Exercising For Arm Strength
What Is Little League Elbow
LL elbow happens to growing kids, is on the inner side of the elbow, and is mostly related to a certain stage of development. At that particular stage the pitcher is throwing too frequently and there can be pain. Parents and coaches have to decide what is more important, losing a year of development vs. losing a career.
If the player is complaining of pain you have to listen to them. Its either pain for anatomical reasons or pain for whatever reason he doesn’t want to play. Once the pain is evaluated and someone tells you that you can’t find any cause then you have to sit back and have a heart to heart talk.
On the other hand if there are anatomical things, and it is not looked into, and people continue to force the kid to go out there, then you might be into something much worse that will threaten a career.
The 5 Tools: #1 Arm Strength
Over the course of the next five days, Im going to write an article about each tool coaches and scouts look for.
The first Tool is arm strength.
I have already written a few articles on arm strength and the how to develop it in previous articles.
Arm strength, in my opinion is the easiest to develop as well as the easiest to spot.
Before each game as well as before each inning, every player plays catch. EVERY time you play catch, it is an opportunity to show off your arm strength.
There are three different factors that coaches look for when determine arm strength:
1. Velocity on the gun: This is very easy to see as you just look at the radar number.
For a catcher, the average arm is around 80 MPH. For an infielder it is 85 MPH, and for an outfielder it is 90 MPH.
Obviously, there are players that throw much harder than this, but this is a minimum number you need to shoot for.
2. Carry: As you watch someone throw from their position, coaches and scouts will look at what kind of carry the ball has.
This is obviously affected by velocity, but a SS that has a strong arm will not have a thrown ball that starts to drop before it hits 1st base. His ball will stay true and may even appear as it rises.
This is the same with a catcher. An outfielder with carry will have a ball that looks like it has a 2nd gear when its half way there. Instead of beginning to die, it will continue the rest of the way.
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Should Pitchers Lift Weights
Just a short time ago, most baseball coaches thought strength training exercises would cause pitchers to become muscle-bound and lose flexibility.
But a 2008 study now shows a strong correlation between muscular strength, body mass and pitch velocity.
When pitchers lift weights, their muscles get stronger so they can produce more force. When pitchers learn to express this force quickly through training, they improve their power.
Power, therefore, is best described as strong movements performed with speed.
The formula looks like this:
Power = speed x strength
With proper mobility in certain joints, stability in others, and flexibility that allows for a full range of motionthe pitcher now has a launching pad for this power that directly translates to a better fastball.
Incorporate More Long Toss
If youve ever played baseball you know the benefits of long toss. Long toss helps improve your throwing over time and gets your arm used to the motion of throwing. Long toss can differ from pitchers and outfielders, but generally, youll want to start throwing at 30ft apart. Then move to 60ft, 90ft, and 120ft. Do this slowly that way you wont damage your arm by trying to throw too far too soon. This exercise is also going to help you measure the limits of your throwing capacity. Instead of just measuring how far you can throw, keep track of how accurate you are at each distance.
Can you throw really far but wildly inaccurate? Does your throwing mimic more of a pop fly than a line drive. You dont want to just improve your arm strength, but also improve that accuracy. Its important that you are able to consistently hit targets even from far distances away. However, it can be easy to make some common mistakes..
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Warm The Shoulder First
Before doing any form of long toss, it is always recommended to get the shoulder and arm warmed up and loose to prevent injury from throwing hard to a long distance.
It is vital to let the arm stretch out while throwing in a way that feels good and follows the rules of good mechanics. At first, your long toss might be about 60 feet, but after a while of loosening up, the distance can extend even farther to 100 feet or more.
As a ball player in the off-season, it is important to do this on a daily basis, because the arm needs to stretch. It is best for young players to start doing this every day to keep the arm stretched out. Instead, by not throwing daily, the arm gets tight just like the rest of the body when it is not exercises on a regular basis.
If you do find that you are throwing more than 150 feet, it is time to incorporate the crow hop to add more body strength to the throw.
Is Running Good For Baseball Players
Running is great for baseball players but the type of running you do is going to have a huge effect on how your body is going to respond. Instead of conditioning with long distance running try: running sprints like they did in this study. perform circuits of exercises likes lunges, pushups and rows.
