Monday, January 2, 2012

4 Exercises for Pitching Arms

Arm exercises are important for a baseball pitcher. Not only do they help strengthen the arm and shoulder for the rigors of a long season in which the throwing motion will be repeated thousands of times, they also help protect the joint from injury, as the overhand throwing motion is quite dangerous for the shoulder. The primary muscles involved in the throwing motion of a baseball pitcher are the rotator cuff, deltoids, triceps and forearms.
Rotator Cuff
The rotator cuff is comprised of four different muscles--supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and the subscapularis (SITS is the acronym used to remember the muscles). This group, as the name signifies, is responsible for the rotation of the arm through the shoulder joint. Exercises to strengthen them are all rotational. They can be done using dumbbells, cables or resistant tubing. The most commonly performed rotator cuff exercises are internal/external rotation. Both sides should be exercised to keep a strength balance in the shoulder joint, which helps to prevent injuries.
The best deltoid exercise is the shoulder scaption. Shoulder scaptions are similar to a lateral raise, except instead of directly out to your sides, your arms are roughly 30 degrees in front, and your thumbs are pointed up. This places the shoulder joint in a better position, helping to prevent injuries as well.
To replicate the motion of a pitch, the most sport specific lift for the triceps is the single arm, overhead extension. The exercise can even be done in the throwing manner to match the exact motion as much as possible. If performed in this manner, a heavy weight should not be used as this can lead to injury. Instead, focus on mimicking the throwing motion.
To strengthen the forearms, perform wrist curls. This can be done using dumbbells, barbells or resistant tubing. Wrist curls are important because they can enhance a pitchers grip, which is important for velocity, location and movement of the pitch. Remember to do wrist extensions to keep a balance in the strength of the musculature.

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