if we were BORN TO RUN

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Sun, Apr 15, 2012 @ 07:04 AM

Christopher McDougall Talks Barefoot and Why Humans Were Born to Run

Are you wondering why your running shoes resemble high heels? Ever think about why your big toe overlaps your second and why your arch really isn’t an arch anymore and resembles more of a pancake? Thinking about baring your sole? Barefoot training has recently become popularized as a potential benefit in injury prevention and rehabilitation programs. It is also purported to serve as an additional means to enhance athletic performance and running economy. However, limited clinical research is currently available to justify this practice and even less information is available describing how one may go about safely implementing a barefoot training program. This book explores the scientific and theoretical benefits concerning the merits of forgoing the modern running shoe for a simpler approach and offers real life solutions to all the obstacles standing between your feet and mother earth. Although it’s true that Americans love their shoes, what you learn about the merits of stuffing your feet and toes into these modern day casts might just have you singing a different tune – a tune your feet will certainly be much happier moving to. Welcome to Barefoot in Boston!
Enjoy Born to Run author, Christopher McDougall's TED presentation below!


Learn how you too can enjoy the benefits of being barefoot by reading BAREFOOT IN BOSTON, available now in both paperwork and kindle.

barefoot in boston

Topics: athletic training conference, athletic training, Irene Davis, Christopher McDougall, athletic training books, barefoot strength training, achilles pain, barefoot running, barefoot training

Triphasic Training: A Systematic Approach to Elite Speed and Explosive Strength

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 @ 07:03 AM


Cal Dietz



by Art Horne 

I recently travelled to Minnesota to visit a few friends and spend time with the strength coaches from both the Minnesota Timberwolves and the University of Minnesota.  If you’ve ever been to Minnesota you know that packing a winter jacket is a must and this trip this was clearly not the exception!


My first stop was with Cal Dietz from the University of Minnesota.  I’ve mentioned Cal’s new book, Triphasic Training a number of times before, but sitting down with Cal in front of a whiteboard and reviewing his training philosophy gave me a new appreciation and a monumental “ah ha” moment for the three phases of muscle action.



Excerpt from Cal’s book: Preface p. VII





That one simple sentence is what ties every sport together and allows all athletes to be trained using the same method, yielding the same results.  It is what this entire book is about.  Understanding the physiologic nature of muscle action taking place during dynamic movements gives you, the coach, a foundational training method that can be applied to every sport.  Couple this method with a periodization schedule that can be altered to fit with any training time frame and you have the tri-phasic undulating block method.


In a very brief and basic explanation that will be expanded upon at length in later chapters, the triphasic nature of all dynamic movement can be broken down into three phases:

1)   Eccentric phase: This is the deceleration or lowering portion of the movement.  It is associated with muscle lengthening.  During this phase, kinetic energy is absorbed and stored in the tendons of the muscle structure to be used during the stretch reflex.

2)   Isometric phase: This is where the mass, or athlete, comes to a complete stop before being accelerated in a new direction. (This is actually governed by Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion. More on that and physics later.)

3)   Concentric phase: This is the acceleration of an athlete or mass. It is associated with muscle shortening.

As the adage goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  If your training program consists solely of methods that train the concentric portion of dynamic muscle action, your athletes are heading into the season with a chain consisting of one strong link and two weak links.  This book is designed to show you how to develop the other two phases of dynamic human movement with a periodization model that will make all three links strong and optimize the performance of your athletes. Remember that:




Now, for the very large majority of us, “triphasic” muscle action is not new. In fact, if you were to look at your college anatomy and physiology books it might be discussed within the very first chapter, but looking at your athlete’s strength programming I’d bet you’ll find it (or at least the isometric and eccentric portions) as scarce as tourists wearing shorts and a t-shirt during a Minnesota winter!  Sure you’ll find some isometric holds or eccentric tempos from time to time but rarely will entire phases be dedicated to developing these qualities.  And even more rare would be finding these qualities developed or emphasized within a sports medicine rehabilitation program!!


