Today’s guest post, written by Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen, reviews the many social media platforms that are available to help promote your practice and get more clients. With the many social media options available, there are a few factors to consider when designing your online presence. This is a great start for many, hope it helps you get up and running – we need a stronger online presence and sharing of knowledge!
Choosing a Social Media Platform to Get More Clients
Unless you’ve been living under quite the rock for the past decade, you may have heard the words “social media” from time to time—okay, you’ve probably been bombarded by at least one example of social media in almost every conversation you’ve had, every commercial you’ve seen, or any time you check your email. You probably have an account or three. But here’s something else you may have noticed among the constant stream of Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Pinterest, and Instagram plugs: social media is no longer just a platform for, well, being social. It’s also a way for companies to connect with current and potential consumers—which in your case means patients, clients, and referral sources for you. (Photo by Khalid Albaih )
Let’s start off with the basics. Social media is a conversation platform first and foremost, so it’s probably not the best idea to go from 0 to 60 in less than a minute and create a profile for your business on every platform that exists. In fact, one of the most damaging things you can do is create a profile and then abandon it—and your followers. It can communicate all sorts of negative things to prospects about your company, your brand, and your business. Instead, choose the right social media platform for your business and your audience, and then focus on making it represent you the right way.
So, with so much information out there—much of it advertising—how do you pick the right social media platform for your practice?
How to Pick the Right Social Media Platform for You
First, consider your goals. Are you hoping to educate current patients and clients; entice potential consumers; engage referral sources; or simply stay up to date on the latest industry news? Based on your goals, you can then figure out whom you want to reach. In other words, who is your target audience? Then, go where they go. Ultimately, you’ll want to get involved on the sites that best allow you to achieve your goals and reach your audience. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular:
Everybody and their grandmother are on Facebook. Although it’s may have lost its hip, cool factor, it’s an ideal place for businesses to connect with current and potential patients as well as demonstrate a level of relevancy. And, because everyone else is on Facebook, you should probably be, too. Here, focus on providing valuable educational information about your industry and your specialization. Your posts should be more than sales pitches—make sure you’re offering your readers content with value. And, it’s all about reciprocity. Participate in the conversation; get involved. Friend and like.
Here are some great Facebook pages to like and share with your audience:
140 characters has become the slickest form of online communication—short, informational bursts of copy followed by a descriptive hashtag and maybe a supporting photo or link. If nothing else, Twitter is a great way to force brevity in your writing. Most people online have way short attention spans (squirrel) so being forced to fit your comment in 140 characters will ensure you only write the things that absolutely matter. Additionally, Twitter is a fantastic way to generate instant conversation and gain valuable insight into just about any industry or topic you wish from experts. For PTs, we recommend hopping into #SolvePT on Tuesday nights to get started. Watch for a while, and then when you’re comfortable, jump right in with your thoughts. Here, you’ll meet some of the heavy hitters in the physical therapy Twitterverse and maybe take notes as to how they generate interest in the profession and their services. Here are some great hashtags to keep an eye on:
The world’s largest professional network has more than 161 million members. Here, you’ll do less interacting with patients and clients and more with your peers. It’s a great way to connect with fellow therapists and referring physicians. And for any savvy patients who go searching for you online, they’ll find a robust resume of your accomplishments. You can also join groups within LinkedIn to discuss topics that interest you.
Check out some of the great groups that you can join:
It’s a virtual pinboard that allows you to tell your story and inspire through compelling photos or images grouped into specific, searchable categories. Here, you can build pinboards—and research others’ boards—for treatment ideas, infographics, best practices, and happy thoughts.
These two very easy and intuitive platforms make it easy to create your own blog, which is a great way to promote your expertise and provide excellent, valuable content to patients, clients, peers, and referrers. Just note: your blog is public—just as all social media posts are—so you obviously can’t share individual patient data or recommendations.
Similar to Facebook in that they both share the concept of profiles, Google+ also offers hangouts and circles and is fully integrated with your Google (Gmail) account. Most importantly, however, Google+ is a Google product, so a detailed Google+ profile can help increase your practice’s visibility and ranking in search.
Now Get Started!
Once you decide which social media platform(s) you’re ready to commit to, get committed. Create your profiles and start speaking with your audience. Just be sure that what you share relates to your goal and is meaningful to your followers. And stick to it. Reciprocity and engagement can take time; make sure you’re dedicated with your efforts.
