Using weights as a supplement to a pitcher's training is becoming more and more the norm...and for good reason, it works!
For pitchers repetitions are more important than weights. You want to work with very light weights. You do not need, and in fact it would be counterproductive, to use heavy weights. Doing a lot of repetitions with low weights will build strength in your arm without bulking up your body. For the rotator cuff lightweights is more than enough to get a good workout.
It is important that these exercises be part of a well-rounded exercise program. Pitchers need to do "long toss", work on their legs, torso, and flexibility as well.
Proper weight training can help prevent injuries and add efficiency to a pitcher’s delivery, while protecting the arm as well as other parts of the body from breaking down.
Under the supervision of a trained specialist and the approval of a medical doctor these exercises can also be done by young pitchers. During the off-season children less than 13 years of age, but over 10, can do these exercises twice a week and only one set per exercise. During the season it may need to be done only once a week, depending on the schedule and how much pitching the youngster is doing.
Surgical tubing can also be used instead of dumbbells or a combination of both. Just make sure to seek competent professional guidance before embarking on a weight lifting program...especially for children under the age of 15.
Coach Joe Hernandez played double-A baseball and has been a youth baseball coach for 25 years. He has written numerous articles covering all aspects of baseball on his forthcoming website, www.seetheball.org.
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