With close to 400 pages of information along with sample programs, Cal’s book leaves no preverbal stone unturned.  The addition of video links to each exercise in each sample program and video explanations and other recorded presentations throughout the book makes Triphasic Training one of the most complete training books I have ever read-watched-(and stole from)!


Whether you work in the performance arena and train elite athletes or a sports medicine clinic working with athletes looking to return to activity, Triphasic Training is a must read and will immediately impact each and every athlete you work with!


See Cal Dietz present at the 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar May 19-20th in Boston.

Register today before seats are sold out!


Click me



Topics: BSMPG, athletic training conference, boston hockey summit, boston hockey conference, athletic training books, Cal Dietz

The Path to Excellence - A Comprehensive View of Development of U.S. Olympians

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 @ 07:02 AM



The Path to Excellence was a study undertaken by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in an attempt to describe and understand the factors that contributed to the development of U.S. Olympians (1). This study presents a number of practical findings relevant to athlete development and talent identification that are along similar lines to those being investigated in the Pathways to the Podium Research Project.

816 male and female Olympians were recruited to participate in this study; all of whom competed in either the Summer or Winter Olympic Games between the years 1984 to 1998. All athletes completed a detailed questionnaire regarding the history of their involvement in sport, and their experiences throughout their journey to the Olympics. Some of the main findings that I found particularly interesting and applicable to coaching and athlete development are outlined below.

The Important Qualities of a Coach

What do athletes look for in a coach? The Olympians were asked to identify and rank the characteristics they value most in a coach. Here are the results:


Topics: basketball conference, BSMPG, athletic training conference, boston hockey conference, athletic training books

The Importance Of Seeing The Big Picture

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 @ 07:02 AM

See Alan Grodin at the 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar as he discusses the importance of matching the appropriate intervention strategy to your patient's underlying pathology.  Learn why exercise and strengthening is not always the answer for a muscle testing weak, along with the appropriate interventions for the most common musculoskeletal pathologies.

Alan Grodin  Grodin


Topic: The Importance of Seeing the Big Picture: Choosing the Appropriate Intervention Strategy 

Alan Grodin is Senior Vice President of Sovereign Rehabilitation (SR).  A nationally renowned, master clinician, Alan is recognized as one of Atlanta’s leading physical therapists.  Especially respected for his expertise in spine-related physical therapy, Alan commonly treats Atlanta Hawks players.

As a licensed physical therapist, Alan’s career spans more than three decades. After spending his early years in a hospital setting and several years in mentorship under the industry’s pioneers, Alan formed the first Sovereign Rehabilitation's (SR) in 1982. After 12 years of significant growth, SR merged with a national rehabilitation company. Alan subsequently led that company’s most successful region . 

After 13 years in the corporate rehabilitation environment, Alan decided to return to the ideals and operational environment afforded by private practice. Thus, SR was re-launched in 2007.

A member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Alan is extensively published, including a third-edition textbook. He is a sought after instructor and lecturer, who has taught courses throughout the United States as well as in Chile, Japan, and Iceland. Alan is also a longtime faculty member of University of St. Augustine, a premier physical and occupational therapy college.

Alan earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and anthropology from the State University of New York (SUNY) - Binghamton and his physical therapy degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center. He has also completed kinesiology master’s work at New York University.  


Excerpt from Alan's book, MYOFASCIAL MANIPULATION: Theory and Clinical Application (first edition)

"One of the classic works on muscle response to immobilization was performed by Tabery et al. In this study, cat soleus muscles were immobilized at various lengths of time. The animals were immobilized by plaster cast. Some of the animals were killed and the muscles were biochemically and histologically analyzed. Biochemically, the passive length-tension was increased in the muscles immobilized in the shortened position, probably because of the connective tissue changes within and surrounding the muscle. Muscles immobilized in the lengthened position had no significant changes in passive length-tension characteristics. From a histological standpoint, the muscles immobilized in the shortened position had a 40% loss of sarcomeres, with an overall decreased in fiber length. The muscles immobilized in the lengthened position exhibited a 19% increase in sarcomeres and an overall increase in fiber length. After 4 weeks of remobilization, the number of sarcomeres in the muscles returned to normal. This study illustrates the principle that muscle tissue will adapt to change in length by increasing or decreasing sarcomeres in order to keep sarcomeres at optimal lengths.

