Week 4 of the In-Season Restoration Series: Half-Kneeling Counter-Rotational Landmine Press
Each off-season, baseball players have many similar imbalances and dysfunctions as they go into their training. While no two athletes are the same, this series will be aimed at in-season maintenance of functions and balances that are commonly lost over the course of a season.
This week we are covering Half-Kneeling (HK) Counter-Rotational (CR) Landmine (LM) Press. First things first: Why is the HK CR LM Press an effective exercise?
#1: Reinforcing Thoracic Mobility and Rotational Strength
In the first week of the In-Season Restoration Series, we discussed the loss of thoracic mobility during the course of the season, and how to maintain this mobility. The HK CR LM Press is our way to engrain that mobility by strengthening through that active range of motion.
#2: Creating a Stronger Landing Leg
We know that in baseball, landing leg stability has a high correlation with throwing velocity, swing power, etc. The HK CR LM Press allows us to work on that in a high-stress, but relatively low-speed way. As the athlete rotates through their press, the athlete needs to maintain stability in the front leg of the half-kneeling position. In-short, it’s a way to develop “feel”.
#3: Reinforcing Scapular Mechanics
In week 3 of the In-Season Restoration Series, we covered the dysfunction of scapular depression and downward rotation. I wrote at decent length about the role of the Serratus Anterior muscle during upward rotation and elevation of the scapula in an overhead athlete. The HK CR LM Press allows us to load movements involving upward rotation and protraction of the scapula thereby strengthening the Serratus. This helps us reinforce the correction from week 3.
#4: It’s a great exercise. It just is. Deal with it.
It is a great press variation that can be added to almost any strength program. It’s a great ‘bang-for your buck’ exercise that works almost the entire body while accounting for people of almost all pain-free mobility restrictions.
How much rotation do I need?
More is not always better. This is a reason we assess our athletes before beginning training. In this instance, we would find an appropriate degree of rotation based on the athlete’s thoracic spine mobility in rotation. Generally with the HK CR LM Press, I like to program the degree as close to their active thoracic mobility measurement as possible. Almost everyone is different, so the degree depends solely on that specific athlete’s ability to rotate through their t-spine. It could be 30 degrees or 45 degrees, it just depends.
(Side Note: In training, the answer is almost always ‘it depends’. There are few definitives- very few broad applications. There is only whether or not it is appropriate for that athlete.)
How to add this exercise:
It’s important to know that we will use this exercise both as an in-season and off-season pressing variation. I like it alot as a primary lift while in-season, because of the reasons listed above. In the off-season, however, I usually will use it as a secondary lift on a deadlift or squat day. Watch the video to see how it’s done!
That concludes our In-Season Restoration Series! Try out the HK CR LM Press in your program, and as always, let us know what you think. Also, we love feedback on topics that you would like us to discuss. Thanks, guys!