Evaluating Pro Athletes Fitness to Play; Limiting Pitch Counts for HS Pitchers; The Importance of Multiplanar Training

Episode 16.19 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.

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Segment One: Dr. Cole and Dr. Bush-Joseph compare their experience as head team physician for the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox respectively, evaluating player fitness to play and potential risk of injury, during the recruiting process. Dr. Bush-Joseph is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School in 1983, and is currently a Professor at Rush University Medical Center and the Associate Director of the Rush Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship Program.

Charles Bush-Joseph, M.D.Dr. Bush-Joseph is a respected educator of medical students, residents, fellows, and practicing orthopedic surgeons lecturing at numerous national educational meetings. He serves on the editorial board of several national orthopedic journals (including the prestigious American Journal of Sports Medicine) and holds committee responsibilities with several national orthopedic societies including the American Academy of Orthopaedics Surgeons and the American Orthopaedic Society Sports Medicine.


Segment Two: Steve and Dr. Cole talk about the recent change in regulations to limit pitch counts for high school baseball pitchers; the importance of cross training, rest and core strength training in preseason workouts to help minimize the risk of shoulder and elbow overuse injuries and young players; how these injuries and surgeries at the high school level can prevent players from progressing to higher levels of play.

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Segment Three:  Chris Garcia  from ATIPT talks about the Importance of Multiplanar Training.

The activities of running, swimming, and to a lesser extent, cycling all require someThe Importance of Multiplanar Training amount of movement and control in all three dimensions. Despite this, many cross training programs don’t include exercises that involve all three dimensions. For instance, many running programs focus on the sagittal plane (squats, lunges, leg press, and calf raises) and neglect the transverse (side to side) and frontal (rotational) planes.

Most natural human movement is executed in all three dimensions. These three dimensions, or planes of movement, are sagittal, frontal, and transverse. The sagittal plane is forward and backwards movement such as the leg movement with walking. The frontal plane is sideways movement such as jumping jacks. The transverse plane is rotational movement such as rotating your hip or shoulder during a throwing motion.

With running the primary movement occurs in the sagittal plane but one needs to be able to stabilize in the frontal and transverse plane in order to be efficient, powerful, and sustainable. Many of the injuries seen with running are related to too much movement in the frontal or transverse plane. Over pronation, inward collapse of the knee, or an opposite side hip drop are all problems of control in either the frontal or transverse plane.

Biking has its own challenges with lower extremity movement in the sagittal plane but stability needing to come from the upper body by controlling twisting and side bending forces. Many injuries are related to poor fit or alignment of the bike components but many others are related to the mismatch in lower extremity force production and stability of the torso.

Swimming (freestyle) requires sagittal plane lower extremity movement, transverse plane spinal movement/stability, and tri-planar movement of the upper extremities. Many repetitive strain injuries are related to poor stability or control of movement in the lower back and scapula area or a lack of mobility of the upper back or shoulder.

Improving strength and power output through resistance training can improve performance in all of these sports but neglecting the frontal and transverse plane is a common mistake that can actually increase ones risk of injury. Below are several options for developing strength and control in the frontal and transverse planes.

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