Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group, LLC Blog

Training = Rehab, Rehab = Training

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 @ 07:11 AM

BSMPG is proud to announce the addition of Charlie Weingroff as a speaker within the Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Track at the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 17th and 18th, 2013!  Charlie joins Robert Butler, Dr. Alex Vasquez, and Bill Knowles along with keynote speakers, Dr. Stuart McGill, Marco Cardinale, Fergus Connolly, Adriaan Louw and Marvin Chun for this weekend event.  With the most thorough and integrated speaker line-up ever assembled, the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar will be the WORLD'S most sought after Sports Medicine & Performance Seminar to date!!

We are expecting the largest crowd in the history of BSMPG events with speakers and attendees traveling the globe to be in Boston in May of 2013, and thus have already made plans to move our main lecture hall to a newly renovated multi-tier auditorium.

Be sure to save the date now - hotels will fill fast with this event along with normal Boston traffic so start making plans now!

See you in Boston next May!!!


 Register for the 2013 BSMPG  Summer Seminar Today



charlie weingroff



Topic: Neurodevelopmental Sequence and Rehab/Training


Charlie is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Certified Athletic Trainer, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  He was most recently the Director of Physical Performance and Resiliency and Lead Physical Therapist for the United States Marines Corps Special Operations Command in Camp Lejeune, NC.  He is also Director of Clinical Education for the Vibraflex Whole-Body Vibration and Andante Medical, the makers of the SmartStep, mobile force plate.  He graduated from Ursinus College with a degree in Exercise and Sports Science in 1996, and went on to earn an MSPT in 1999 and DPT in 2010 from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Prior to returning to his home state of New Jersey in the Fall of 2006 after 12 seasons of professional basketball, he was the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach and Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA.   Among the highlights of his tenure in Philadelphia was being part of the medical staff that ranked 1st in the NBA in Player Missed Games in the 2005-06 season.

Through rehabbing patients, he subscribes to a movement-based approach popularized by the works of Dr. Vladimir Janda, Dr. Shirley Sahrmann, Dr. Stuart McGill, and Gray Cook.  In training athletes and clients, he champions the principles of the Functional Movement Screen and sound, evidence-based training principles.  Some of the methodologies Charlie is formally trained in include DNS, ART, Dry Needling, Graston, FMS/SFMA, and the RKC.

Aside from working with patients, athletes and clients, he is also under the bar himself.  In 2007, he achieved AAPF Elite status in the 220 weight class with a total of 1915 pounds. His best powerlifting competition total is 800 squat, 510 bench press and 605 deadlift.

Currently Charlie is training and rehabbing clients of all types at Drive495 in Manhattan, NYC and Fit For Life in Marlboro, NJ.

Charlie lives with his wife, Kristen, and dog, Rumble, in NJ.

Topics: Art Horne, Charlie Weingroff, Stu McGill, Kevin Neeld, Cal Dietz, Bill Knowles, Jeff Cubos, Marco Cardinale, Marvin Chun, Fergus Connolly, Stuart McGill, Rob Butler

Biological Principles and Practical Applications by the Leader of British Olympic Sport

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 @ 07:11 AM

When it comes to developing the highest level of athletes, few professionals understand what this actually means like Marco Cardinale.
Lucky you - now you can.  
Learn from the man that led Britian's Sports Science activities for the Olympic preparation at the Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympic Games at the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar.  As if your time at our annual seminar with Dr. Cardinale and other leaders in sports medicine and performance isn't enough, you'll also be entered to win win a copy of his book, 
Strength and Conditioning: Biological Principles and Practical Applications
Like you needed another reason to attend the world's top Sports Medicine and Performance Seminar. 
Marco Cardinale   


This book provides the latest scientific and practical information in the field of strength and conditioning.

The text is presented in four sections, the first of which covers the biological aspects of the subject, laying the foundation for a better understanding of the second on the biological responses to strength and conditioning programs. Section three deals with the most effective monitoring strategies for evaluating a training program and establishing guidelines for writing a successful strength and conditioning program. The final section examines the role of strength and conditioning as a rehabilitation tool and as applied to those with disabilities.

This book is an invaluable textbook and reference both for academic programs and for the continuing education of sports professionals.

