Free educational videos on various topics related to human movement, biomechanics, technique, soft-tissue modalities, cueing, and various other strength/performance-related topics.
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Education Newsletter #11

Welcome to the eleventh edition of the Kabuki Education newsletter! This email contains free educational content on human movement, biomechanics, technique, soft-tissue modalities, cueing, and various other strength/performance-related topics. Click each image or "Watch Video" button to load the full video.  

Important Note: Click View Entire Message when you get to the bottom of the email to view it all.

We just published a monster 7800 word manual by Daniel DeBrocke @stackedstrength on all things recovery for maximal strength gains. This is a long piece that will take 45-60m to get through, and way longer if you go down the reference rabbit hole! 


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Many lifters and coaches assume shoulder external rotation is good and internal rotation is bad, it's also more common to seek improvements in shoulder external rotation.

In the bench press there is almost no external rotation at the shoulder joint happening. In fact there is a bias towards shoulder internal rotation.

In the bench press the shoulder abducts (kind of like a delt side raise) and it slightly internally rotates throughout the ROM. If you chase external rotation you are likely to over tuck your elbows as you go down and excessively flare your elbows as you reverse the weight.

We are not at all suggesting you should attempt to go to end range internal rotation in the bench press however you should not be chasing external rotation.

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Lots of people focus on elbow position to improve their back squat technique. The elbows are largely an output function of the scapula, lats, and thoracic spine. Coaching and cueing better elbow position is important but you need to address scapula and thoracic spine function to see real change.

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We get questions often on how a lifter can determine their caloric goal for ideal body composition changes. There are many different ways to figure out your ideal calorie amount, but here is a quick and easy three step process in doing so presented by Coach Brandon. Calories being the most important factor in body composition change we need to figure this part out first and foremost to get to our composition goals.
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To do this drill you will need a floss band or another type of elastic band that is very thin. Before starting try to identify if you are someone who pronates or supinates their feet in squatting or deadlifting. This can be a great prep drill if done in a goblet squat or with just your own body weight. Always make sure to pull the band to the side you roll towards.

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The process to rehabilitation and recovery is always multifaceted. Recovering from an existing injury or preventing future injuries, requires elements that go beyond just musculoskeletal involvement. None of these elements is more important than sleep. Sleep should be a pivotal part of the rehab process to help boost tissue healing, mitigate pain perception, and decrease systemic inflammation.

We hope you'll join us on The Online Sleep Coach at Kabuki Strength Lab on April 11 for a 1-day Sleep Workshop! Link to register below! 

Register for Course

We call this drill advanced simply because it challenges trunk strength, thoracic mobility, and shoulder stability. This drill can be very effective if performed prior to upper body training sessions (and assuming its performed properly). This drill becomes very easy to mess up if you have locked up scapulas or rely on spinal extension as your primary stability strategy. Move with intent through each position of the drill and consider challenging yourself by adding a 2-3 ct pause at various segments.
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Scapular control can make or break your overhead press. Many people compensate around poor scapular control by extending their lower back or leaving their presses just shy of a full range of motion. This drill not only teaches proper scapular patterning but its great for learning to create tension through the upper back in overhead movements. This can be done one hand at a time or both. We prefer to do one at a time to challenge anti-rotation through the trunk.

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We talk a lot about the importance of the ground to foot connection and how a strong foot sets the foundation for a mobile ankle. Along with the foot and ankle, tibia plays an important role in how well you can connect to the ground in squat patterns. If you have poor tibial rotation you are more likely to experience knee collapse or pronated foot positions in loaded movement. Pay very close attention to maintaining foot contact during this drill.

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Stop chasing ankle dorsiflexion when your feet are the limiting factor.

Excessive ankle tightness starts at the foot. If there is no foundation to move around the ankle will become bound and tight.

Ankle mobility drills will work in the short term but, they wont produce permanent results if your feet are weak.

Spend more time training barefoot (start with your compound accessory movements) and make sure your shoes actually fit your feet (both in width and length).

Original Post

What is the best protein source for optimal muscle protein synthesis and bioavailability? Coach Brandon discusses this topic while presenting a recent study and describing new ways to accurately measure protein quality taking into account digestion.

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Knowing what's important is the first step to creating an effective training plan. One analogy that we like is grouping exercises in to categories of rocks, pebbles, and sand. Take those elements and now imagine you have a jar that you need to maximize how many of the above exercises you can fit. If you start by filling up your jar with sand and pebbles you wont be able to fit as many of the more important rocks in. If you fill up your jar with as many rocks as possible, followed by pebbles to fill in the gaps, and finally sand to fill in the small cracks you're left with a jar that is completely maximized and at capacity.

Always start building your training plan with rock type exercises and dont worry about accessories or supplemental movements until you've done absolutely as many rock type movements as possible.

To learn more about topics like this head to one of our Advanced Athlete Preparation seminars this year.

