Welcome to Scott Hagnas Training! Over the next few months, I’ll be adding new content regularly. However, I have written many articles over the last few years, some of which you’ll find re-posted below. Some have been updated from the originals. They cover a wide variety of topics and will give you a good idea of some of my basic philosophies of training and health.

In the future, I’ll be building more content specific to a couple of different populations:

I’ll be writing on how to train to have great health & physical function as you age, and why the way most approach this is wrong and may actually detract from your overall well-being. There will be articles specifically for coaches. And, I’ll also write on training for individual “flow” sports, particularly my lifelong love of BMX.

For now, enjoy the re-posts and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

scott riding bmx flatland

Outside the Gym, part 4

Home sweet home….

This is the fourth of a 5 part series on what you can do outside the gym to maximize your progress and overall health. In part 4, I’ll dive into the benefits of being outside in nature.

You might not expect this to be too important, but it’s actually appears this could be a big deal. First off, we must remember that being outdoors is our natural environment. Our genetics are not built for this world of concrete, technology, and endless to-do lists. If you think about it, our lives are really no different than being a zoo animal in a concrete cage, living a very different life than were we in the wild. 

Continue reading “Outside the Gym, part 4”

Outside the Gym, part 3

Move those joints daily, anywhere.

This is the third of a 5 part series on what you can do outside the gym to maximize your progress and overall health. In part 3, we’ll look at doing daily joint mobility exercises. This is not a new concept, but it seems to be finally gaining popularity. In spite of that, it’s still not on the radar for many fitness enthusiasts. 

This may actually be the most important thing you can do for a healthy, functional, and long life. It will likely contribute far more to your daily well-being than any conditioning or strength work will. Those with good strength and/or endurance usually still stiffen up and have painful joints as they age, just like the sedentary. This isn’t a inevitable part of aging, it’s just inevitable if you do nothing to combat it. The problem is, almost no one actually takes action, or is aware they can and should.

Continue reading “Outside the Gym, part 3”

Outside the Gym, part 2

Go hiking…..

This is the second of a 5 part series on what you can do outside the gym to maximize your progress and overall health. This time, we’ll look at doing some separate light aerobic activity. 

We need to remember WHY we need to exercise in the first place to understand the importance of this. Most people today would simply say we exercise to burn some fat or build muscle. The real reason we need to exercise is because physical movement should be a natural part of a human animal’s life from birth to death. Just like we need to eat, sleep, and drink water all thru our whole life, we need to move regularly also! Providing shelter, food, safety, and transportation all required quite a bit of physical effort until recent times. Now, we sit all day for both work and pleasure, and this is very different from what our genes expect. So ultimately, we must exercise as a replacement for that physical activity we are no longer required to do. That’s why exercise generally makes you healthier!

Continue reading “Outside the Gym, part 2”

Closed Chain Hip Control

Closed Chain Hip Control

Here are 5 drills where the goal is improved control of the pelvis on top of a fixed femur. Frequently we mobilize the hip with the moving leg in space on a stable hip. This is definitely important, but when we need functional control of the hip, it will often happen on top of a planted leg. These drills work to improve strength & control of the deep hip rotators (among others). 

Side note to my BMX Flatland fam – this is VERY important for us!

These drills are best done barefoot, as they strengthen the foot as well. Before bending forward on any of these exercises, lock your ribs down & engage your core, keep this tension thru the exercise.

1 – Single Leg Hip Hinge w/pole: 3 points of contact on the pole – back of head, mid-back, and butt. Do not loose contact as you hinge at the hip. Soft knee bend. Keep your low back flat, do not rotate away as you hinge! Work to 3 sets of 12/leg.

2 – Single Leg Hip Hinge, no pole: Same as above, now done without the feedback of the pole. The 3rd rep I do incorrectly so you can see what it looks like if you tilt your hip. Do 3 x 12/leg.

3 – Basic Hip Airplane: Start at the bottom of the single leg hinge. Rotate inward, then outward as far as you can control. It may help to think of pointing inward & outward with your belly button. Root into the ground with your foot. 3 x 8-10/side w/control.

4 – Hip Airplane Circle: Once #3 is mastered, add a slow rotation in both directions. This becomes a closed chain controlled articular rotation. (CARs) 3-5 x 3-5 reps.

5 – Weighted Hip Airplane Circle: Same as #4, holding light DBs to increase the demand. 3-5 x 3-5 reps.

Add these into your practice and see if your hips and back don’t end up feeling better!

Outside the Gym, part 1


This is part 1 of a 5 part series. Parts 1-3 were originally posted a few years back on my Blue Ox site, and they will be updated a bit here. Parts 4-5 were never completed but will appear here in the coming weeks. These posts will share some ideas on what you can do outside the gym to maximize your progress and overall health. They will NOT be covering nutrition, a topic that has been beaten to death in many prior posts. Obviously, nutrition is an important 6th factor, but I want to give a little love to some other factors that are just as important, if not more so.

To start, let’s look at sleep. 