  • Integrates the latest research on physiological, anatomical and biomechanical aspects of strength and conditioning
  • Offers numerous practical examples of applications
  • Provides guidelines for writing and monitoring effective strength training programs

Join the leaders in Sports Medicine and Performance in Boston May 17 & 18, 2013 for the BSMPG Annual Summer Seminar featuring Marco Cardinale, Stuart McGill, Fergus Connolly and Adriaan Louw as Keynote speakers.


Sign up today - discounted rates end December 31st, 2012.

Register for the 2013 BSMPG  Summer Seminar Today




Topics: BSMPG, Marco Cardinale

The Man That Wants To Kill Crunches

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 @ 07:10 AM


Dr. Stuart McGill  

After three decades of figuring how out the spine works, Stuart McGill has come to loathe sit-ups. It doesn’t matter whether they are the full sit-ups beloved by military trainers or the crunch versions so ubiquitous in gyms. “What happens when you perform a sit-up?” he asks. “The spine is flexed into the position at which it damages sooner.”

The professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo knows a thing or two about snapping spines. In his lab, McGill proudly shows off a machine that’s probably created more disc herniations than any other in the world. “We get real [pig] spines from the butcher and we compress them, shear them and bend them to simulate activities such as golf swings and sit-ups, and watch as unique patterns of injury emerge.” A disc has a ring around it, and the middle, the nucleus, is filled with a mucus-like liquid. Do a sit-up and the spine’s compression will squeeze the nucleus. On his computer, McGill shows how the nucleus can work its way out of the disc, hit a nerve root and cause that oh-so-familiar back pain. “From observing the way your total gym routine is performed, we can predict the type of disc damage you’re eventually going to have.”


While there are lots of ways to injure a back, the sit-up is an easily preventable one. According to his research, a crunch or traditional sit-up generates at least 3,350 newtons (the equivalent of 340 kg) of compressive force on the spine. The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health states that anything above 3,300 newtons is unsafe.

So McGill suggests replacing sit-ups with exercises to strengthen the core while not bending the spine: 

Continue to read this article by clicking HERE  


Want more awesome McGill resources? Visit Craig Liebenson's site for a complete list of audio, video, and written articles outlining the most up-to-date research on athletic performance and core development.


Learn why crunches are hurting your back and why your traditional core exercises are missing the mark when it comes to improving athletic performance at the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar featuring Professor Stuart McGill as keynote speaker!

Hurry - this seminar will sell out again this year.  Discounted prices end December 31st, 2012!

Register for the 2013 BSMPG  Summer Seminar Today



Topics: Art Horne, Craig Liebenson, Charlie Weingroff, Adriaan Louw, Bill Knowles, Marco Cardinale, Fergus Connolly, Stuart McGill, Rob Butler, Bobby Alejo

Hockey Athletic Development - Can't Miss Speaker

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 @ 07:10 AM

BSMPG is proud to announce the addition of Kevin Neeld as a speaker within the Sports Fusion Track at the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 17th and 18th, 2013!  Kevin joins legendary track coach Randall Huntingon and Ben Prentiss along with keynote speakers, Dr. Stuart McGill, Marco Cardinale, Fergus Connolly, Adriaan Louw and Marvin Chun for this weekend event.  With the most thorough and integrated speaker line-up ever assembled, the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar will be the WORLD'S most sought after Sports Medicine & Performance Seminar to date!!

We are expecting the largest crowd in the history of BSMPG events with speakers and attendees traveling the globe to be in Boston in May of 2013, and thus have already made plans to move our main lecture hall to a newly renovated multi-tier auditorium.

Be sure to save the date now - hotels will fill fast with this event along with normal Boston traffic so start making plans now!

See you in Boston next May!!!


Register for the 2013 BSMPG  Summer Seminar Today


Kevin Neeld


Sponsored by:


Hockey Strength Training

Director of Athletic Development & Athletic Development Coach

Kevin Neeld is the President, COO, and Director of Athletic Development at Endeavor. Since joining the team in 2007 as Endeavor’s Director of Athletic Development, Kevin has rapidly established himself as an international authority on athletic development, with a reputation for creatively applying an extensive knowledge in functional anatomy, biomechanics, neural control, and injury prevention to produce superior results for his athletes.