Original Post

All of us here at Kabuki Strength love the sport of powerlifting and want to see it continue growing.  We believe the discipline and pursuit of a competitive goal is one of the best things a strength athlete or lifter can do for their long-term success, regardless of experience level.

As a way to encourage participation in competition and to promote the benefits of a dynamic, goal-centered relationship between coach and athlete - we're offering any new or existing Virtual Coaching client who completes both of the following two requirements a FREE Kabuki Strength Bar of their choice:

1. Register for and compete in an approved regional, national, or world-level competition during the course of your coaching with Kabuki Strength.

2. Complete at least 6 continuous months of Weekly Virtual Coaching with Kabuki Strength.

Qualifying meets are determined based on a minimum lifter threshold and the current list can be found below. If you think a qualifying meet is missing from this list, please email

* Limit of 1x free barbell per athlete, shipping not included. Valid only with Weekly Virtual Coaching service after 6x full billing cycles. Both requirements must be met.

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Free Strategy Call

Our cornerstone Principles of Loaded Movement course is an interactive, in-person continuing education course through which attendees will develop mastery around the core barbell lifts and foundational human movement. We invite you to join the over 1000 individuals who have attended Kabuki Strength courses over the last 4 years by signing up for one of our upcoming courses spread throughout the US and Canada.

Together with other athletes, coaches, and clinicians – you will spend 16 hours over 2 days in a hybrid lecture-workshop format learning from and working hands-on with an experienced group of Kabuki Strength coaches. Outside of our public events; our skilled educators regularly present this curriculum to professional and collegiate strength & conditioning staff, as well as at professional conferences and events. Attendees from all professions and sports – and with differing goals - find incredible value in developing strength, resilience to injury, and gaining a better understanding of their own physiology and individual mechanics as it relates to movement.

You will be introduced and take a deep dive into our principle-based movement system as well as cover higher level physiology and biomechanics from a clinical, research-based perspective. Topics covered include spinal mechanics, breathing and bracing, foot strength and ankle mobility, and principles behind the complex relationships of hip, spine, and shoulder function.

Each lecture section is followed up with a corresponding breakout session that will have you working with a coach in a collaborative small group setting. Attendees will take the role of both demonstrating, assessing, and coaching correctives and drills – all under the watchful eyes of a Kabuki Strength coach.

After a short review, the second day of the course involves short lectures and demonstration of practical applications to barbell training after which attendees will individually squat, bench press, and deadlift. This practicum typically results in many “aha” moments of clarity for lifters who quickly develop self-awareness of their previous movement faults as well as an understanding of why those faults existed and how to
overcome them. It’s not uncommon for attendees during this second day to hit personal bests or lift pain-free after years of frustration and no progress.

Our mission for this course is to provide you with the education and tools necessary to achieve your goals – whether you are an athlete, coach, clinician, or simply curious to learn and grown in your knowledge and abilities. Correct, safe movement is foundational to our function not just as athletes, but human beings.

Watch Course Overview Video
Upcoming Courses

As an organization, Kabuki Strength stands humbly at the intersection of two eternal virtues, experience and knowledge. From the very beginning, one of our core, foundational tenants has been education. It is this never-ending pursuit, application, and expression of knowledge that is central to our mission of making the world a better place through strength.

Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to work with and receive mentorship from some of the brightest minds in the industry. These incredible researchers, educators, coaches, and clinicians are the ones weaving the fabric of our collective understanding of how the body works, how to strengthen it, and how to fix it when it breaks. They spend much of their time in the clinic, on the field, in the lab, or in the classroom; working relentlessly to push us one step further.

We’ve found that of the greatest challenges facing our community is the disconnect between the pursuit of knowledge and its mainstream application. In an industry influenced by dogma and the incessant search for instant results we often lose sight of the men and women who build our foundation of knowledge. For them, recognition is scarce and in today’s day and age popularity often determines the success of an idea or person, rather than efficacy or truth.

We want to change this.

We are committed to sharing our platform and working with the clinical, academic, and strength & conditioning communities to teach, coach, and equip more and more people with the tools and knowledge needed to better themselves. If you listen to our Strength Chat podcast, you will have heard many of these incredible men and women tell their story and share wisdom.

Today, we are proud to announce and introduce a new initiative towards this goal – the Kabuki Strength Advisory Board. We are honored that these world-class individuals would lend us their time, their knowledge, and their name in our pursuit of making the world a better place through strength. 

Read Member Bios

For those who aren't familiar, all of our educational content is available in an indexed, searchable video library! 

This includes all the free content you see us post on Instagram or YouTube, as well as hundreds of private videos on various topics related to human movement, strength training, technique, cueing, IASTM and soft-tissue modalities, and more! Videos can be saved to a custom playlist, as well as "cast" via AirPlay or Chromecast. 

A subscription to the video library costs $10.99 per month, or $99.99 per year. 

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