Pitching Leg Strength

By Coach Jerry Kreber

I have posted a picture on the right to illustrate how important the groin area is for pitchers. As you can see, Pedro Martinez’s groin is almost completely stretched to the limit as he pushes off the rubber and plants the lead leg. Now, after lead leg plant has been achieved, Pedro will have to flex the groin and push with the glove leg. This action must happen instantly and with great thrust. To complete this task the groin must be properly exercised and trained. With a strong and durable groin, pitchers can achieve greater throwing velocity by increasing the “coupling” force of the lead leg to the plate.

At Omaha Central High School, where I coach, our pitchers perform the following exercises to improve groin strength and durability.

Groin exercises for pitchers

1. Splits stretch: The pitcher will split legs as far as the groin will allow holding the stretch for approximately 10 seconds. The pitcher will perform 3-5 sets with the goal of trying to get closer to the floor every time.

2. Lunge for length: The pitcher will place hands on head and perform a walking lunge. The pitcher will extend as far as possible, stopping for the trail knee to touch the floor. The pitcher will perform 3-5 sets of lunges for 20 yards.

3. Lunge with weight: The pitcher, depending on his strength, will place 30-45 lbs. dumbbells in their hands. With the dumbbells at their side, the pitcher will perform a walking lunge. The pitcher will extend as far as possible, stopping for the trail knee to touch the floor. The pitcher will perform 3-5 sets of lunges for 20 yards.

4. Uphill lunge: The pitcher will place their hands on head and face stairs. Taking 3-4 stairs at a time, the pitcher will walk slowly up the staircase. At Central, our pitchers walk up three flights. The pitcher should perform task slowly and feel the groin flex during each lunge. After the movements has been mastered, the pitcher can increased speed and move quickly up the stairs. Our pitchers perform these exercises for 10 minutes.

5. Uphill lunge with weight: The pitcher, holding 30-45 lbs. dumbbells at their side, should face the stairs. Taking 3-4 stairs at a time, the pitcher will walk slowly up the staircase. At Central, our pitchers walk up three flights. The pitcher should perform task slowly and feel the groin flex during each lunge. The dumbbell weight should add extra resistance to the exercise. Our pitchers perform these exercises for 10 minutes.

Coach Jerry Kreber is a high school baseball coach in Omaha, Neb., and owner of the blog Baseball Ideas, www.baseballideas.blogspot.com.


 

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