Kevin is sought after for his expertise in both performance enhancement and injury resistance. He has helped athletes surpass previous performance bests following a multitude of common athletic injuries, including ankle sprains, knee ligament tears, hip labral tears, chronic groin and hip flexor strains, sports hernias, low back pain, shoulder dislocations/separations, and shoulder labral tears.

After completing a successful college hockey career at the University of Delaware ('05-'06: MVP; '06-'07: Team Captain, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2nd Team All-American), Kevin served as the Assistant Coach of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Women's Ice Hockey Team and assisted with the implementation of the strength and conditioning program for the UMass Amherst Men's Ice Hockey Team. Recently, Kevin has joined the US Women's National Hockey Team as a Strength and Conditioning Coach, and has been an invited guest to NHL training camps to assist in the testing and training of the players. Kevin continues his work in ice hockey serving as a coach, educator, and program consultant in the sport.

An accomplished author, Kevin has had articles published in Men’s Fitness and many of the top fitness and performance sites, including,,,, and Kevin is the author of Ultimate Hockey Training, a comprehensive resource on long-term player development and year-round off-ice training methods.

Kevin received his Master’s degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Neuroscience from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware with a major in Fitness Management and a minor in Strength and Conditioning.

Topics: Art Horne, Charlie Weingroff, Kevin Neeld, BSMPG Summer Seminar, Ben Prentiss, Bill Knowles, Jeff Cubos, Marco Cardinale, Marvin Chun, Fergus Connolly, Stuart McGill

The Grind

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Wed, Oct 17, 2012 @ 07:10 AM

John Wooden



Call it deliberate practice, focused resolve, constant repetition, you may call it whatever you like, but I choose to call it the grind.  The grind is dressed in street clothes, wears a hard hat and packs a lunch box for a heavy days work! The grind is the long road, a path few choose to travel, marred with obstacles, mountains, valleys and shadows of the many spirits that have given up on their journey.  The grind is the best-kept secret to professional success.  It never ceases to amaze me that so many people try to bypass the grind to find instant gratification.  Coach John Wooden once said: “The quality of the effort is where I found-and continue to find-success.”  Success is not pure without sacrifice.  For this reason, I am forever grateful for “The Grind.”

-       Anthony Donskov, MS, CSCS, PES


Join BSMPG and hundreds of the world’s premiere Sports Performance and Sports Medicine professionals May 17 & 18, 2013 in Boston MA as they celebrate and embrace,

“The Grind.”


Register before the end of the year and enjoy a discounted price!


Register for the 2013 BSMPG  Summer Seminar Today

Topics: Art Horne, Charlie Weingroff, Ben Prentiss, Bill Knowles, Marco Cardinale, Marvin Chun, Stuart McGill, Bobby Alejo

Visiting Boston - Your guide to Staying in Boston for BSMPG 2013

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Thu, Oct 4, 2012 @ 07:10 AM


5 Steps to ensure your 2013 BSMPG Seminar is a Success 


2012 BSMPG Social

1. Remain Calm: Yes, it's true that we have the biggest names in Sports Medicine and Performance here in Boston for the 2013 Seminar and it's also true you might never be exposed to so much brain power under one roof ever again.  But this is no reason to start dancing around your apartment like a teenage school girl who just met Justin Bieber!  Ok, maybe it is.

2. Rest Up: we certainly know how to put on the best seminar in the industry - that's understood. If you've attended an event in the past you know we also know how to put on the best socials in the industry as well.  Bring Ibuprofen and a water bottle! 

Our motto: learn hard - play hard! 

3. Bring Business Cards: We know that you come for the best speakers in the world, but we've also been known to connect sports medicine and performance professionals with the best technology support companies, nutrition experts, and a number of other industry leaders from around the world with one another.  We don't want to brag - but we're also responsible for a number of interviews and jobs over the last few years.

4. Take Notes: Not during lectures silly! That's what the powerpoint and outlines we provide you are for. Some of the most powerful conversations take place during our scheduled breaktimes, lunch hours and social events.  With the leaders in sports medicine and performance from around the globe present as attendees, some of the biggest Ah-ha moments happen outside the lecture halls. Be ready with pen and paper in hand - you might not get another chance to talk to so many NHL and NBA coaches and therapists as you do at BSMPG!