In a follow- up study performed by Tabery and Tardieu, muscle changes caused by prolonged active shortening were studied. Sciatic nerves of guinea pigs were stimulated for 12 hours in either the shortened or lengthened position. The muscles stimulated in the shortened range had a loss of 25% sarcomeres after only 12 hours of contraction. Sarcomeres were completely recovered in the muscles between 48 and 72 hours. The implication of these studies is that muscles passively shortened lose sarcomeres at a much slower pace than muscles actively shortened.

The clinical implication of these findings relates to the types of immbolization that occur in the practice setting. Immobilization may occur artificially (external or internal fixation), or as a physiological mechanism. In the clinical setting, immobility may be due to trauma, past or present. A good example is the whiplash injury, in which immobilization is caused intrinsically by the cervical and upper thoracic paravertebral muscles, the scapulothoracic muscles, and the shoulder girdle muscles. In many cases, the surrounding musculature remains tonically active long after the facet or ligamentous sprain-strain has healed. The body learns a new recruitment pattern for surrounding muscles, and this hypertonic pattern remains long after healing. The muscles are then actively “immobilized,” causing some of the histological changes mentioned above. Often, the most difficult part of the therapeutic process is dealing with this hypertonicity, which is secondary to the original injury." (page 52)

Topics: BSMPG, athletic training conference, athletic training books, Cal Dietz, Bill Knowles, Alan Grodin

Highlights from Cal Dietz's 2011 BSMPG Summer Seminar Presentation

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 @ 09:10 AM


Watch highlights from Cal Dietz's 2011 BSMPG summer seminar presentation.

Cal's entire presentation will be available for purchase shortly on BSMPG.  Stay tuned for details.




To purchase other DVD's from the 2011 Summer Seminar click HERE.

Topics: BSMPG, athletic training conference, boston hockey summit, athletic training, athletic training books, Cal Dietz

BSMPG Announces DNS Course in Boston March 30-April 1, 2012

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Thu, Oct 13, 2011 @ 09:10 AM


BSMPG is proud to annouce the first Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization course on the east coast this coming March 30th through April 1st, 2012.



Introduction to Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization

The “Prague School of Rehabilitation and Manual Medicine” was established by key neurologists/physiatrists, all of whom were giants in the 20th century rehabilitation era i.e. Karel Lewit and the late Professors Vaclav Vojta, Vladimir Janda & Frantisek Vele.  Based on groundbreaking neurodevelopmental and rehabilitation principles by these men, Professor Pavel Kolar has successfully integrated the work of his predecessors in proposing the underlying neurodevelopmental mechanism for how the movement system develops hand-in-hand with CNS maturation.  This complex approach is “cutting-edge” in that it provides a window into provides a window into the complexity and plasticity of the CNS and its effect on the movement system.  The DNS approach can be used in the rehabilitation of a myriad of neurologic, musculoskeletal pain syndromes as well as performance athletic training.

Click HERE for complete details and additional course information

ATTENTION: This course is limited to 30 seats only! Once seats are filled registration will close.  Sign up before you miss this once in a lifetime learning opportunity.




Topics: athletic training conference, athletic training books, Clare Frank, DNS course, DNS, dynamic neuromuscular stabilization

Interview with Mark Toomey from

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 @ 06:10 AM



Mark Toomey


This past June Mark Toomey and Dr. John DiMuro presented at the BSMPG summer seminar, "Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants."  Below is a small portion of Mark's most recent interview.


"We presented a paper together at Boston University and Northeastern University in June on fostering collaborative efforts between medical and exercise professionals. We "knuckle draggers" and I'm proud to call myself that, don’t have to play doctor. There are medical professionals who desire a relationship with us as long as we let them know what we're good at. My swim lane is only this wide but it’s this deep. I don’t want to be a doctor, I don’t want to be a healer - that’s a physician's job. But there is a legitimacy that creating a relationship with the medical community can give us."

