What is the oblique sling, and how does it affect me as an athlete? Are you a baseball player and want to throw with more velo or hit the ball further? Or are you a volleyball player that wants to increase arm speed and hit harder? Or are you a quarterback that wants to throw with a little more mustard? Or a hockey player that wants a harder shot? Your ability to do so is dependent upon your ability to load and create length through your oblique sling. This sling is our bodies personal whip. Understanding how to use it and train it is an incredibly effective way to improve sport performance.
At the start, most strength & conditioning coaches start out thinking of program design more so in terms of muscle groups vs. movement patterns. Developing programs using the Upper/Lower or Legs/Chest/Back and Bi’s – that type of rationale. Yet what I have learned is the need to start thinking more in terms of movement vs. muscles. The next stage of movement evolution is normally based around the primary movement patterns.

Something like:

-Vertical Push
-Vertical Pull
-Horizontal Push
-Horizontal Pull

However there is still a fundamental flaw with this way of thinking. While I have designed this way for years, it’s not wrong, but in reality the body is more than just muscles or individual movement patterns. I have learned by watching my athletes train as well as play their sport–this is what I have learned —-

“Its an integrated system of muscles and movements”.

Muscles in a movement sense work in unison; these “slings” of connection not only help control movement quality but also allow the body to produce force more optimally. When there is a “break” in these links movement quality, control and force production can all be significantly diminished.

So what are these muscular slings?

1) Anterior Oblique System: External and internal oblique with the opposing leg’s adductors and
intervening anterior abdominal fascia.
2) Posterior Oblique System: The lat and opposing glute maximus.
3) Deep Longitudinal System: Erectors, the innervating fascia and biceps femoris.
4) Lateral System: Glute medius and minimus and the opposing adductors of the thigh

Stay tuned–next blog we are going to start to go through each of these and I hope I can show you what makes StL Athletic Development different than most Sports Performance Programs and why our athletes are Faster – Quicker – Stronger & Safer!