By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
To become a better pitcher, an athlete needs to train. This is true for every sport, but especially so for pitching. Throwing a baseball puts a lot of strain on different body parts and joints, so being properly trained will keep you from getting injured, and will allow you to throw to your full potential. There are several things you can do to train for pitching.
Flexibility is something that is often overlooked when a pitcher is training. Having flexibility in the lower half will allow you to throw to your maximum potential. It does no good to have really strong legs if they can’t extend out far enough to be effective. In order to maintain a flexible base, you should concentrate on keeping the hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and hip flexors very loose and flexible.
In order to stay healthy, a pitcher needs to have a stable shoulder. There are many small muscles inside the shoulder which need to be strong to support the pitching motion. Doing regular shoulder press will not help these muscles. I recommend the Thrower’s 10 program (Google this). It uses light dumbbells and elastic bands to work those small muscles and stabilize the shoulder.
A pitcher needs to be in good running shape. Running is a great way to stay in shape and keep all the limbs and joints free and loose. A pitcher serious about his training should make a habit of doing both distance running, and sprinting.
There are many different throwing programs out there, and they all claim to help you throw harder and healthier. The main thing to keep in mind is to make sure you are not over throwing. You don’t want to throw long toss every day, or your arm will burn out. It is important to realize that throwing is hard on the body, and your body will need time to recover after a throwing session. Make sure that whatever program you follow builds in some rest and recovery time for your arm.
To achieve optimal athlete performance, a good work out program is a must. I personally recommend Steven Ellis’ TUFFCUFF Strength and Conditioning Manual for Baseball Pitchers (www.TuffCuff.com). This manual breaks down every single exercise, and tells you exactly what you should be doing. It includes a 52 week exercises and throwing program, and I can personally attest to this program, and it is the best baseball training guide I have used.
If you train yourself as a pitcher, you will find your success level increase, and you will be in better shape to pitch. There are many resources out there to help you train, but it is all about finding the right one!
Related Pitching Materials
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