5. Secure Lodging: During this week many Boston and area colleges and universities host graduations and because of this, area hotels book up fast.  We encourage those even thinking about attending to reserve hotel rooms now! You can always cancel the week leading up to the event, but if you wait until the week prior to book, you'll certainly be out of luck. Reserve your room now. See link below.

Click HERE for a complete list of our Hotel Partners.    


Recap: Get excited because we are planning the largest BSMPG Seminar to Date - book your travel, get a babysitter, reserve a hotel room, and bring your brain and party pants to Boston! 

Let's get it on BSMPG-ers! (yes, that's a Marvin Gaye reference)

See you soon!


Register today for the world's largest Sports Medicine and Performance Seminar - May 17 & 18, 2013. Boston MA 

Register for the 2013 BSMPG  Summer Seminar Today




Topics: Art Horne, Craig Liebenson, Brijesh Patel, Mike Curtis, Charlie Weingroff, BSMPG Summer Seminar, Cal Dietz, Jeff Cubos, Dan Boothby, Marco Cardinale, Marvin Chun, Fergus Connolly, Stuart McGill, Rob Butler, Clare Frank

If you want to be the Best, then join the Best

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mon, Oct 1, 2012 @ 07:10 AM


If you want to be the Best, then you need to join the Best sports medicine and performance professionals from around the world at the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 17th and 18th in Boston MA!

Registration for this event is now open!

Visit our website for complete conference details including our keynote and individual track speakers.


Keynote Speakers include: Stu McGill, Adriaan Louw, Fergus Connolly, Marco Cardinale, and Marvin Chun.


Stuart McGill  Adriaan Louw  Fergus Connolly  Marco Cardinale  Marvin Chun  Robert Butler  Randall Huntington


More speakers are being being announced weekly!

Stay tuned to for seminar updates and announcements.

Register Today - This seminar will sell out!


Register for the 2013 BSMPG  Summer Seminar Today



Topics: Art Horne, Stu McGill, Ben Prentiss, Bill Knowles, Marco Cardinale, Marvin Chun, Fergus Connolly

Predicting Performance and Injury Resilience in Collegiate Basketball Athletes : Part III

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 @ 07:09 AM

by Art Horne


Basketball Performance Seminar


Just recently Dr. Stuart McGill, Jordan Andersen, and I published an article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examining the link between traditional pre-season strength, fitness, and sports medicine testing to overall on-court basketball performance and injury resilience throughout the course of two collegiate basketball seasons.  Although I would be the first to admit that there are some clear limitations to this study (number of participants for example), key performance predictors (points scored, ability to rebound, block shots, etc) were NOT associated with traditional strength or performance measures so often pursued in collegiate basketball strength programs.


Key performance predictors (points scored, ability to rebound, block shots, etc) were NOT associated with traditional strength or performance measures.


Below you’ll read a few of our findings followed by my thoughts on how to best train these attributes that correlated to actual on-court success as well as address common injuries found both in our study and in general among basketball athletes. Findings are in bold, with narrative following in normal text.


First things first. All strength exercises described below must be built on a solid foundation. To quote Gray, “you can’t put strength on dysfunction.”

Move well, and then Move often.

You wouldn’t build a house on swamp land, so don’t even try to start squatting the basketball athlete before you’ve assessed him for the ability to even perform such a movement with his own body weight. This seems logical to most, but you’d be surprised at the number of coaches who first neglect this fairly obvious rule and bury their athletes under the bar.  This rule needs to be applied to all exercises that carry a load, not just the squat. Prove to me that you can handle 1x your body weight and then we can talk about you moving an outside load.

For the sake of argument, we’ll assume the methods below are being applied to a basketball athlete who has been assessed and has passed their movement screen/assessment and has no current pain or past medical condition.


1. A “stiffer” torso leads to better performance

Again, this goes without saying. 

Many people automatically associate spine stiffness to side planking for some reason but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The ability to Side Plank or perform a Front Plank are merely two exercises in the large core stability family.  Including these traditional exercises along with the chops and lifts, anti-rotation exercises such as the Keiser Belly Press (or Paloff Press), Bird-dog exercises and the Tall Kneeling or standing Single Arm Keiser Chest Press along with Anti-Extension exercises including any variation of roll outs are a staples within any comprehensive yearly training program.  But you already knew that – what you may be missing are the following:

a. Rolling - Assessment and activation of the deep core stabilizers: Before addressing the core as described below, one must ensure that the intrinsic musculature immediately surrounding the spine are functioning properly.   Assessing rolling patterns in your athletes is an easy check and certainly worth the investment of time.  Checking both upper and lower rolling patterns – supine to prone and prone to supine prior to undergoing a long rehabilitation or performance program and addressing deficiency in this area will save you an enormous amount of frustration later on.