About the Authors
Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen are both Senior Writers at WebPT , the leading cloud-based EMR software designed specifically for the rehab community. For follow-up questions or additional information about WebPT, email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Baseball pitching appears to the general public to be mainly an upper-body movement. However, researchers have found that like many rotational movements such as golf swings and tennis serves, it involves the lower body and trunk musculature extensively. In fact, according to a theory known as proximal-to-distal sequencing, the pitching motion is actually initiated by the lower body and progresses through the core before accelerating the arm and finally the hand.
Researchers have suggested that rotational movements such as the baseball, golf or tennis swing follow proximal-to-distal kinematic sequence. Proximal to distal kinematic sequencing is where a motion is initiated by the larger, central body segments and then proceeds outward to the smaller, more distal segments, such as the arms.
While the concept is relatively clear, the terminology varies. Callaway ( 2012 ) has noted that researchers have referred to proximal to distal sequencing as kinetic linking or the kinematic sequence and in a recent article, Spaniol ( 2012 ) referred to the same principle as “sequential kinetic linking.”
In any event, where optimal proximal-to-distal kinematic sequencing occurs in sport, the pelvis is rotated using the leg and hip muscles. The pelvis accelerates but then quickly decelerates as it transfers energy to the torso. The same pattern is repeated with the torso and the arm and then the arm and the hand, club, bat or racket. Where the kinematic sequence is out-of-order, it is thought that energy is lost, performance decreases and other body segments step in to compensate, which can lead to injury.
While the principle of proximal-to-distal kinematic sequencing indicates that there is a sound theoretical basis for the role of the lower body in baseball pitching, few studies have actually investigated either the forces or the muscle activity involved.
In fact, there are only four studies regularly referenced when discussing the role of the lower body muscles in baseball pitching: MacWilliams ( 1998 ), Yamanouchi ( 1998 ), Campbell ( 2010 ) and Oliver ( 2010 ). The studies by MacWilliams and Oliver investigated aspects of proximal-to-distal kinematic sequencing that are seen in baseball pitching, while the studies by Campbell and Yamanouchi looked more generally at the involvement of the leg musculature.
Is leg drive correlated with wrist velocity?
MacWilliams ( 1998 ) investigated the full-body kinematics and kinetics of 7 baseball pitchers using force plates to record leg drive and a five-camera motion analysis system for recording the joint angle movements. Most significantly, they found that wrist velocity correlated significantly with leg drive.
Pitchers with greater leg drive produced greater wrist velocities.
The researchers therefore concluded that the lower body has an important role in increasing the speed of the throwing motion and supports the use of the proximal-to-distal kinematic sequencing model in any biomechanical analysis of baseball pitching. They therefore proposed that strengthening the lower body is important for enhancing pitching performance and avoiding injury.
Are the gluteals correlated with torso rotation during pitching?
Oliver ( 2010 ) investigated the muscle activity of the gluteals and explored the relationship of the gluteals to pelvis and torso kinematics during baseball pitching. The researchers found that the activity of the gluteus maximus was directly related to the rate of axial pelvis rotation and also that it was indirectly related to the rate of axial torso rotation.
Greater gluteus maximus activity increases rotational speed
This study therefore also supports the use of the proximal-to-distal kinematic sequencing model in any biomechanical analysis of baseball pitching. Additionally, it implies that training the gluteals should be a specific focus of baseball pitchers. Optimal exercises for the gluteus maximus include the squats, trap bar deadlifts, hip thrusts, and back raises. However, the gluteus maximus can and should be strengthened in the transverse plane via core rotational movements such as the band hip rotation. See Mike’s article on training the glutes in multiple planes of motion .
Are the adductors active during pitching?
Yamanouchi ( 1998 ) investigated the muscle activity of various upper and lower body muscles during a baseball pitch performed by 10 baseball players and 10 untrained subjects. He used surface electrodes to measure the electromyographical (EMG) activity and normalized the signal against a maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). He separated the baseball pitching movement into just two phases divided by the point at which the non-pivoting leg landed. The activity of the thigh muscles reported by Yamanouchi is shown in the chart below. Unfortunately, he did not record the activity of the gluteals or hamstrings.
Yamanouchi concluded that his findings were consistent with reports that pitching can lead to problems with the adductor muscle group. He therefore suggested that strengthening the adductor and the antagonist abductor groups could therefore be useful for enhancing pitching performance and avoiding injury.