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How To Increase Arm Strength Baseball
To develop arm strength for baseball, do weight exercises that target your arms, like front lateral raises, dumbbell curls, and close-grip bench presses. You should also practice throwing a ball in different positions, like sitting down or resting on one knee, which will help improve your overall arm strength…. read more
The Childhood Drill That Helped Pat Mahomes Build Superhuman Arm Strength
On a handful of passing attempts each game, Patrick Mahomes seemingly shreds the laws of physics.
When a quarterback drops back to throw, their brain must process a staggering amount of information in mere seconds. They must calculate the velocity of their receivers, the size of their targets, their locations on the field in relation to themselves, and then do the same for every defensive player bent on ruining it all. Then, they have to estimate how their own arm strength and accuracy factors into the equation. Once they crunch the calculus, they must choose one of two optionsshould I make this throw, or not?
What makes the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback so special is that he routinely answers yes to passing attempts for which theres nearly no precedent, then executes them with a magical flick of the wrist. The amount of zip and power Mahomes possesses allows him to make throws other quarterbacks wouldnt attempt in their wildest dreams. It unlocks a dimension of throwing lanes few have previously explored:
Heres a completely unedited mashup of throws Mahomes has made this year that are borderline impossible. Its been 5 games .
Keep in mind these arent all his great throws. Just the impossible ones. Hes a human cheat code. Seth Keysor
With a right arm seemingly enchanted by witchcraft, Mahomes threw for an eye-popping 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns during the 2018 regular season.
How did Mahomes build such a special arm?
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Does Long Toss Increase Arm Strength
Long toss promotes arm strength because the arm gains range of motion from distance. And learning how to translate this freedom into aggressiveness with the right intention promotes greater explosiveness and life on the ball. More freedom equals more explosiveness, and most importantly, safer explosiveness…. see details
Does Long Tossing Increase Velocity
So, throwing velocity on average actually decreased when throwing past 180 feet. However, long toss does increase your intensity to throw the ball and that is a benefit. It can actually help you gain a little velocity, but if you are a pitcher who needs more than 2-3 mph to reach 90 mph you need more than long tossing.
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How Often Should You Work On Arm Strength Exercises
Before we begin discussing the exercises that you can use to increase your arm strength for baseball, it is important to talk about the frequency you should work out. If you work on your arms too much, it can actually work against you and decrease your arm strength.
Any time you strength train, you create tiny tears in your muscles. However, shortly these tears heal and create stronger tissues than were there before. This is how we gain muscle mass. An essential component in the strength training process is rest. You must rest to allow your muscle fibers to heal. If you train your arms too frequently, the fibers never heal, which can lead to injuries.
Arm strength training frequency will depend on a number of factors. Your age, as well as your fitness level,are the most important factors. If you are new to arm training or are a young player, then start slow. Consistency is far more important than frequency. University of Texas head coach that a regular exercise routine is essential for his teams success.
Begin by performing arm strength exercises two to three days per week. If you and your coaching staff feel it is needed,after a few weeks you can increase the number of days you train your arms. Some players swear by short, daily exercises. In this case, keep the exercises to five to ten minutes and change them up regularly. Make sure that you are working on all of your arm muscles.
A Closer Look At A Pitcher’s Shoulder And Rotator Cuff
The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body. However, unlike the hip, it is a very shallow ball and socket jointthus the flexibility.
One thing that stands out when you watch major league pitchers is just how much whip you see in their throwing arms. And it makes a lot of sense that greater external rotation in your throwing shoulder would contribute to higher velocity.
Check out the flexibility of Aroldis Chapman and Billy Wagner during max external rotation or “forearm lay back” to see it:
If you don’t have this range of motion in your shoulder to get your forearm near parallel with the ground at MER, you’re not going to get the same catapult effect in the elbow extension/acceleration phase of your throw.
Now here is the amazing thing that many pitchers don’t understand:
The ball part of the shoulder joint is the upper arm or the head of the humerus.
The only thing that holds the head of the humerus in the shallow socket of the shoulder are four tendons about the size of your first four fingers called the rotator cuff.
