Five Tool Baseball Performance Training (FTBPT) is dedicated to sharing its knowledge, ideas and opinions on baseball performance training based upon field tested experiences as player, coach and baseball strength & conditioning coach. Proper exercise technique ( to ensure effective & efficient training programs) and baseball related movement patterns are implemented to maximize on-field performance. Emphasis is placed on movement based training which integrates multiple muscle groups. This approach has a greater transfer to on-field performance and can minimize the incidence and risk of injury. 
 If a game is being played you can be sure Im watching it from home or from the stands. Many of my own workouts involve designing/creating out-of-the-box exercises & programs to enhance performance and movement unique to baseball

Monday, October 19, 2015

Greatly appreciated Testimonial

I was greatly appreciative when I checked my e-mail this evening and was greeted by these words from Juan Carlos Santana, Founder of the Institute of Human Performance. 

"I have traveled the world ten times over.  I have had to the opportunity
to Chair the NSCA sports specific conference for 3 years.  I believe it
would be a safe thing to say that I have been around some of the best
strength and conditioning coaches on the planet.  When it comes to
baseball, I believe few strength coaches I have ever met have the
multi-dimensional perspective to the strength development of baseball
players as Adam Brush."

"Adam has played and coach baseball, giving him a practical knowledge of
the game, coaches like me will never have.  He has also dedicated the last
10 years to studying the functional biomechanics of baseball, as well as
the application of functional training methods to specifically deal with
baseball related performance.  When you look at the players Adam has
trained, and the impact he has had on their performance, his capabilities
become blatantly obvious.  This is why I had complete confidence in making
Adam the director of IHP baseball."

- Juan Carlos Santana

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Core Strength Training

There's tons of perspective out there regarding the core and core training. So, in keeping it brief, what's one more...

First, the core has been identified as the musculature of the trunk anywhere from the shoulders down to the knees (front and back) or the sternum to the hips (front and back). Either way, the function of the core is two fold: (1) to protect the spine and (2) to generate and transfer forces. Both relying heavily on core stability - aka - CORE STIFFNESS.

According to Juan Carlos Santana, in his recently published book Functional Training,  a majority of the major muscles of the core are oriented in a diagonal or horizontal fashion. This machine, the body, was built to rotate. But we need to possess core stability to handle this rotation whether in sport or daily tasks.

When it comes to baseball performance training, core strength is vital for rotational movements such as running, throwing and hitting. Core strength can be achieved by training for core stiffness as Ive written here anti-rotation, here anti-extension,  here anti-flexion, and here anti-lateral flexion). In turn, core strength is not only utilized but is needed during our various, medicine ball (MB), core explosive exercises - which requires a whole lot of core stiffness in order to generate and transfer the necessary forces to throw the MB. All in all core stiffness, which bridges the transfer of forces between upper & lower body, becomes critically important to maximize baseball’s on-field performance demands.

Enhance your core stiffness (stability) to enhance your on-field performance.

Out Train The Game.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Active Recovery

How are you actively recovering during or from your training session?

Active Recovery can loosely be interpreted as exercises/drills/activities that are performed (with lower intensities & volume) at the end of high intense training sessions or on an “off-day”.  Activities such as biking, yoga, hiking, walking, stretching, or even "playing" (not competing in) a game are just a few of the more common types of Active Recovery that have been noted. However, there are no hard written rules that say AR exercises can’t be integrated as actual exercises within the main portion of the training session…more specifically immediately following your Primary Exercises. Here are my random thoughts about Active Recovery and what you should be doing:

       1. The AR eliminates and/or minimizes any idle time.

       2. The AR allows for more total work to be performed & integrated into a training session        without compromise

      3. The AR exercise can be performed while allowing for recovery from the Primary Exercise

      4. The AR provides an opportunity for functional exercises to be integrated into more traditional training programs

      5. The exercises (Functional) performed as part of an AR are capable of being implemented without interfering with or exhausting the Primary Muscle Group.

      6. AR exercises ought to be performed from functional, ground based standing positions that trains the opposing muscle group or a movement opposite of the Primary Lift.

      7. Core work, upper/lower body mobility, prehab/rehab work, etc  make great AR exercise options that be can also be seamlessly integrated along side the Primary Exercises.

      8. The AR exercise typically is lighter in terms of intensity and volume. In other words it should not be fatiguing…

HOWEVER,  I don’t follow the notion that the AR exercise can never be challenging.

      9.    As a client/athlete increases the strength of their neural system so should the intensity of their 
             AR exercises

    10.    Depending on one’s specific training goal, multiple AR exercises/drills can be added after the 
             Primary Exercise.


A. Hypertrophy (suggested rest period 30-90 seconds) - you want minimal rest/recovery time away from your primary lift; but don't simply do nothing...include 1 AR drill. One that is fairly quick and simple to perform that allows client to get right back to the primary lift to make those hypertrophic gains.

Primary Exercise: Traditional Flat Bench Press (8-15 reps)
Active Recovery: Standing 1-arm cable row (15 reps)

B. Strength (suggested rest period 2 to 5 minutes)- Since the weights lifted during the primary exercise are heavier, more rest is required in order for the muscles used during the primary lift to recover as completely as possible. Again, the rest period is not idle rest; and because the rest is longer more AR can be performed. Two AR drills is ideal here.

Primary Exercise: Traditional Flat Bench Press (4-6 reps)
Active Recovery: Standing 1-arm cable row (15 reps)
Active Recovery: Lateral lunge (15 reps)


Primary Exercise: Traditional Bent-over 1-arm row (4-6 reps)
Active Recovery: Standing 1-arm cable press (15 reps)
Active Recovery: 1-leg bodyweight squat (15 reps)

All in all, AR should not be overlooked or simply thought of as some kind of recovery implemented on so-called "off" days. With proper exercise selection and implementation, Active Recovery can maximize training benefits that would otherwise not be achieved if all you did was sit down and did nothing during your "rest".

Your RECOVERY needs to be ACTIVE

Out train the game.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Core Stiffness Series: #5 BONUS

In addition to the 4 main Core Stiffening movement patterns I've outlined in my Core Stiffness Series, the core can greatly be challenged by combining movement patterns; such as combining anti-extension and anti-rotation as the video below depicts.

Core Stiffness Series: #4 ANTI-LATERAL FLEXION

The final piece to my overall CORE STIFFNESS exercise series is Anti-Lateral Flexion; which as the name applies our goal is to prevent or minimize any lateral flexion as the exercise is performed. When Anti-Lateral Flexion drills are implemented along with the other Core Stiffening exercises (Anti-Rotation, Anti-Extension & Anti-Flexion) serious core stiffness can be achieved in order to optimize the generation, transfer and utilization of power.