Strength Training for Baseball Pitchers

Overhand throwing, whether for baseball or football, places unique demands on the shoulder joint – this most crucial for baseball pitchers. The first training consideration any pitcher should have is the health and stability of their shoulder. The act of throwing places considerable stresses on the shoulder that can lead to the development of muscle imbalances and injuries. Pitchers and quarterbacks can incorporate these simple exercises into their warm-up to improve shoulder health.

Coaches also need to consider shoulder health when implementing a strength program for throwers. Many athletes, especially in high school, tend to work the muscles they can see more often. Throwers need to develop many muscle groups, including muscles they can’t see when they look into a mirror. This means developing the supportive muscles of the back. Two great exercises for developing strength in the area are seated rows and pullups. I recommend doing two sets of pulling exercises for every set of pressing exercises you perform.

Throwers also require tremendous leg, hip, and core strength to meet the needs of their sport. Increased leg drive can be achieved by incorporating lower body exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts. In order to achieve better hip strength you can perform lateral plyometrics like the ones in this video. Core strength is involved in all the above mentioned lifts but can further be improved up by the inclusion of planks, bridge variations, and rotational ball throws. Incorporating these exercises into any thrower’s workout program will help prevent injuries and increase the athlete’s throwing power.

For additional information, check out these videos on baseball injury prevention and throwing dynamics.

Image credit: via flickr chemisti

Rich’s Three for Thursday – Great Health Reads

young pitcher exercises baudry therapyHere’s one for all of those little league parents, and young throwers. This article talks about some of the facts and myths about throwing injuries.

I also thought this article from the NY Times gave a great account of the latest science behind diets and weight loss. Give it a look and I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s more than just counting calories.

And if you’ve ever wished for a great resource to help you make better diet decisions for you and your family… I think you’ll like ChooseMyPlate — from the USDA… it’s full of helpful diet tips, suggestions and interactive tools.

But as an nutritionist will tell you, diet is only half the battle. You have to combine a good diet with a good exercise program. Everyone’s needs for exercise are not the same, nor are all exercises equal. So I think you’ll find this link from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) helpful.

And that concludes this week’s edition of Three for Thursday. As I said last week, this is a new series here, and I’d love to hear what you think about it, ways to make it more valuable to you or maybe just your thoughts on today’s posts.