Baseball Off-Season Pitching & Throwing Development – Training Rotational Load

Increased Velocity, Spine Health, Shoulder & Arm Care Simultaneously

It’s off season, the time of year you can really focus on conditioning to improve velocity and prevent future injuries to your back, shoulder & arm. Here’s an exercise that will take care of many your needs at the same time.

Rotational Loading

For overhand pitching and throwing, before the body weight shifts forwards and the hips, shoulders and throwing arm come racing through to deliver the ball, there’s a loading phase, a rotational movement of the body in the opposite direction (away from the target), that occurs first.

Doesn’t matter if you’re pitching off the mound or throwing on the field, the hips (pelvis), the shoulders and the throwing arm turn slightly away from the target to load. This action, also referred to as the negative or preparatory phase of throwing, stretches specific muscles and really makes the throwing action possible.

The stretched throwing muscles around the hips, in the core, around the shoulders, chest and throwing arm, all work similar to a sling shot. These muscles are somewhat elastic, so when they stretch, they spring back in the opposite direction of the stretch.

Strengthening the Rotational Loading Throwing Muscles

Step #1

Warm-up adequately.

Step #2

Choose three resistance PC360 bands (the suggested colors/resistance levels below are for a healthy high school athlete). For a right-handed thrower, securely anchor one end of the three resistance bands at just above floor level and the other ends to:

  • the right side PC360 Hip Harness (orange band)
  • the right side PC360 Torso Harness (black band)
  • the right side PC360 Arm Cuff (grey band) (placed above the elbow)

Step #3

For 2 weeks, perform 4 sets of the following routine:

  • Set #1 – 10 reps slow and controlled speed, then rest rest 1 minute
  • Set #2 – 10 reps slow and controlled speed, then rest rest 1 minute
  • Set #3 – Move the arm cuff from the elbow to above the wrist; 10 reps slow and controlled speed, then rest rest 1 minute
  • Set #4 – 10 reps slow and controlled speed, then rest rest 1 minute

Preventing Injuries – Conditioning the “Braking” Muscles

Many throwing related injuries to the shoulder occur as the throwing arm is slowing down or braking. To reduce the risk for these types of injuries, the muscles of the rotator cuff and others must be trained to effectively slow the arm down.

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