BSMPG Seminar


b. Carries: This is a must in every rehabilitation and sports performance program – period. I’ve witnessed firsthand athletes returning to competition after a knee injury who were unable to perform a single leg squat on initial evaluation, only to bury it moments after a few minutes of suitcase carries.  For sports performance coaches, this has been described by McGill a number of times and specifically to the Yolk walk that strongmen competitors compete in. 

“Every time I work with top international athletes I learn more about athleticism. We have all heard that having a strong core increases strength elsewhere in the body. Experience tells us this is true but I was incomplete in my explanation of the mechanism. I enhanced my education a couple of years ago following my analysis of “strongman event” competitors.

First we measured the athlete’s strength capabilities – hip abduction being one of them. Then we quantified the tasks, strength demands and joint mechanics in various events. Curiously they needed more hip abduction strength to succeed in events such as Super Yoke and the Suitcase carry than they could create in their hips. How could they perform a feat of strength that was beyond what a joint could produce?

Consider the Super Yoke where several hundred pounds are carried across the shoulders. The axial load down the spine traverses across the pelvis to the support leg allowing the other leg to step and swing. Hip abduction is needed to lift the pelvis laterally but clearly the strength required far exceeded what the hip could create. The missing strength came from the core muscles (quadratus lumborum and the abdominal obliques on the swing leg side) which helped lift the pelvis. Now consider the footballer who plants the foot on a quick cut. A strong and stiff core assists the hip power to be transmitted up the body linkage with no energy losses resulting in a faster cut. This is the same performance enhancing mechanism as in the Super Yoke but it is not traditionally trained in the weight room.

This experience resulted in the search for the best training approach. We quantified asymmetric carries such as the suitcase carry and found that quadratus and the abdominal wall were challenged to create this unique but essential athleticism. However, working with Pavel we tried kettlebell carries (just in one hand). Racked traditionally with the bell carried on the back of the forearm (with the hand position tucked in close to the chest as if the athlete were to begin an overhead press) helps to reduce shoulder impingement should this be an orthopaedic issue. However, even better was the bottom up carry. Here the bell is held upside down in the bottom up position with the elbow tucked close to the body and the bell beside the head. The core is stiffened to control the bell and prevent it from rotating in the hand. Now walk briskly. Core stiffness is essential to prevent the loss of the bell position.

I consider that every general program to enhance athleticism needs a carry task. “ (McGill, personal communication)


  • Integrate Suitcase Carries, Farmer Walks or Bottoms Up Kettlebell Carries in all of your training programs – every time!

McGill Seminar

c. Training to Relax:  it appears that rate of force development is not the only end to which we should direct our training methodologies.  Training to improve RATE OF RELAXATION may be just as, or more important.  For additional resources on this subject see below.

  • Read Cal’s Book, TRIPHASIC TRAINING, specifically page 306 and the section on Antagonistically Facilitated Specialized Method (AFSM).



d. Breathing through the brace: Spine stiffness is intimately related to diaphragm function, and as such, training the diaphragm to operate as both a Respirator and Stabilizer is of the upmost importance.  This is especially important for the Forwards banging down on the post while sucking wind in the fourth quarter.  Learn more about “Breathing Through The Brace” and Diaphragm function HERE.



2. Bench Press correlated with blocks per game

Upper body strength is important for basketball – period (at least for the bigs)

Another note on Kevin Durant and others like him:  Remember – skill is king. If you are just better than everyone and can score whenever you want, whether you can bench press or not really doesn’t matter.  However, if you’re working with a kid that has marginal skill and could use some additional size and strength to compliment this game here are some suggestions for going about doing it that will also have some actual transfer to his performance on the court – and no, none of the suggestions involve bench pressing more.   In fact, absolute strength may not be important at all.  Sparq Data from 17-19 year olds showed the Power Pass (ability to chest pass a medball) to be highly correlated to those that went on to scholarships and international contracts, whereas NBA draft data from 2007-2009 showed bench press to be one of the lowest! (Nike Sparq data)

