Aug 15, 2011 general
A good number of younger pitchers these days lack much of an off season with the rise in popularity of travel teams and the mix of prep, summer and fall leagues. This has caused a rise in elbow and shoulder injuries at a young age for pitchers who definitely are not allowing themselves an off season to recover and rebuild. I became a recipient of this never-ending loop during my personal career. I received rotator cuff surgery at eighteen to fix a torn supraspinatus after my 1st college start. The three common issues that lead to my tear, the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), lead by the renowned Dr. James Andrews, has labeled as the explanation for the increase in elbow and shoulder injuries in youth pitchers in their Position Statement released in 2011.
Three common issues of the majority of pitching injuries:
Poor strength and conditioning
This is significant to understand since injury prevention needs to be the major emphasis of any in-season throwing method. In accordance with these details a great in-season pitching program should include a lower volume of throws to prevent overuse, drills to preserve good pitching mechanics and ultimately add a strength and conditioning program which will institute excellent health and fitness.
In advance of when I format the ideal in-season training system we must first establish and number traditional methods to pitching that would fall under the category of the above common injury factors.
Air it Out Long Tossing (Exceeding distances of 150 ft)
This style of training, even though it is very popular, includes a cautionary tale. ASMI performed a number of studies on this kind of practice and yes it produced elbow varus torque inside the pitching arm and pitching mechanics which were not favorable to the pitching mound. ASMI cautioned against these kind of throws for rehabilitation and training purposes.
This style of training might easily result in unnecessary use of the rotator cuff and elbow and if bad mechanics are present, the pitcher is a lot more at risk of injury.
Weighted Baseball Exercises (Over Under Load Training)
I actually have no scientific studies against this kind of practice. I have actually used the two of these pitching practices in my career, nevertheless it was before my arm damage. This kind of exercise yet again falls into the three typical factors of most throwing injuries. This certainly will enhance the level of throws along with poor mechanics, places the pitcher in harm’s way.
Television and Internet Gimmicks
I’m not proclaiming that every gadget or attention-grabber on tv or the Net is useless, but you must ensure that they don’t put you in to the group of the three typical factors leading to arm damage while in-season. A number of these gadgets promote a higher amount of throws and poor mechanics. I advise you to educate your self on good mechanics and make use of this exceptional in-season training program before you decide to throw away your money.
The Ideal In-Season Pitching and Strength Maintenance Program
This routine consists of both the programs, the throwing program and the strength training program. You need to understand that we are really not attempting to enhance velocity or strength while in-season. The inspiration of any ideal in-season pitching program is always to prevent damage as well as maintain power. When you succeed at this you will undergo consistent velocities between performances and you’ll stay off of the Disabled List (DL).
This is not a one size fits all system because it is going to cover all ages, all levels plus your throwing work load. Your pitching work load includes ones own quantity of throws every outing.
There is a critical component with an in-season throwing system that wont be covered in this article which is diet. Beneficial nutrition facilitates your body’s capability to restore and repair.
Relief Pitcher Amount of work (Based on 2 day Pitching Rotation)
21 – 35 throws = one day rest from throwing
36 – 50 pitches = 2 days rest from throwing
Day one (Maintenance & Mechanics)
Mechanics Routine (Instruction Below) 3X Med Throws, 3X Target Drills on Pitching Mound
Plyometrics (1 set, twenty yards) Pogo Plyos, Bunny Hopes, Frog Hopes
Anaerobic Conditioning (3-6 sets) Hurdles, Resistance Sprints, Regular Sprints
Rotator Cuff Program (Tubing or 2-3 lb weights, three sets ten reps) External Rotation, Positives and Negatives, Shoulder extensions, Up and Out, Windmills
Day two (Eat, Rest & Recover)
Dynamic Warm Up
Visualization (Visualizing your own self pitching perfect pitches with perfect mechanics, has been shown being far better than actually practicing)
Starting Pitcher Amount of work (Determined by four Day Pitching Rotation)
51 – 65 throws = 72 hours rest from pitching
66 throws and Up = 4 days rest from throwing
Day 1 (Maintenance)
Plyometrics (1 set, twenty yards) Pogo Jumps, Bunny Hopes, Frog Hopes
Anaerobic Conditioning (3-6 sets) Hurdles, Resistance Sprints, Normal Sprints
Core Routine (three sets 10 repetitions) V-Ups, Medicine Ball, Russian Twists, Double Leg Jack Knife, Medicine Ball Slams, Back crunches
Rotator Cuff Routine (Tubing or 2-3 pound weights, three sets 10 reps) External Rotation, Positives and Negatives, Shoulder extensions, Up and Out, Windmills
Day two (Mechanics)
Dynamic Warm Up
Throwing Drills (Instruction In this article) 3X Med Ball Exercises, 3X Target Drills on Mound
25 Pitch On Mound around 60% effort (10 Fastball, 10 Breaking Balls, 5 Off Speed)
Day three (Eat, Rest & Recover)
Visualization (Picturing your own self pitching perfect pitches with perfect mechanics, has been confirmed to be more beneficial compared to actually practicing)
For more info on these kinds of drills and exercises remember to visit TopVelocity.net. You may get in touch with me personally at TopVelocity.net/Contact.
