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“Holistic Athletic Assessment and Performance” Just Fly Performance Podcast #82: Cody Plofker

Today’s episode features guest Cody Plofker, Co-Founder of Adapt Performance and Rehab in Lawrence Township, New Jersey.   Cody has worked with athletes of all levels and ranges, including those in the NFL and collegiate ranks.   He is an expert in blending PRI principles with modern athletic performance methods.  For those of you who enjoyed the lifting concepts talk with Justin Moore, this will be another incredible episode along the same lines of thought.

About a year ago, I first got introduced to the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) through a seminar put on at the US Olympic Training Center.  Since then, I’ve realized that the biggest piece missing in my coaching paradigm for my collegiate population is an intimate understanding of the spinal engine, posture, respiration, and how to optimally assess and correct athletes based on these concepts.

So often as strength coaches, we get in to reductionist thinking of just rolling and stretching tight muscles, to achieve better movement patterns, but the fact of the matter is that the body is a more complex system, and the brain will increase the tone of particular muscles for a reason.  This is where Cody’s experience is such an incredible help for athletes, as well as educating coaches.

Cody Plofker has been a student of not only PRI for many years, but also has experience using common assessment systems of the FMS and SFMA, as well as Functional Range Conditioning.  Since these are very common tools in the sports performance and personal training world, I’m excited to chat with someone as intelligent as Cody in regards to which aspects of which systems he finds useful, and how his athlete assessment currently plays out.

On today’s podcast, we will talk about Cody’s assessment methods, blending aspects of PRI and SFMA, as well as dealing with common athlete issues such as “tight” ankles, internal rotation deficits, and extension pattern problems.  We’ll also get into optimizing hip extension and talk a great deal about squatting progressions and patterns.  One of the amazing quotes of Cody’s that I think sums things up well is:

“You gotta go after the pelvic position first; I’m not going to stretch something until we get that”

Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more.

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Key Points:

  • Cody’s background as an athlete and coach
  • Schools of thought and institutions that have impacted Cody in his athlete assessment and training process
  • Cody’s athlete assessment process using SFMA and PRI principles
  • Assessments for tight ankles and calves, and how stretching is usually not the answer
  • Optimal hip extension patterning, assessment and corrective ideas
  • Addressing a lack of hip internal rotation in athletes
  • Healthy hip extension patterns and key points when assessing athletes in this regard
  • Squat progressions for athletic populations
  • When getting athletes stronger is important, and when it is not needed for improved performance

Quotes

“For someone starting out, FMS is a great place to start”

“The biggest gold that comes from the FMS and SFMA logic is “is it a mobility issue or is it a stability and motor control issue””

“With the population I see, 90-95% of the time, it is not a true mobility issue, and just stretching and cranking away is really not what you are trying to do”

“Most people that come to me, on one or more sides have so little hip internal rotation that it is going to affect their squat”

“Those calves aren’t actually truly short, there is just neurological tension in them because you are trying to hold yourself up against gravity and not fall forward”

“I do think that there is a time and a place for stretching, banded work, or even some foam rolling, but I don’t think we should be blindly doing it”

“I do think you could make something worse by stretching something you shouldn’t”

“Having hip internal rotation is how you avoid valgus”

“You gotta go after the pelvic position first; I’m not going to stretch something until we get that”

“If you are going into flexion, adduction and internal rotation, you are getting a huge pre-stretch going through the muscle and tension so you could make the argument that it is going to produce more power through extension”

“(Regarding the squat) I’m going to tell someone to sit their hips back, while pushing their knees as far forward as they can… that’s going to allow them to use their hamstrings quite a bit more, and now you are going to load a hip and a knee, instead of just loading the hip”

“If you have an athlete who already has a forward center of gravity, they are in an extension dominant pattern”

“There’s nothing wrong with lumbar flexion under unloaded conditions… if you can’t get flexion in a reaching plate squat, you are going to have problems in higher level squatting”

“To get in a good front squat, you need a lot of lat and tricep length… some people will just extend their back to get into the position”

Show Notes:

Modified Ober’s Test

“Knees in for the Win”    (Article)

Post Hip Capsule

 

About Cody Plofker

Cody PlofkerCody is performance coach who specializes in helping athletes optimize their performance and adults get in the best shape of their life. He specializes in getting youth and high school athletes stronger, faster, more explosive, and resilient so that they can become better athletes on the field or court. He has worked with dozens of NFL and collegiate athletes who aspire to improve their performance on the field and make an impact at the next level. However, Cody also loves helping adults who want to overcome setbacks and get in the best shape of their life.

Cody graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelors in Exercise Science. He also attended Willamette University, where he was captain of the golf team for two years. After graduating, he competed in Olympic weightlifting for two years.

Cody is best known for his work in getting collegiate football players ready for their combine or pro day. He has extensive knowledge in speed and agility training and power development. Cody has also taken extensive coursework through the Postural Restoration Institute, Functional Movement Systems, and Functional Range Conditioning which allows him to create an individualized program for every single athlete or client he works with. He believes that you can always find a way to workout in a safe and effective manner, despite what injuries an individual has had in the past with an individualized approach to performance training.

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