  • Standing single arm horizontal presses may be better than lying flat on your back under a bar.  I know you can’t move as much weight standing, but that’s kind of the point.  In fact, you’ll only be able to press about ½ of your body weight before you are pulled backwards and around.  This is because the limiter in this exercise is not upper body strength but the ability to stop trunk rotation – an important aspect in the game of basketball! If you can’t pull yourself away from writing bench press into your programs at least add a tall kneeling or standing horizontal cable single arm press as a supplemental exercise.
  • An even better exercise is described by McGill HERE, in which you perform a dumbbell chest press with only ½ your body on the bench and press with the arm on the side that is unsupported.  This forces the unsupported side – hip/gluteal & hamstring with anti-rotational core stiffness that will allow for stability necessary to generate pushing power in conjunction with upper body strength ( 


  • Crawling: enhancing “functional” upper body basketball strength, or strength that can be used in any sport for that matter starts on the ground.  I’ve seen athletes time and time again lying flat on their back performing the bench press exercise that can’t even perform a push-up without looking like a wet noodle.  Stay on the ground instead of “deloading” their bodyweight and placing them on their back.  Remember – you need to be able to handle 1x your bodyweight before moving on to loading that pattern.  Crawling and performing push-ups in multiple directions and with multiple hand placements are an excellent way to develop the strength needed to battle for the boards while also integrating the core musculature.  Examples include:

Inchworm, Lateral push-ups, Hand Walk-outs, Bear Crawls (forward, back and side to side)


3. Long Jump distance and Lane Agility Test were the most closely linked performance tests linked to actual performance

Let’s break each one of these points down into their individual components.

i.      Long Jump scores correlated with: minutes, rebounds, and blocks per game: and thus, an effort must be made to address this horizontal power component in your training program.  Here’s how.

  • Trap Bar Deadlift: Listen, basketball guys aren’t interested in strength training – sorry to break the news. This was a really hard thing for me to understand when I was younger and for a long time refused to believe that basketball athletes didn’t love moving weight – THEY DON’T!  With that said, the trap bar deadlift might be one of the best exercises for the basketball athlete – here’s why......It’s not the squat!

Listen, I think basketball athletes should squat and squat often, but unfortunately it often places the basketball athlete into a movement pattern that they perform a thousand times a day already and as such, might not be appropriate for the entire team, all the time as opposed to the deadlift which almost all guys (even guys with knee pain) can perform. If you’re going to squat your athletes (good by the way!), be sure to at least add the deadlift into the mix (and when I say add to the mix, I mean add it a lot!)

  • Trap Bar Deadlifts are easier to teach and execute than traditional barbell deadlifts from the floor.  Holding a bar to the sides is far easier than scraping your shins when holding a bar from the front.  We’re not here to teach kids to become great dead lifters, or compete in the Olympics.  They’re in your weight room to become better basketball athletes – period.  Trap Bar Deadlifts are the fastest, easiest, and safest means to that end. 

Remember: the goal is to keep the goal the goal. 

  • What’s the goal? Improve basketball motor skills and biomotor abilities that lead to increased basketball court performance while reducing the likelihood of injury.

  • Besides being a great lower extremity exercise, deadlifting has two additional benefits:

1.Deadlifting establishes a proper hip hinge pattern which separates your lumbar spine from your hips.  If ankle and knee pain don’t end your career, low back pain will. Avoid back pain by mastering this movement and recruiting the massive muscles on your “backside” instead of the muscle in your lumbar spine 2. Holding the bar to the side makes it easier to centrate and “pack your shoulder” joint while also recruiting the large lumbar spine stabilizer called your lats (another great reason to perform this exercise).  Teaching kids to “screw in their shoulder” or “pack their shoulder” will carry over to other exercises while also keeping their shoulder joints free from pain.  Side note: perform in barefeet to encourage awareness of foot position, strengthen the intrinsic musculature of the foot and ankle, and get them out of those darn basketball shoes for at least a minute. 