This particular section of the system may incorporate any exercises to help institute the motor coordination for excellent mechanics without the need for adding a high volume of pitches on your arm. I have listed 2 mechanics exercises coming from the 3X Pitching Velocity program and also a url to the 3X Pitching Mechanics Online video in the reference segment listed below. I seriously recommend watching the video clip just before utilizing the 3X Drills so you have a excellent knowledge of the approach.
3X Med Throws (15-25 Throws together with 2lb med ball. DO NOT GO OVER 2 pounds)
Step 1 – Start in a full stride, which is 80-90% of your height. Both of your feet must be pointing towards the target. You sit on the ball of your back leg foot with the majority of of your weight on your drive leg. Your shoulders are inline to the catcher. The med ball is behind your head, on top of your throwing shoulder, with both of your hands holding the ball. Your chin is buried and behind your own belt buckle.
Step 2 – Pick up your lift leg and triple extend your back leg before your lift leg foot lands. Triple extension is the extension of the ankle, knee and hip flexor. Land strong without the need of permitting your front leg knee push past your lift leg heel. At front foot strike you will feel your hips slam wide open while you keep your shoulders closed. This is going to create core torque or hip to shoulder separation that will coil your body after which launch your shoulders towards the target externally rotating your pitching arm.
Step 3 – You should end with your chest area out over your front leg and your chin still tucked. Release the baseball by stretching your arms out and up and don’t PULL THE BALL DOWN TO RELEASE.
3X Target Throws (15-25 Pitches with Baseball)
The importance here is to implement the motor coordination or muscle memory from the med throws into the target throws.
Step 1 – You’re in the same position and stance as the Med Throws Phase 1. Total stride, feet in direction of target, shoulders closed. Truly the only difference will be your throwing arm is behind your head cocked and ready along with your baseball glove side is elbow to target and glove hand relaxed. Utilize the glove side to help you aline your shoulders up with the target.
Step 2 – Just like the Medicine Ball Throws Phase 2, start with raising your lift leg while loading your weight against your back leg. Follow this by having an explosive push of the back leg, achieving triple extension prior to front foot strike. This absolutely should develop power through your stride and fire your hips open as soon as the front leg lands and stabilizes. The shoulders should stay closed to generate ideal hip to shoulder separation.
Step 3 – Commence the pitch by letting your shoulders to release the core torque, leading with your torso in the direction of target. Maintain the chin tucked as the chest shoves out over your lift leg and your arm externally rotates. Ensure only at that spot your pitching elbow is higher than your shoulder. Complete the throw by internally rotating your arm and stretching your elbow up to your release.
Position Statement for Youth Baseball Pitchers http://www.asmi.org/asmiweb/position_statement.htm
Biomechanical Comparison of Baseball Pitching and Long-Toss http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21212502
3X Pitching 101 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJOM_TOkCoc
3X Pitching Velocity Program http://TopVelocity.net
Optimum Pitching Program for In-Season
Tags: american sports medicine, american sports medicine institute, asmi, conditioning program, distances, dr james, elbow, health and fitness, injury prevention, personal career, pitching mechanics, position statement, shoulder injuries, sports medicine, sports medicine institute, strength and conditioning, supraspinatus, torque, travel teams, youth pitchers