By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
In order to be ready to do ballistic pitching training with a pitching trainer, your body must be accustomed to the workload you will be under during this training.
If you're going to be pitching you should not try over/underload without first conditioning your arm for the extra load.
Ballistic training is strenuous and requires a well-conditioned athlete. You should do specific arm exercises using dumbbells and tubing before weight lifting before over/underload training.
It's probably a good idea to spend a couple of weeks conditioning your body before getting into ballistic training. After beginning ballistic training you should continue to do conditioning on your off throwing days.
There are several types of exercises recommended for conditioning. We will be getting into some of these exercises in depth in the next session but before we do I must inject a word of caution. Pitching is very stressful on the arm, both baseball and fastpitch softball. Ballistic training increases the load on the arm and may increase the risk of injury. In all the studies and projects done by Coop DeRenne using over and underload there were no injuries. BUT anytime you put added stress on the throwing arm (even game situations) there is a greater risk.
This does not mean you should not do ballistic just that you must be aware of the possibility of added risk. If you want to reach your potential you're probably going to take more risks than the average player. Just do it knowledgeably.
So let's get going into some specific pitching trainer exercises for strengthening arms as a prelude to ballistic, or overload/underload training. In order to perform these exercises you'll need either latex or surgical tubing and a set of dumb-bells (from 3-15 pounds depending on age level and current fitness level). There are several exercises for the shoulder. I'm going to list many of them without explanation. If you would like a detailed explanation contact me via e-mail.
DUMB-BELL EXERCISES: Shoulder Shrug, Shoulder Press, Biceps Exercise, Triceps, Cross Body extension, Straight Arm Abduction, Straight Arm Extension, Rotator Cuff Lift, Shoulder Pulls or Lawnmower Pulls, Dumbbell Flies, Reverse Dumbbell Flies, Posterior Raise, Abducted Rotator Cuff Lift, The Slider Exercise, Wrist Flexion, Reverse Curl and Forearm Supination/Pronation.
XERTUBE EXERCISES: External Shoulder Rotation, Internal Shoulder Rotation, Shoulder Abduction: Side Shoulder Raise, Shoulder Adduction: Shoulder Pull Down, Triceps Extension: Shoulder/Elbow Extension,Biceps Curl: Elbow/Shoulder Flexion and Goal Post Position.
These exercise were taken form Coop DeRenne's book, “Power Baseball”. As far as weight, sets and reps of the above exercises - e-mail and we can discuss you're specific needs and level.
If you'd like to receive more of my best tips and techniques to throw harder with better control while reducing the risk of injury, I invite you to subscribe to my free baseball pitching tips here: www.pitchingtips.com/free
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