  • Deadlifting promotes more horizontal power development than the squat – read above – “long jump scores correlated with rebounds and blocks per game” – that’s a good thing! Rebounding and blocking shots not only involve jumping up, but also jumping outwards to meet the ball.  Both strength qualities must be developed in my opinion and the deadlift is your money maker for the horizontal component.
  • Kettlebell Swings: Now that you’ve established the necessary strength from the deadlift and have earned the right to pull from the floor, harnessing that strength and moving weight fast is the next challenge.  As Cal Dietz has mentioned many times, not a single exercise that we perform in the weight room even approaches the speed at which your limbs move during the course of a basketball game.  Although not able to reproduce this speed per se, the kettlebell swing does teach the body to contract and relax – and that is what elite sport is all about!  In addition, when performed correctly (sorry cross-fit but swinging the bell up over your head is a bad idea), the motion is almost purely horizontal, and contributes to a big broad jump.


ii. Lane Agility time correlated negatively with minutes played, points, assists and steals per game (meaning that a faster time was linked to more performance)

i.      These are the guys with the stiffer torso’s, the guys that are able to “relax” quickly (again read Cal’s book), and the guys that are able to put force into the ground to change direction. So how do I do this:

  • Stiffer Torso: Re-read torso training above
  • Ability to relax: Read Cal Dietz’s book, specifically part on “AFSM” training, pages 306 to 313.
  • Force into the ground: Get Strong! I’m not quite sure how else to say this but moving heavy weight is necessary.  Although there is some argument as to the amount of strength  needed to be successful in sport, it is rare to find a basketball athlete that has achieved top end strength and as such, can always improve their biomotor abilities by the addition of more absolute strength.  This strength however needs to be multi-planer.  This is much different than training track athletes that simply move in a straight line.  Performing lunges at various angles or squats in varying foot positions (sport squat vs. power lifting stance) will translate to improved on-court success.

iii. Vertical Jump did not correlate with any variable below

  • This is a bit of a misnomer in my opinion and here’s why. Vertical jump is important, especially the ability to repeat these jumps over and over. Although it wasn’t correlated in this limited study, I think we’d all agree that you need a big vertical jump if you want to play at the highest level (college or professionally).  One attribute more important than jumping high however is the ability to put the ball in the bucket. I don’t care if it’s from beyond the arc or if you pull up in the paint. If you can score when you want to you will play!  The trend that I have seen over the years unfortunately is that our best leapers are never our most skilled players.  For some reason, most natural leapers feel like that attribute alone will get them through to the next level and thus, simply fail to develop their full skill set.  Let’s look back at the goal. You need to score more than the other team. So you either have to be a great scorer or a great defender.  Vertical jumping will certainly help you some on both ends of the court but you still have to have that silky smooth jump shot in order to reach the highest level. 

Keep working on developing your vertical jumping ability, but not at the expense of developing your skill set.  Instead of showing off at between classes with your fancy dunks try spending that extra time at the charity stripe working on your foul shots.


Is any of this really important?

If you’re any one of the 3 major universities in Boston providing basketball scholarships for example, you know that you’ve basically committed over a ¼ of a million dollars towards each athlete by the time they graduate.  This doesn’t not even account for the large number of support staff (academic support, athletic trainers, strength coaches, etc.) that invests their time above and beyond to help these young men.   If more strength coaches and athletic trainers saw each athlete as a dollar figure, or a loss of potential “revenue” when injured perhaps then each would look to address faulty movement patterns and their contributing factors prior to injury rather than throwing their hands up afterwards in frustration.  I don’t think it’s fair to put a dollar figure on an 18 year old kid – but I do think that it’s a nice exercise to clearly illustrate the massive investment institutions are making in their athletes and athletic programs, and one that will resonate with those professionals that provide services to these athletes.  Providing sports medicine care means more than applying ice and e-stim after injury and strength & conditioning requires more than simply loading a bar.  Both professionals, need to understand that they currently have over 3 million dollars of “product” on their roster right now (13 scholarships), and that their actions and inactions contribute directly to the rise and fall of that value.


Best of luck this coming basketball season!!





Dietz C, Peterson B. Triphasic Training: A systematic approach to elite speed and explosive strength performance. 2012.

Nike Sparq Data.


Register Now for the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 17 & 18, 2013.  See Dr. Stuart McGill and other leaders in Sports Medicine and Performance from around the Globe!