Continue to read this interview on by clicking HERE

Topics: Art Horne, athletic training conference, athletic training, athletic training books, Mark Toomey, Barefoot in Boston, Dr. DiMuro

Help Yourself.... So You Can Continue To Help Others

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Sat, Oct 8, 2011 @ 07:10 AM


By Art Horne


athletic training


We’ve all done it from time to time – missed lunch to work with an athlete, stayed up late to write notes on the previous day’s work or ignored a pending physician or dentist appointment because we just didn’t have time.

And although it’s usually celebrated by those you care for and rewarded by the boss everyone knows this downward cycle of ignoring one’s own health in favoring of attending to the health of others can only be headed in one direction. 

So the next time you board a plane when traveling remember to listen to your flight attendant’s very important message,

“During a change in altitude, oxygen masks will drop down from the ceiling.  For patients travelling with young children, be sure to put your mask on first before helping your child.”

As busy as we all are it’s important to remember that the health of those we provide services for is inherently tied to our very own.  It’s tough to continue to help others if you haven’t first helped yourself. 

Topics: Art Horne, basketball conference, BSMPG, athletic training conference, athletic training books, barefoot strength training

Integrated Care - Part VII: Mastering the Hip Hinge

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 @ 07:10 AM

by Art Horne


Last week we discussed the importance of bringing all professionals who care for and provide performance services to your student-athletes together to develop a consistent teaching methodology and progression to mastering the squat pattern.  This week we look at the Hip Hinge.


hip hinge


Deadlift – Hip Hinge

Hip Hinge: all athletes should be able to separate their hips from a back strategy both in 2-legs and single leg stance -whether its knee, hip or other LE injury pain, we should be able to look at this movement pattern and address some overall concerns IN ADDITION to their traditional rehab program.

The hip hinge can be easily taught and standardized with our stick series.

Teaching Stick Series:

1. Stick maintains contact with three points (head, back and butt crack) throughout entire movement.
2. Reach butt backwards; knees should have slight bend.
3. Start with two feet on ground and progress to single leg stance.
4. This is not a squat pattern – be sure to hinge at the hips.
5. Maintain a packed neck (c-spine in-line with sternum throughout movement).

Start one foot away from wall (maybe just less) and reach back towards the wall with butt

1. Maintain three points of contact with stick on head, back and butt crack
2. This is not a squat pattern – first motion should be back towards the wall and not downwards.
3. Inch outwards from the wall with each successful repetition and repeat until you have found your end range.
4. ALTERNATIVE: face wall and touch with hands, move away from wall and repeat until you have reached max distance from wall while maintaining perfect form


1. Two Leg Stick
2. SL Stick
3. 2-Leg – 2 hand Kettlebell Deadlift
4. SL 2-DB Deadlift
5. SL contralateral 1-DB Deadlift


When you finally get strength and sports medicine professionals together in the same room some amazing things begin to happen, especially when you start talking about hinging at the hips including:

1. Agreement to Pack the Neck: Packing the neck and maintaining a neutral cervical spine instead of admiring yourself in the mirror during a hip hinge stick series becomes a universal theme among both groups and taught and coached consistently – whether it’s pulling 300 pounds from the floor during a sumo squat or 4 weeks post ACL surgery during a simple stick series.  Knowing where an athlete is going and where they’ve come from is half the battle in my opinion.

2. Glute activation takes on a whole new meaning to athletic trainers when they see firsthand the work and technical coaching  that strength coaches employ with their athletes.  Sets of 3x10 for glute bridges and then discharge to full participation is no longer acceptable.

3. Bad Hip Hinge means Bad Back: In the same breath, strength coaches are able to discuss challenges with low back pain patients with sports medicine professionals and appreciate how important they are in the rehabilitation and care of those persons as well as how incredibly dangerous a poorly performed lift can be.


Read article on Hip Hinge by clicking HERE.

Topics: basketball resources, basketball training programs, athletic training conference, athletic training, athletic training books, barefoot strength training, Hip Hinge, deadlift Art Horne