Most leg muscles are very active during pitching
Campbell ( 2010 ) investigated the muscle activity of the biceps femoris, rectus femoris, gluteus maximus, vastus medialis and gastrocnemius during the baseball pitching motion. The researchers used surface electrodes to measure the EMG activity in 11 highly skilled baseball pitchers and normalized the data against MVICs. Rather than the two-phase division used by Yamanouchi, they divided the pitching action into four phases, although the data can be restated to be comparable with the two phases used by Yamanouchi, as shown in the chart below.
The researchers concluded that muscle activity in both the stride and pivot legs reached extremely high levels during the baseball pitch and was generally very high throughout. They therefore suggested that since pitchers must perform over 100 pitches per game, this implies that pitchers need a high level of maximal strength/power as well as a high degree of muscular endurance. They therefore recommend training the lower body of baseball pitchers to increase strength, explosive power and muscular endurance.
From this admittedly small body of research, we can suggest that:
Proximal-to-distal kinematic sequencing seems to occur during baseball pitching, with the movement being initiated by the legs, transferred through the pelvis to the torso, through the arm and finally into the hand.
Leg drive is therefore important for pitching velocity. Improving the strength and power of the legs should consequently transfer to faster pitching performance.
Since pitchers may have to perform approximately 100 pitches per game, some degree of muscular endurance training for the legs could be beneficial.
While all leg muscles are very involved in the pitching action, the activity of the gluteals is strongly correlated with pelvic axial rotation velocity, suggesting that specific gluteal training may be worthwhile. A variety of gluteal exercises from multiple vectors is needed for optimal performance.
The adductors may be more involved in the pitching movement than in most standard resistance-training exercises, suggesting that specific exercises should be used to focus on these muscles to help improve performance and avoid injury.
Chris wrote an outstanding article as usual. Obviously, as you can see, the leg strength and power is pretty important to baseball pitching. The concept of the proximal to distal kinetic chain sequencing is likely one of the many important factors involved with baseball pitching. Why is it that some of the brightest people in the world can flawlessly understand baseball pitching biomechanics yet can’t pitch successfully! Heck, I am one of the guilty! It’s not that I do not understand how to throw, it’s that I have an imperfect sequence of events that result in a less than ideal fastball! So, while leg strength and power are important to baseball pitching, we can’t forget about training this sequence. This is why proper coaching at a young age and proper strength and conditioning programs that understand this concept are necessary.
In regard to our training programs, these studies demonstrate the need to emphasize the legs, and should give guidance on what specific muscles to focus on. Chris states it well, however, I will further reinforce his comments that we need to train the legs, but also focus on leg work outside of the sagittal plane.
About the author
Chris Beardsley is a biomechanics researcher and author of a book about scientific posterior chain training . He also writes a monthly review of the latest fitness research for strength and sports coaches, personal trainers, and athletes. Thanks for contributing this article on Why are Leg Strength a Power Important in Baseball Pitching!
I have a pretty special post today that includes an interview of Steve Long, one of the co-founders of Smart Group Training, discussing how to integrate the FMS in group training. More exciting, Steve was willing to give an exclusive discount on their Smart Group Training Assessment product for my readers only!
Steve and I have been chatting about stuff for a little bit and I was really impressed with how he and Jared Woolever created the Smart Group Training system. As a physical therapist, I have always felt that one of the draw backs of the group training format was the lack of individualization. Steve and Jared have essentially systemized an approach that solves this problem!
I have watched their latest DVD and definitely recommend it, especially with the special discount for my readers.
MR: Tell us what exactly is Smart Group Training and what made you want to create SGT?
SL: “That is a really great question actually. Smart Group Training is many things really. It’s a training system, an educational website, educational products, workshops, etc, but more importantly it’s a movement. It’s a movement towards increasing the quality of group fitness training, and a movement towards increasing the communication between trainers, strength coaches, and clinicians.
Myself and business partner Jared Woolever had been doing 1 on 1 and semi private training for many years when we decided to open up “bootcamp classes”. We knew there were a lot of great benefits for clients mainly the price and atmosphere, but the quality of training was just not as good as semi private.
We knew from that point, that we had to either cut bootcamp or make it just as quality as semi private training. We dedicated ourselves to creating the best group training system available, and that is how Smart Group Training was born. We just didn’t know at the time, what it would really end up becoming.