Continue reading “Outside the Gym, part 1”

BMX and Back Pain, part 2

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BMX and Back Pain, part 2 Rotation is an important part of a healthy back. It's also a quality that we tend to lose as we age. It doesn't happen simply because we're older but instead because we stop maintaining the ability to do it. A lot of factors work to "steal" our rotational ability over time. The more time someone spends sitting, the more our posture takes on a stiff, rounded shape. Our sport of BMX actually reinforces this posture also. Even quite a few of the activities people do to get fitter take away our rotation! Weight training as it's typically done has us in fixed postures and can tighten us up. Endurance training adds thousands of reps and hours in position. Our rotation should come mostly from our thoracic, or upper spine. While our lower back can and should rotate some, we will run into trouble if we try to use it for too much of our rotation. If the upper spine doesn't rotate well, the lower back has to help out too much and we're then at risk for back pain or injury. If you can rotate better, you'll be more fluid and powerful on the bike. Test your rotation: sit on a bench or chair and keep your knees and feet pressed together. Don't allow them to move! Put a dowel or PVC pipe on your back. Sitting tall, slowly rotate to the side as far as you can with your own strength. Practice a few reps to each side, then note how far you could go. Ideally, you can go to at least 45 degrees to each side, and left and right are roughly equal. This test can be used to improve your rotation. 1-2 sets of 10 per side, done slowly and held at max rotation for 2 seconds each works well. However, there are other things that work better if you are really stuck. I'm happy to post more on this if anyone wants, let me know! #oldschoolbmx #midschoolbmx #bmxfitness #bikefitness

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Back Pain & BMX, part 1

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Back Pain and BMX, part 1 The low back is another common trouble spot for veteran riders. There can be many causes of back pain and each case is a little different. I typically see some glaring problems in most riders though. One of the first things I look at is to see if someone can actually move each part of the spine. The classic Cat/Camel exercise is an easy way to see this – we are looking to see if the back can both flex (round) and extend (arch) symmetrically. If it can’t, then you are lacking control and mobility thru your spine and this is a potential problem. What happens is that the “stuck” or immobile parts don’t move as they should, and therefore end up making the more mobile parts move excessively to make up the slack. This will make overuse injury or strains much more likely. Even worse, acute trauma is more likely also, as the spine is unable to absorb force as it should. While I could improve my extension some, you’ll note that my curve is pretty symmetrical both ways. This is not the case for most riders, at least at first. If you find your spinal mobility lacking, this same exercise is a great way to gain your mobility back. You’ll need to move slowly and focus your effort on the areas that don’t want to move. A partner’s cues can be very helpful, or if you are alone, you can use the feedback of a band to help you. Doing a set of 5-10 reps 2-3 times per day will pay off – it requires no equipment and can be done anytime in just a minute or two. We’ll look at some other variations in the next post. #oldschoolbmx #midschoolbmx #bmxfitness #bikefitness #blueoxgym

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Single Leg Strength, part 5

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Single Leg Strength, part 5 In this last installment, we’ll look at training in imperfect positions. This is relatively new idea in strength & conditioning, though some sports & coaches have used these principles since long ago. Training with proper form is very important for an optimally functioning body and for the most carryover to sport & longevity. However, it’s impossible to execute every movement exactly the same, and the unavoidable truth is that you will get into some bad positions in life or sport from time to time. This is even more true if you are a rider! If you only are strong in standard strength training positions, when you get taken outside these positions, you have little strength and injury is more likely. The body is very adaptable to however you stress it. If you apply a small amount of training stress in these compromised positions, your body will adapt and build more strength & control there. As long as the load does not exceed the capacity of your tissues to handle it, you will adapt and be able to handle more load in the future. These positions require patience – I start with easier variations and just 1 set of 5 reps at first and build from there. Also, many of these positions require that good mobility be developed first – these are NOT exercises to develop mobility, but rather exercises to strengthen ranges of motion you have already developed. We don’t use these if pain is present, so they are not for rehab. Video 1 is some knee hinging work. Video 2 is quad/tendon, and big toe strength work. Video 3 shows twisting squats and inside squats for knee and ankle resilience. Lastly, I show a flow sequence of joint prep where this might be combined in a conditioning circuit (video 4). Going over each and how to perform them would require a series of posts. I’m just sharing them so you can see all of the elements that go into a well designed routine. Please do not try these if you don’t have the mobility to do so, or have the ability to hit some of the basic strength metrics discussed in the earlier parts of this series! #bmxfitness #bikefitness #fitforflat #bmxtraining Thx @bmagaziner for the 📸

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Single Leg Strength, part 4

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Single Leg Strength, part 4 We return to single leg work in this 4th installment. Once the Split Squat standards have been met (see part 1), then we can move on to true single leg work. Skater Squats (aka King Deadlifts) are the starting point here. Most cannot do these while getting the trail leg’s knee to the ground at first, so you’ll want to find an elevated surface you can get to with good form. The hips must stay square & neutral, the working knee must not collapse in, and the foot arch also should not collapse. Build control & strength at your starting depth, then reduce the height over time until you can do these while tapping the knee to the floor. Once there, work up to being able to do a set of 15 each leg without any form flaws. In the first video, I go over the variations in order of difficulty. Note that in some versions I allow a slight assist with the back foot. Pistol Squats off a box are next (video 2). These are progressed by squatting deeper over time. I like doing slow eccentrics (lowering) to build strength in the bottom position. If you train this movement well, you’ll be able to do them on the floor, as in video 3. (note-ankle range of motion is a common limitation – address this with mobility work or you’ll never get a full pistol squat) Once you own these on the floor, they can be done weighted, as in video 4. The Shrimp Squat is the final one I’ll cover here in video 5. (there are other more advanced versions yet). You’ll return to the Skater Squat progression, but now hold your free foot in your hand. This is far harder! Progress by depth, then reps. Follow all the same form points of the skater squat. Your likelihood of a knee injury is significantly less if you develop true single leg strength/stability. You’ll also have greater resilience on the bike or in whatever activities you like to do. #bmxfitness #bikefitness #fitforflat #bmxtraining

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