When there is so much at stake in your baseball career, are you confident and strong enough with your pitch? Can you throw effectively? Is your throwing arm strong enough to endure long games?
We all know how to throw a ball, however not all of us know how to properly throw a baseball. Apparently, baseball pitching requires power, strength and stability. One of the best ways to achieve this is to undergo training.
Baseball throwing is not as simple as we all think it is. It involves the movement of our entire shoulder and arms, elbow and wrist. Thus, it is important that your exercise program will focus on these areas to gradually increase the arm strength.
- STRENGTH TRAINING – lifting weights is an effective way to get stronger muscles and produce more power. Muscular strength is required to increase the player’s throwing velocity.
- RESISTANCE TRAINING – strengthening your shoulders, arms and back are also essential for you to improve your throwing velocity and build arm strength. Likewise, it will help you prevent injuries and reduce your risk of becoming disabled, especially if you are in the middle of a baseball season.
- PLYOMETRICS – in a survey conducted in 2005, strength and conditioning coaches in major league baseball are into plyometrics training to enhance their upper body’s strength. It is a variation of resistance training with a combination of forceful movements and moderate weights to strengthen your muscles so you will not get easily injured.
- WEIGHTED BASEBALL DRILLS – an exercise which puts more stress on your joints so it can get used to the weight of the ball. This drill will help you build muscle strength and establish connection between the muscles and the nervous system. Once you are into plyometrics and resistance training, you can advance to weighted ball drills
As a baseball player, your knees, shoulders and arms are the most important parts of your body and the parts where you should keep focused. Regardless if you are pitching, running, hitting or doing infield techniques, it is a important to have strong shoulders, arms and knees.
After doing these exercises and drills, a recovery system should come next. This is also crucial in maintaining your arm strength. It only includes: ice treatment (cold compact) to lower the inflammation of muscles, rest so your broken muscle tissues can repair and rebuild and stretching to improve your range of motion. Strengthening exercises are also required so you can prevent injuries from happening.
Moreover, the exercises above can help not only pitchers, but also hitters, infielders, outfielders and catchers. Catching the ball and swinging the bat can also weaken the shoulders and put strain on your joints as much as throwing. The more flexible your shoulder is the better range of motion.
Taking Care of Your Arms and Shoulders
Your shoulders, especially the rotator cuff and arms could be overused and stressed due to constant throwing so it is important to build shoulder strength. The rotator cuff refers to the group of muscles and tendons in your shoulder that connects your shoulder blade to your upper arm.
Apparently, constant throwing can weaken your shoulder joints because of the greater range of motion it experiences while throwing a baseball. This huge amount of stress can cause injuries to your shoulder, its ligaments, tendons and other connecting tissues.
Aside from the common training and exercises above, proper warm-up of shoulders is crucial before you get started with any of your baseball routines. Without proper warm-up, the rotator cuff is subject to wearing out.
You can see developments in as early as two weeks if you are consistent with your routine. We highly recommend that you start early, perhaps during off-season. It will give you adequate time to build strength and get used to strenuous activities.
Redesign your program once the season started. Maintain your routine, but make sure to tailor fit it with the demands of your practice and game schedule to avoid overworking your shoulders and arms.