Matt Eiden is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC) with 14 years of experience. He was a strength coach for the Washington Nationals from 2009 to 2022. He is also Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) certified. After graduating from St. Mary's with a BS degree in Sports Management in 2008, he played two professional seasons of independent baseball before joining the Nationals as an intern in 2009. In 2016, he was promoted to Head MLB Strength and Conditioning Coach. During the off-season, he resides in Hilton Head, SC with his wife, Ashley. His hobbies include golf, basketball, reading, and spending time with his wife and family. Matt believes that moving well is essential and coaches must be able to connect with athletes to help them work toward the greater goals of the player and team.
Power is a combination of strength and speed so to improve it, you need to do resistance training that focuses on both. This could include slower eccentric exercises to increase your strength as well as speed-strength exercises where you move the weight quickly. Finding a balance between the two will help improve your power and speed. Transcript: "When you think about power, strength times speed equals power. So you have to be strong and then you have to be fast in order to be powerful. So with resistance training, there's lots of different ways you can resistance train to improve your speed and power. Now if you're just trying to improve your strength, you could do slower eccentric exercises, exercises that lengthen your time and retention to break down more muscle tissue and build more strength. And that should improve your power and your speed. It should have a positive effect on that just by getting stronger. So the strength aspect, the more force you can put into the ground, the more power and speed you should have. So resistance training is really important when it comes to part of the equation of power. The other way you can resistance train is do speed strength, do resistance exercises, or maybe you lift heavier weights quicker and you drop it without the eccentric, or maybe you do more resistance training where you move fast like Med balls or lighter weights and just try to move it as fast as you can on your Deadlift or your Squat or whatever it is you're working on. So working more on the speed-strength continuum as well. So finding a balance of all of those when it comes to resistance training should help improve your speed and your power."
Foam rolling and stretching are essential for injury prevention. Massage guns, therapists, or foam rolling can help to soften tissue and open up ranges of motion. Stretching helps to open up ranges of motion and activate muscles. Strengthening those joints through full range of motion is key to injury prevention. Transcript: "I really like foam rolling stretching. I haven't used Too Many of similar massage tools, but the way that I see it, as anything you can do to soften the tissue. So if you have a manual therapists, massage therapist a physical therapist, someone that can get in there. And kind of loosen up your tighter tissues to allow your kind of bones and joints to sit in the right positions to kind of get you to be where you need to be. That's great. If you don't then foam rolling and massage tools, and Stretching is really important. I think to soften your tissue to open up ranges of motion. And then obviously you have to activate and strengthen those ranges of motion, but I would say, daily, at least, before workouts, whenever you really have time if you're in school still, if you can do it first thing in the morning and then go about your day, if you can do it at the end of the day and open up your end ranges of motion, that's great too, but if you can do it before your workout, to kind of soften the tissue and get your alignment in a good position, Asian and then do some stretches to kind of open everything up, that might be limited on you. And then you can activate those tissues and then strengthen those tissues in those ranges of motion. I think that plays a major role in injury prevention. So if you can find a way to get soft tissue through a therapist or just by foam rolling, if you can find a way to stretch and open up ranges of motion great. And then you got to turn on and activate those muscles and those n ranges of motion and then strengthen those The joints through range of motion full range is emotion. I think that plays a big role in injury prevention, but if you're just using massage guns, or stretching its prime and I can play as big of a role. But if you can hit all of those kind of in that order at least once a day or a couple times a week or numerous times a day, you should be in a good position to prevent injuries."
The best way to increase Mobility is to do band distracted stretching and be consistent with a Mobility routine that works for you. Transcript: "Best ways to increase Mobility. It depends what you're trying to achieve. If you want more joint range of motion, if you're trying to just get more muscle tissue range of motion. If you just want to touch your toes or whatever it is, you're trying to accomplish like a little more detail in order to give you the best answer. But band distracted stretching is a good way to open up your hips and get your your joints moving better by creating more space in your bony structures. Kelly Starrett, Supple Leopard, the ready state has a lot of real good information on band distracted stretching. If you're just trying to get some muscle tissue length to me, the best thing is consistency. So if you can find a Mobility routine that works for you and you can do it every day, whether it's first thing in the morning or last thing at night or before, or after your workout, whenever that is just being consistent with it. And then, If you're consistent, just maybe doing it a little bit more often could help as well. So finding something that works for you and then drilling down a little bit deeper and being consistent with. It should be the best way to increase your Mobility."
