Friday, January 13, 2012

How to Strengthen Lower Body for Better Pitching?

When you throw a baseball, your entire body must work in unison to get the maximum amount of velocity on the throw. Your arm action and grip are obviously important, but your lower body is also a key factor, especially if you’re a pitcher. Using your lower body properly can take some of the pressure off your arm and help avoid strain.
Beginning Stance
Create a stable base to throw the ball, whether you’re just playing catch or pitching in an important game. Start off the throwing motion with your feet between one and two shoulder widths apart. Flex your knees and ankles and place most of your weight onto the balls of your feet. From a stationary position, stand with your body turned to the side of your target with your back foot perpendicular to the target and your hips closed.
When you’re fielding the ball, your legs are going to be in different positions, depending on which stage of the play you’re in. Whether you’re able to make the play square to the ball, or you have to lunge or reach for it, get yourself back to an upright, stable base before you throw. Step toward your target with your non-throwing leg, keeping your knees slightly bent. Rotate your hips and rise up onto the ball of your back foot after you release the ball to keep you moving in the right direction and increase power. If you have time, take a step or two toward the target before you throw the ball.
Pitching Power
Good pitchers know that a lot of their power comes from the lower body. According to the Pitching Academy, your stride toward the plate should be at least 100 percent of your height. You should also bring your striding leg back past the back leg in your wind up to store up the energy before you stride. Lead with your hips when you first begin your stride home, and drive forward with your back leg, pushing off the rubber as you release the ball.
In order to use your lower body in the most efficient way to throw a baseball, try plyometric exercises as part of your training. Plyometrics create explosive leg power through jumping exercises. You can just squat down and jump straight up in the air, jump from side to side, or jump on top of an object such as a bench or box.

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