Here are the components of the rotator cuff:
These four tendons are what try to maintain the distance between the humerus and the shoulder socket. So when we maintain a balance between these four tendons, three that are in the front and one in the back, there is enough clearance and therefore no rubbing or impingement.
But when these tendons get out of balance, it’s then that pitchers can suffer inflammation, impingement and even tearing.
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Should Pitchers Lift During The Season
The answer is a resounding yes. We can lift during the season, but there are considerations we need to make. The first, and in my mind most important, is fatigue. We need to be cognizant about the amount of fatigue placed upon our athletes and how that fatigue is actually accumulated in the weight room.
What Causes Muscle Imbalances In The Throwing Arm
We already know the act of throwing a baseball is the fastest movement in all of sports. It’s also the most stressful.
Imagine the tremendous stress that pitchers who throw in the 90’s put on their arms. The arm is going 90 mph and those four tendons are taking the majority of the stress.
Over time one of these tendons can fail and that can mean surgery and at least a year of rehabilitation.
Now here’s what’s important:
The front of the shoulder gets worked in all sorts of ways, throwing being one.
Throwing is mainly a forward motion.
So the back of the shoulder gets very little work, unless we strengthen it on a regular basis.
Here is what happens when you work the front of the chest or shoulder with heavy weights while not working the back of the shoulder:
The muscles in the front shorten and pull on the head of the humerus. So when the pitcher goes to throw, the humerus is pulled forward because the tendons in the back of the shoulder are not strong enough to hold them back.
This is called an imbalance.
So what the pitcher ends up with is impingement or tendonitis, both of which will show up as pain.
In order to maintain muscle balance, pitchers must work the back of the shoulder by strengthening while keeping the front stretched.
Having a quality arm care program should be the first priority of any pitcher.
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How To Strengthen Your Pitching Arm For Little League
Once youngsters have become interested and passionate about baseball, training can begin in earnest. This is particularly true of young pitchers, who will likely want to try to add pitches to their repertoire and attempt to throw with more velocity as they gain experience. However, pitching requires an unnatural arm motion. Young people are vulnerable to injury and that’s why most youth baseball leagues employ strict pitch counts. Youngsters can do certain exercises to strengthen the pitching arm, help build velocity and avoid injury.
Throw the ball with a partner for about 10 to 15 minutes every day. While excessive pitching off the mound can cause arm strain, throwing the ball or playing catch on level ground for a brief period will build strength. Concentrate on throwing with your entire body, making sure to follow through and getting full extension as you throw.
Do pushups to build strength in your arms, shoulders and upper body. On the Pitching Tips website, instructor Steven Ellis recommends pushups for pitchers of all ages. Do three sets of 15 to 25 pushups, taking a two-minute break between sets. Pushups build strength the arms, chest and the particularly delicate muscles that form the rotator cuff.
Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen, and discuss the impact of pitching on a young player’s arm and other body parts.
Learn Proper Arm Care Techniques To Prevent Sore Arms Arm Pain And Pitching
Steven Ellis ATTENTION PARENTS:age-appropriate and safe for kids 7-14
Let’s talk arm care for pitchers…
In this article, you’ll learn how to take care of your arm before and after pitching during the seasonand also what to do for a sore arm.
It’s essential pitchers understand the importance of working the rotator cuff in-season and off-season…
…and also why too much of the wrong kind of upper body weight training can cause injury to the cuff as well as reduce flexibility.
During a baseball pitch, the shoulder of the pitching arm abducts 90Â° or more, externally rotates up to 180Â°, experiences a peak force of over 600N, and then internally rotates over 7000Â° per sec…
…all in less than 2 seconds!
It’s the fastest human motion in any athletic activity. And no one does it better or throws harder than Aroldis Chapman.
Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds has thrown the fastest official pitch in Major League Baseball at 105.1 mph.
Here’s something else to consider:
The rotator cuff becomes even more important the harder a pitcher throws.
In Little League, most injuries are to the elbow because most LL pitchers don’t throw with enough force to cause stress at the shoulder, even though there are many growth plate injuries due to overuse throwing.
But once pitchers hit high school and begin to get bigger and stronger, and start to put more stress on their shouldersthey need to begin protecting their rotator cuff.
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