Power for hitting home runs come from having strong legs and core, good swing mechanics, and good hand-eye coordination. Transcript: "Hey James. Thanks for the question about where does power for hitting home runs? Come from, it's not an easy answer. There's a lot of things that factor into it, but some of the main things, I'll cover right now. You have to have strong, powerful legs and core in order to create Force into the ground and then transfer that Force, through your torso, into your arms, to your bat, and to the ball, when you hit it, in order to get it to go over the fence. So you have to have strong legs, explosive legs. A strong core, a well-positioned cord, so that you're not leaking any power. When you do rotate, you have to have good swing mechanics to. You have to be able to separate your hips and your shoulders. So you need good disassociation. You need a range of motion. Pretty much all the way up your body from your ankles, to your hips, to your ribs, to your shoulders, to get that good separation of your hips and shoulders. So you have to be able to kinematically sequence. Well, get your body to move properly. Have good swing mechanics and hopefully if you can put all these together and you have really good hand-eye coordination, to be able to square up a ball, and hit it at the right angle to use that power in force. You're creating to hit a homerun. So there's a lot that goes into it, there's more than I said right now, but hopefully some of those things you can dig deeper into and help you hit more home runs."
To help with skating, good strength and mobility exercises include bridging, hip stability exercises, lower ab exercises, glute activation exercises, hip flexor stretches, and adductor stretches. These will help strengthen and activate the muscles used in skating, as well as give the body the range of motion and flexibility needed to perform the movements without getting injured. Transcript: "So I'm not a skater but I know lots of strength coaches and athletes that play hockey and skating and do things and work with people that do that. So, some good strength and Mobility exercises to help with that, you got to think about what you're doing and what you can do to kind of counteract, what you're doing to make your body feel better, and then also to help what you're doing. So when you're skating using lots of hips, you'd probably getting into anterior pelvic tilt so exercises, That can help you find a more neutral pelvis, doing some bridging doing some hamstring doing some hip stability, things to kind of stabilize and strengthen, your pelvis posteriorly, things to strengthen, your adductors, your abductors, all the muscles that you're going to be lengthening and shortening quickly in skating. I like to do. Lots of bunkies with my athletes funky hip stabilizing exercises. You can do a many different ways, but if you just have a little bench, you can basically work some n range hip stability. Lots of lower abs, just to kind of keep the pelvis pulling in the right direction. Belly button down, strength training, getting your lower abs to fire, getting your glutes, to fire. I said Bridges, I said, bunkies, basically anything you can do to get your glutes on, open up your hip flexors. So if we can do the couch trip, Which do some hip flexor stretches do some active and range adductor stretching things to kind of train you to get in the end ranges that you're going to be exposed to in the act of skating, being strong in those short, and ranges, and those lengthened and ranges, and also having them ability to hit those motions, but also the strength in those and ranges. So that, when you're doing it, you're not going to get hurt. Hope that helps"
To improve pull up performance, start with isometric holds, eccentric and concentric exercises, assisted reps with a band, and accumulating pull-up reps with a set amount of rest in between. Transcript: "Some exercises to improve, Pull Up Performance. When I think about the pillow performance, I think about the ranges of motion, you're going to hit when you do it, getting your chin up over the bar and then getting fully extended at the bottom. So you can start with isometric, holds holding your chin up over the bar, you could drop to 90 degrees holding your body halfway down to pull up. You can go to 120 degrees where your arms are almost straight. You can even do dead, Hanks, just building endurance in the different positions that you're going to do during a pull-up. It's a good place to start and then you could do e Centrex where you start standing on a box with your chin up over the bar, you lower 45 seconds to start, maybe do a couple reps of that then you lower for 10 seconds see if you can do a couple reps of that. Once you've done isometrics any Centrex, then you could do some assisted, you could use a band to help you get more reps of the pull up with concentric and eccentric. And then if you can't do many, but you can do a couple pull-ups, you could do accumulating pull ups where I say, you do three or four pull ups in a row for range of motion. You're getting good quality pull-ups and then you can't do anymore. So you take a 10 or 15 second break and then maybe you do two or three pull-ups, take another 10 or 15 second break and maybe you do one or two. So you can start to accumulate the Reps on top of each other for a set. So this is some basic ways. You can improve your pull-up performance. I hope that helps"