Our first product, Smart Group Training Volume 1 – Screening and Corrective Exercise, came about because so many people were asking us about our training systems, and how we incorporated the FMS into bootcamps. We created the product for our friends, and it has started to explode.”
MR: The corner-stone of the SGT system is the FMS. I like how you integrate a system to customize the large group training programs. Since you have probably seen 1000′s of FMS scores over the years, what do you tend to find are the most common deficits you see?
SL: “It probably won’t surprise you to find out that we see a lot more mobility issues with men, and more stability issues with women. So we find that a lot of the men start with 1’s on the Active Straight Leg Raise and Shoulder Mobility. We will typically see women start with 1’s on the Rotary Stability, Trunk Stability Push Up and the Deep Squat.
Almost everyone starts with a 1 in the following:
Active Straight Leg Raise
Trunk Stability Push up
These are the foundational movements that we spend the most time working on by far. These movements must be cleared before moving on to the functional movements like lunging, stepping, and squatting.”
MR: What are your top corrective strategies to address these common findings?
SL: “The biggest thing is to make sure that people stop doing exercises or actions that could make it worse. Then we give them a corrective exercise strategy to correct the pattern. We find the weakest link on the FMS Hierarchy and attack that pattern with corrective exercise. We have the client do 1 or 2 exercises. Those exercises should be done pre workout, during the workout, and 1-2 times per day outside of training sessions. Some examples of exercises we use to correct the bottom four are:
ASLR: Pelvic tilts, pelvis repositioning, Leg lowering progressions, toe touch progressions
MR: In your experience how long does it take to start seeing improvements in your clients’ FMS scores?
SL: “Our goal is to see changes in the first session. That’s definitely not always the case, but many times it is. Typically we want to have each movement limitation cleared within a few weeks at the most. If it takes longer than that we refer out. The screen usually points you to the right spot to make sure that we are correcting in the right order. Most people who have issues with the correctives not working are not following the hierarchy.
For example, sometimes one set of leg lowering will clear a clients ASLR deficiency forever, and sometimes they have pathology that caused it to never be a 2 or 3. Generally speaking however, it usually takes a couple of weeks.”
MR: What kind of carryover do you see in your clients’ general fitness goals by individualizing their programs and developing corrective strategies based on the FMS?
SL:“They blast through plateaus! Clearing movement dysfunctions allows the clients to do things they couldn’t do before, it keeps them injury free, and a lot of times takes people out of a “high threshold life” which lowers cortisol and helps with fat loss. Moving good and feeling good, are huge for general population, and the FMS helps us with that.”
MR: When will we be seeing more SGT products?
SL: “We have so much great stuff coming out this year. I can’t even begin to explain how excited both Jared and myself are to get this stuff out! We have asked thousands of trainers, PT, chiros, and strength coaches what they need, and we are producing it. We have close to TEN great products coming out this year.
A lot of the stuff that we are doing this year is based around program design and giving people “done for you” programs that you can use immediately.
Over the next few months, keep an eye out for:
Group Training University: Basically and MBA on starting and running a group training business.
SGT 365: This is an entire year of done for you group training program design based on the FMS, and SGT training systems.
These are our next two products that will be available over the next few months, but like I said, we have a lot of great stuff coming out all year-long. Check out our blog, and get on our newsletter list to stay up to date with everything that Smart Group Training is doing”.
Special $50 Discount for My Readers
Steve and Jared were nice enough to give me a special discount code for my readers to get $50 off their Smart Group Training Assessments DVD program. Click the link or image below and be sure enter coupon code MR50 in the shopping cart to receive $50 off. This is a limited time offer for this week only! The discount ends at the end of the day Sunday.
Steve has made quite a name for himself in the fitness industry, achieving many awards and acknowledgements for his accomplishments. He has trained a variety of clients ranging from ages 6 to 80 in 8+ years in the fitness and performance industry. He assists clients in many aspects of health, fitness, weight loss, performance training, nutrition, and more. Steve is known for his practical approach to training and blending the many benefits of corrective exercise into highly metabolic conditioning and fat loss programs. Among other things, Steve specializes in functional fat loss, sports performance, golf fitness, injury prevention/post rehabilitation, kettlebell training, and lifestyle coaching. Steve has been mentored by, and continues to learn from the best professionals in the industry, bringing the most cutting edge programs to his clients and fitness trainers worldwide.