Register for the 2013 BSMPG  Summer Seminar Today


Topics: Stu McGill, Bill Knowles, Marco Cardinale, Marvin Chun, Fergus Connolly

BSMPG Summer Seminar Highlights - Chris Powers

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 @ 07:08 AM

Click below to see highlights from our 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar featuring Keynote Speaker, Chris Powers.

More highlights are set to come in the next few weeks so stay tuned!



Save the date for the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 17th & 18th in Boston MA.


Keynote Speakers include: Dr. Stuart McGill, Dr. Marco Cardinale, Fergus Connolly, Adriann Louw and Marvin Chun.  Individual learning track speakers will be announced shortly. 


Register for the 2013 BSMPG  Summer Seminar Today 


This is sure to be the biggest Sports Medicine and Sports Performance Seminar to date!

A special thanks again to our SPONSORS!




Topics: Stu McGill, Adriaan Louw, Marco Cardinale, Marvin Chun, Fergus Connolly, Rob Butler, Chris Powers

Bill Knowles returns to BSMPG Summer Seminar Speaker list in 2013

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 @ 06:08 AM

BSMPG is proud to announce the return of Bill Knowles as a speaker within the Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Track at the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 17th and 18th, 2013!  Bill joins keynote speakers, Dr. Stuart McGill, Marco Cardinale, Fergus Connolly, Adriaan Louw and Marvin Chun for this weekend event.  With the most thorough and integrated speaker line-up ever assembled, the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar will be the WORLD'S most sought after Sports Medicine & Performance Seminar to date!!

We are expecting the largest crowd in the history of BSMPG events with speakers and attendees traveling the globe to be in Boston in May of 2013, and thus have already made plans to move our main lecture hall to a newly renovated multi-tier auditorium.

Be sure to save the date now - hotels will fill fast with this event along with normal Boston traffic so start making plans now!

See you in Boston next May!!!

Watch highlights from Bill Knowles at the 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar by clicking HERE


Bill Knowles

Bill Knowles


iSPORT Training

Athletic Development Coach and Sports Rehabilitation Specialist
Certified Athletic Trainer, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

• 21 years professional experience working with World-class, Olympic, Professional, Elite, & Nationally ranked athletes from around the world.
• Professional and World-Class sports include: Soccer (football), Rugby Union, Ice Hockey, Basketball, Football, Aussie Rules Football, Golf, Alpine and Freestyle Mogul Skiing, Snowboarding and Swimming
•Former Head Athletic Trainer and Director of Strength and Conditioning at Burke Mountain Academy (Vermont, USA) for 12 years. BMA is recognized historically as the best youth sports academy in the world for alpine ski racing.
The list of Olympic, World Cup, and World Junior success is unparallel in the Unites States and worldwide.
• Author of numerous articles on injury prevention and performance training in ski publications, strength and conditioning magazines and health journals.
• Featured speaker dozens of times around the United States, Canada, England and Scotland on topics related to injury reduction programs, rehabilitation/reconditioning, and performance training for all types of athletes.

For the past 21 years Bill Knowles has been working with elite level athletes from around the world. As a sports rehabilitation specialist, Bill has helped Professional and Olympic level athletes recover from season ending and career threatening injuries. His energy and enthusiasm keeps every training session educational and fresh, while his unique experiences allows a creative approach to address any injury situation. Bill’s rehab philosophy allows each athlete the opportunity to express their inherent athletic ability quickly following injury or surgery. This mean the “down time” is minimal and the athlete stays very active and motivated.

After receiving his education at Cortland State College in New York, Bill began his career at the world renowned sports academy for Alpine and Nordic ski racing; Burke Mountain Academy. As the Head Athletic Trainer and Performance Director Bill took care of countless knee injuries and developed his skills that began to attract world-class ski racers from Europe and North America. Since then athletes from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Australia have visited Bill in Killington, Vermont. Bill has also traveled extensively working with and visiting many of the top sports clubs in the world.

This success has evolved to designing and implementing rehab and performance programs that have placed athletes back into the English Premiership and Championship Football Leagues, The Rugby World Cup and Premiership Squads, Baseball World Series, Winter Olympic podiums and X-Game podiums.

As a former collegiate soccer player, ski racer, and coach, Bill delivers his training programs they way an athlete understands and respects.


Topics: Stu McGill, Bill Knowles, Joel Jamieson, Marco Cardinale, Marvin Chun, Fergus Connolly, BSMPG Summar Seminar